Saturday, August 11, 2018

Impotence Of The Spoken Word

It's one thing to be used in 1984. It's another to be used in 2018, 34 years later. Steve M. blogs about the dishonest incident in which

Donald Trump Jr. posted a fake graphic to Instagram on Wednesday to misrepresent his father’s approval rating.

It was unclear who made the fake graphic that the president’s eldest son shared in an Instagram post that has not yet been deleted, but in it his father’s 40 percent approval rating is clearly visible below a photoshopped 50%....

The fakery was called on out the Instagram post and on Twitter.

John King of CNN explained thoroughly this gross misrepresentation, which SM noted compared "Trump's numbers now to Obama's at the same point in his presidency.On the air, King made clear several times that Obama had taken office at the depths of a recession, while Trump took office during a recovery." Still, SM concluded,

What King said gave the full story, more or less. But it's 2018. King and CNN should have known that a graphic like this will inevitably be used by pro-Trump partisans, who, of course, won't provide the context. Broadcasting the chart without a visual explanation of the context was a mistake.

This wasn't specifically- or maybe not solely- King's error. I saw Chris Cuomo of the same network also showing the chart, though he demonstrated that the 50% job approval of Donald Trump had been sneakily changed from 40%.  However, it is 2018, decades beyond 1984 and CNN  should have realized its value not only in promoting Trump further to his loyalists, but also to voters undecided about President Trump or who could be easily swayed in either direction. 

Here is Lesley Stahl explaining in 2015- as she has chosen to do on many occasions- what she (distressingly) learned from the Reagan camp in that year of the Reagan landslide:

Stahl concluded

We learned that we can’t be conflicting with the picture. You can’t. And just to run these- we used to call it “wallpaper"- we’d put up these pictures of the President- whatever he did, whatever it was, just to show it and we'd say something completely different. So we stopped doing that.

If Donald Trump has studied the tactics of Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6) even 10% as much as he has those of Adolph Hitler, it's a lesson he has learned, also.

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