The Fearless Leader is not stable — why is this not a huge news story?

by Eric Boehlert  Daily Kos March 5, 2019 edited by O Society

If over the weekend you saw a rambling shambling mound of a madman give a frighteningly incoherent, moderately sweaty two-hour shoutfestival at a neo-fascist sensory experience, then you viewed a so-called “president” reality TV celebrity come unglued on national television in a way never seen before in United States history.

And it is extraordinary cause for alarm today, and every day, until mercifully, this gawking spectator sport of NASCAR Clown Ride 500 comes to an end.

Instead, we receive what amounts to native advertising for an election yet two years away, in head-banging, first-hand, accounts, such as this one, which appears in the self-described “liberal news world leader” Guardian with this “positive thinking” headline:

Why Donald Trump Will Win Again

Instead, we see nothing more than a “firebrand” Donald Trump give a “zigzagging,” “wide-ranging,” “campaign-like,” “bellicose” address where the Republican really “let loose,”

If from reading these accounts, you thought Trump might be a hard-nosed, Friday Night Lights, Texas high school football coach, well, this deems to be the point.

If you think these represent an accurate “unbiased” account, then most likely you might work for the DC press, which once again swung and missed when it came to detailing the escalating threat “Madman Theory” Trump and his cult of rubes represent to our country on their goaline drive.

Coach says, “We’re going for TWO!”


Specifically, newsrooms today nearly uniformly refuse to address openly the mounting, obvious signs Trump is a deeply unstable man, as evident from the beginning of his campaign way back when. The CPAC meltdown so obviously demonstrates, it yet again, and most reporters simply do not want to mention it.

“In most ways, it was just another campaign rally for the president, in flavor, content, and punchlines,” the Daily Beast reported, summing up Trump’s CPAC calamity.

In other words: Nothing to see here, folks. It’s another Lynyrd Skynyrd show and we’re drinking beer in the parking lot at the country boys’ tailgate.

This is typical of CPAC coverage. “Trump derides Mueller probe, mocks Democrats and his former attorney general,” this Wahington Post  headline announces. The accompanying article does not include even the slightest hint Trump’s speech is a flashing orange neon sign of a man teetering on the edge.

Danger, Jackie Robinson, danger!


This is a bionic-man level attempt to normalize Trump and his CPAC disaster, where he refers to his 2020 Democratic party candidates as “maniacs,” states his competitors “hate their country,” and accuses anyone not currently at his rally of being currently indisposed in the act of murdering infants after they are born.

This wasn’t just some plain, good ole fashioned “long-winded” or “rambling” speech.

No, it was Sonic the Orange Hedgehog  Stop the Madness edition, and the fact a sitting president unleashed a bizzaro word performance, a stream of consciousness grocery list of incomprehensible non-sequitursheld together by hair spray, Just For Men,  and verbal diarrhea, his capacity to lead might ought to be questioned right out in the open.

It ought to be a pressing public news story. THE story, in fact.

How Media, Tech, and News Networks Normalize Trump’s Propaganda

Hey, I know, let’s pass the time making up corny cliches in a best naming contest for the event! How’s Loon-a-palooza work for you?
Instead, what we received is season two of the Emperor’s New Clothes, live from an El Paso taco truck – La Bomba!

Don’t just take my word for it. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star spent more time than most listening to Trump speeches, for some reason meticulously detailing his relentless lies, confidently declared the CPAC address was the most bizarre of Trump’s term. Dale was only halfway into Trump’s marathon presentation of mangled gibberish on Saturday when he called the race.

Why do the “professionals” who work for the DC press, ostensibly as paid journalists, pretend not to notice the escalating threat Trump represents to this country and the entire world as a whole?

The overall media disconnect is so striking, even a US senator beseeched the press to do better:

Brian Schatz

If you watched that two hour speech, which was genuinely next level bonkers, and you wrote a headline such as “an energized Trump attacks Democrats” afterwards, you should maybe get better at writing headlines.

Luckily, some journalists still call’em like they see’em and address the key issue, such as Mehdi Hassan’s “Why Won’t the Media Discuss Trump’s Mental Instability?”

