Hi everybody. It’s about time I did a post to justify my existence, so here I am. I was having a look at Twitter and found some nice tweets, and thought I could put them in a post. Then, of course, I had to think of something to write about.

A fellow NZ atheist took care of that. She posted the photo below in a NZ atheist Facebook group I’m a member of. It’s horrific. Some may think I’m exaggerating, but to me this is little different to openly walking the street in Klan robes.

Trump rally attendee t-shirt: Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.

Duluth, Minnesota Trump Rally 20 June, 2018

 

Although just put up today, this pic is actually a couple of months old. The Trump rally in question was in Duluth, Minnesota, on 21 June 2018. The rally was so popular they had to change the venue to accommodate the crowd. Clearly, the anti-media message from President Trump is not one his fans object to.

Consistent Message

From the start of his presidential campaign until today, Trump has been a flip-flopper. Personally, I think the ability to change your mind in the face of better evidence is a sign of strength. However, that’s not why Trump does it. Basically, he parrots the opinion of the last person he spoke to. Unfortunately, many of the people around him the most have some pretty ghastly opinions. There are few areas in which he himself appears to have the knowledge or, at least judgement, to make a good decision.

Trump's colour chart for identifying animals.However, there are a couple of areas in which he’s consistent, and all are ones that appeal to the worst instincts of his core supporters. They’re also all areas that are the least likely to do what a leader should – unite their country. As with the anti-media message, it’s through hate that Trump binds his cult to him. One message is anti-immigrants of colour. There are thousands of murders in the US every year, most committed by legal citizens. But, the only ones Trump seems to notice are those committed by someone in the country illegally. In the latest case though, the family of the victim is fighting back against him. It’s good to know there are some who even in their worst days are fighting Trump’s divisive message.

 

Trump’s Racism

Another consistent message from this US president is racism.

Trump frequently gives dog whistles to white supremacists. While his supporters constantly claim there is no evidence that Trump is racist, I personally find that laughable. There is the fact of African-Americans being denied tenancy in his residential buildings. Then there’s his treatment of the so-called Central Park Five and his questions surrounding former President Obama’s birthplace. More recently, we have his reaction to the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville last year (who killed Heather Heyer by driving a car into the crowd) and those protesting against them:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides, on many sides.

The truth is Trump appears so racist as to support the Theory of Eugenics. Watch this, right to the end, and take note of his last words. Then remember his words (above) relating to those chanting “Jews will not replace us,” and “Blood and soil,” (a Nazi Germany chant) in Charlottesville.

Trump’s Anti-Media Bias

But back to the anti-media message this post is about! Before he was president Trump was consistently banning various journalists and media from his press conferences. The media outlets he is trying to turn people against are actually some of the most reliable in their messaging: the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, amongst others.

He has a soft spot for Fox News, which is more supportive of him than most outlets. On Fox News you will hear a ridiculous talking point, which is parroted by Trump supporters on other networks. That is that most stories in/on other media outlets portray President Trump in a negative light. However, they don’t say what those stories are. The truth is, most of the actions of this president cannot be put in a positive light. If he continues to be a bad president, most stories about him will be bad. It’s simply not possible to put a positive light on lying about paying off a steady stream of mistresses, for example.

Trump’s Own Fake News

As those of us not under Trump’s spell know, most of the Fake News comes from Trump himself. He consistently and constantly lies to his people, and it’s impossible to believe he doesn’t know he’s doing it considering just how egregious some of the lies are.

Just today:

The truth is it was a 52% DISapproval rating overall – his overall Approval rating was actually 38%! But look how many of his people have retweeted this unquestioningly. And, of course, they have a right to assume that it’s the truth and be excited by the news.

On the other hand, how many presidents tweet their approval ratings?

