On Sunday, I wrote about an Associated Press article dealing extensively with manufacturing that I said might not have been Fake News, but sure came close. Today, the Washington Post published an article about President Trump’s activities at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York City that unquestionably deserves that label.
The theme of the article was made clear by the headline: “Trump uses U.N. meeting to wage domestic political attack on Biden.” Sounds pretty disgraceful, right? I mean, after all, every September the world’s leaders gather for this event, and address weighty issues ranging from threats to peace to climate change (a big focus this year). And here comes this notoriously egomaniacal and selfish boor of an Oval Office occupant determined to ignore his responsibilities as steward of the national interest and global leader – and the tradition of domestic politics stopping at the water’s edge. Instead, all he cared about was using this solemn conclave to slime former Vice President Joe Biden, a likely opponent during the next presidential election campaign.
As often not the case these days, moreover, the article itself faithfully reflected the header. According to authors Anne Gearan, Philip Rucker, and Ashley Parker, the President “turned” the General Assembly, “where foreign leaders converged to confront climate change and other global pandemics, into the backdrop for an assault on a domestic political opponent.”
They continued: “Trump used his meetings with heads of state to flay Biden, celebrate his personal attorney’s altercations and tend to his media feuds.”
For good measure, they wrote that Mr. Trump “seemed to revel in the opportunity to kick up dust around Biden, who has led Trump in virtually every public poll for several months.”
In other words, could the President be more of a reckless lout?
Readers were also told that participants in the global gathering were “baffled by the sudden interjection of a complex Trump scandal that they found mystifying.” And the authors dutifully quoted (globalist) “experts” to validate their emphasis on the President’s allegedly alarming weirdness:
“‘It puts foreign leaders in a difficult if not impossible position,’ said Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘How do you manage this complicated person who doesn’t play the game by the rules, and how do you somehow protect this important relationship? Everybody’s a bit wary.’
“Victoria Holt, managing director at the Henry L. Stimson Center, said the arcane details of the Ukraine story and its overlap with U.S. politics are largely beside the point for other leaders here. ‘I’m sure they are scratching their heads,” she said. “The United States is supposed to be leading on major issues” such as climate change.’”
Except a glancing reference in its paragraph completely destroyed the alarming premise of the article. As the authors briefly noted, the controversy over Mr. Trump’s own and the Biden family’s dealings with political leaders and oligarchs from Ukraine “hung over Trump’s first day at the annual U.N. meeting, beginning with a volley of shouted questions from journalists….”
Another unintentionally revealing observation: “Trump stayed away from the Ukraine topic in his only major prepared remarks of the day….”
That is, it wasn’t Mr. Trump who injected domestic politics into this year’s General Assembly and its work. It was journalists like the Post reporters. (Unless you attach lots of importance to the fact that the President tweeted about the subject beforehand – which the Post reporters clearly didn’t, since they devoted no other passages to it.) Talk about blaming the victim.
The Washington Post, of course, is the newspaper that throughout the Trump administration has been sanctimoniously warning that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” As so often the case, though, it’s ignored how shamefully biased reporting by democracy’s supposedly impartial watchdogs represent an equally dangerous threat.