Following one of Trump’s signature Rose Garden performance art routines, Charles Pierce stressed, “If your uncle behaved like the president behaved on Friday, you’d hide his car-keys, lock up the booze, and drive him to the neurologist.”

How did this get to be “the New Normal?”

Why the hesitation among the mainstream press as a whole to call a pig a pig? Why the lack of necessary truth-telling?

Is it the same reason large news organizations, to this day, won’t call Trump’s assaults on my third grade English teacher “lies?” Logically, their self-righteous ban on using the word “lies” makes no sense. Once you realize self-censorship is in place for political and commercial reasons, we see why it’s done:

News outlets don’t want to take heat from conservative media, “alt-right” fan boys, and the Trump regime itself for calling Trump a liar. Phone calls. Emails. Things that go boom in the mail.

Even though his own fans agree Trump lies all the time, reporters opt for timid words like “falsehoods” to soften the blow. Why?

The Pros And Cons Of NPR’s Policy Of Not Calling Out ‘Lies’

The same is true with regard to Trump’s unstable behavior. There’s not one working member of the Washington press corps who watched Trump’s epic and unsettling CPAC meltdown and thought, “He’s seems stable, and I have no questions about his mental capacity.”

They all know it’s a pressing issue, as do all the politicians. Newsrooms don’t want to suffer the backlash—the shouts of “Liberal media bias!”—would rain down on journalists who tackle the story, even though it’s so obviously newsworthy.

But hey, how about some inconspicuous product placement for McDonald’s burgers? Unpaid advertising. Trump endorses Mickey D’s like Mike pimps Nike’s.


Trump buys Big Macs and Fries for College Football Guys

It’s not like your average red-hat-wearing simpleton is going to come on down to the Golden Arches just because the great leader eats there, is it?


Do you think the “freedom of the press” crowd simply doesn’t want to open Pandora’s box by suggesting the president of the United States often appears to be not taking his medication as prescribed ?

Pandora's Box.jpg

Because, of course, this call would require the media to aggressively cover the story in a robust manner with rigorous libel, slander, (whatever) legal standards. You can’t intimidate the press with the threat of frivolous lawsuits, can you?

He might mock you on Twitter, you know. Really affect your ratings.

Instead, the press seems far more content to maintain the narrative Trump is “somewhat of an eccentric” the way they do with other Hollywood celebrities in the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous/ Yo! MTV Cribs cast.

Money buys you the facade of sanity.

Hey, I know, let’s interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you overwhelming coverage of “Trump Looks at Kayne’s Phone-a-thon” live from the Oval Office.

In other words, Trump intimidated the press, and thereby effectively established the standards for what’s to be covered and how. Because ratings.

Following the stunning CPAC debacle, is there any kind of public behavior Trump could unleash which would result in an honest, candidly skeptical newsroom debate about the stability of Trump’s personality? That seems doubtful. And Trump knows it.

There’s long-established hesitancy on the part of specialists to try to diagnose somebody if they’re not a direct patient. Yet even on this front, experts speak out (e.g., “Mr. Trump is a sociopath”).



Well, at least it’s on “Raw Story,” which by the way, no offense, sounds like “Red Meat Eater’s Digest” to me.

Hey, have a McNothing burger. You want fries with that?

This guy bought a ‘nothing burger’ at McDonald’s and the internet can’t handle it

“We, the undersigned mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States,” reads a petition signed by 70,000 mental health professionals.

I’m starting to be concerned about the mental health of our so called “journalism” too. Anybody know Dr. Phil’s digits? Phil’s always up for a good spectacle…

When our so called “president of the United States” gives a nearly incomprehensible, two-hour, flag-hugging performance, the press cannot and should not look away and pretend Trump’s behavior even remotely approaches what passes for normal even in the ethical abyss of American politics, let alone for an occupant of the Oval Office.

Has the flag had too much to drink? Is Trump worried about it falling down? Should we be concerned about his falling down?


The president is not well. Neither is the press. And that’s a helluva news story. Who’s going to write it?