Surveys of the media show that Fox News consistently covers stories that show the president in a bad light less than other outlets. On the other hand, MSNBC (a left-leaning but honest network) covers those stories more. Centrist media, like CNN, cover them somewhere in between. For example, here’s the graphic in relation to the Mueller/Russia Investigation:

Coverage of Mueller/Russia Investigation by MSNBC/CNN/Fox News

Coverage of Mueller/Russia Investigation by MSNBC/CNN/Fox News. ( Source: Vox. Click graphic to go to source.)

You can’t really blame Trump supporters for having an opinion that the Mueller Investigation is no big deal when the news source they watch doesn’t cover it and their president calls it a Witch Hunt.

Fake News vs the Mueller Investigation

Because of his consistent messaging against certain media, and because of the cult-like status he has amongst many of his followers, Trump has done a scarily successful job of convincing them that several top media outlets and journalists are both Fake News and the Enemy of the People. A 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey of 19,000 people showed that 39% of conservatives think that negative political stories against conservatives are ALWAYS fake news. Even more think that at least some are fake news. Only 14% of Liberals felt the same, though that’s still too high of course.

Graphic: 39% of conservatives think negative political stories are always fake news.

(Source: Vox. Click graphic to go to source.)

That means that if the Mueller Investigation reports indictable criminal activity by Trump, as is looking increasingly likely, and Trump announces that’s fake news, a third of the country will believe him.

The good news is that in the last few days there has been an upsurge in the approval rating of the Mueller himself. A new Fox News poll shows it’s up significantly to 59%, with 40% believing Trump committed “criminal or impeachable” offences. That’s consistent with CNN, Washington Post, and other polls, all of which are showing a gradual increase in approval for the Mueller Investigation.

It seems that as more and more people appear to be testifying against the president in a situation where they are likely to be telling the truth, even some of the Trump cult are facing reality.

 

Star Wars meme ... Force disturbance ... a millions Trump supporters just shut up

 

Of course, some of Trump’s supporters are so deep in the cult they’re beyond help.


 

John McCain Tweets

Before he died, Senator John McCain asked that former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama speak at his funeral. He didn’t fully agree with either of them politically, but he felt they exemplified the public service ethic he himself tried to exemplify. He didn’t want President Trump to attend.

 

 

I checked it out. The origin of this story is the Washington Post and therefore it’s likely true.

 

Political Tweets

Love this one!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Excellent!
(Via Ann German.)

The other big issue in US politics.

 

Mueller-Time Tweets

Lindsay Graham hasn’t been too bad about speaking against Trump. Let’s see if he can put his money where his mouth is now, and where it was then …
(Via Ann German.)

 

You learn something new every day!

 

Gun Safety Tweets

This is the latest mass shooting in the US that has everyone’s attention.

 

Trump on the shooting at the Jacksonville Madden tournament.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Space Tweets

An amazing woman.

 

Entertainment Tweets

One of the best tweets I think I’ve ever put in this section!

 

Ann German found this spontaneous thread. You’ll get it if you’re a Rocky Horror fan (which you should be if you’re a NZer!).

 

 

 

 

Oops!

 

Weather Tweets

It makes me feel a bit ill watching this, but it’s cool all the same.

 

Wow!

 

Marine Tweets

This is so cool!

 

Good guys!

 

Bird Tweets

Nice guy.

 

Other Animals Tweets

When you’re sorting the sheep from the goats, it’s the goats that are the smart ones!

 

Obviously raised as a pet lamb, this sheep thinks she belongs with the sheepdogs!

 

The bravery of the Honey Badger on display.

 

Now THAT’S a photo bomb!

 

Dog Tweets

It almost makes me cry to see an animal this happy!

 

Cat Tweets

Okay, there’s a dog there too, but we all know cats are more important so they get the title!

 

I RT’d this because he’s lost. But what a gorgeous animal! Look at that character!

 

Another lovely missing moggy! What’s happening out there?

 

Gorgeous!

 

And now I must succumb to the demands of “My” cat to play with her!


 

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