It’s not as if our collective denial regarding celebrity behavior could lead to any sort of revisionist history pretending everything was not only OK, but magical, could it Magic Mike?


The Michael Jackson accusers: ‘The abuse didn’t feel strange because he was like a god’


Nothing to see here. Everybody’s just making cash selling their brand…


9 thoughts on “The Fearless Leader is not stable — why is this not a huge news story?

  1. Why don’t the corporate media call out Trump? Well, it’s the same reason they promoted him the first time around. He is good for business. It’s irrelevant, from their perspective, that he is bad for the country and the world. The agenda of big biz media has always been to normalize authoritarian insanity. This is nothing new, even if we are reaching a new level.


  2. Yes, the liberal press has just been too easy on Trump! Daily screeching about Russian conspiracies and the treason that Mueller is just about to reveal “any day now” is not enough against Trump’s level of insanity!

    I know you strive to represent different views here. But the idea that Boehlert and the Daily Kos (!) might represent some sort of Voice of Reason is so absurd that words fail me. Trump is despicable for countless reasons, not least of which is what his neocon administration is trying to do in Venezuela. The mainstream press is missing in action on most of these stories while they fear-monger false narratives about Russia and front for the intelligence community. The fact that *anyone* who can think would take Kos seriously is a sign of the damage the “liberal” media has done to the professional-managerial intelligensia (no one else takes the liberal media seriously any more). Trump will win *because* of these useful idiots.


    1. Corey Robin recently has made a point about the situation. For all the fear-mongering and much of it justified, so much of what is going on right now in Washington DC is a direct continuation of what has been going on for decades. That is the greater danger, how authoritarianism was long ago normalized by the media (and both parties). They now have no legitimacy left, even if somehow they suddenly became genuinely opposed to authoritarianism.


      1. Here is my favorite passage from Robin’s recent New York mag article:

        “The job of the scholar is not to offer her expertise to fit the needs of the pundit class. It’s to call those needs into question, not to provide different answers to the same questions but to raise the questions that aren’t being asked.”

        It immediately called to mind two contrasting examples. One was of Russia scholar Stephan Cohen calling out, mainly in vain, for some kind of sanity, or at least balance, in the ridiculous Blob narrative against Russia. The second was the New Yorker article by my once-favorite investigative journalist, Jane Mayer, who went all-in to “prove” this ridiculous narrative. Her sources were (unbelievably) Brennan and Clapper (!) — but also “scholar” Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She relied almost completely on argument from authority, especially the “scientific” and “objective” scholarship of Jamieson “proving” the devastating effect of Russian interference on our electoral process. Jamieson, of course, did nothing of the sort, since she *started* by simply assuming what has not yet been proven — Russian “hacking” of the DNC, systematic internet trolling by the Russian government, etc., etc. Mayers obvious selection of “scholarship” to justify a preexisting narrative (not to mention reliance on proven liars from the intelligence community) was devastating for me, a long time admirer. Meanwhile, Cohen toils in the wilderness.

        Just two examples of hundreds.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just tried to comment on the next article — by Jane Mayer (!) — but was unable to because of some problem with the e-mail address box for that article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I checked the comments log pjay. It is not pending approval nor does it show a comment in the “spam” folder. Those are the only two ways I know of these get hung up. Not sure if the technical difficulties are on your end or WordPress’s site, but I can tell you you aren’t on a “blocked” list nor did I delete any of your comments.

      Recommend you try again and see if it was just a glitch in the matrix.

      Hope this helps. If you try again and it doesn’t work, I’ll figure out a way for me to post your comment manually or something.


      1. In my years of experience with a WordPress blog, I know that another place comments will get lost is in the ‘trash’. I don’t know how or why comments sometimes end up there. I used to see comments in ‘spam’ more often. But recently, WordPress has been throwing them in the ‘trash'[.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the heads up. The spam thing is filled with some casino capitalism scam. Took out the trash, wasn’t in there either. I dunno.

        Please do mention whenever there are technical diffulties with the O Society site. If you experience a problem, nearly guaranteed some one else experiences it too. That’s how we spray the bugs.

        Liked by 1 person

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