Charles Blow has to be the most aptly named journalist on the New York Times op-ed page — or, as I like to call it, Knucklehead Row. Everything he writes for the former newspaper does, in fact, blow. But Blow’s latest conspicuous display of mindless vitriol is so mindlessly vitriolic that it actually raises the question: Is that an editor at the Times opinion desk or a wax figure placed there after the last round of mass firings? Who let this garbage run?
The article is entitled, “Trump Isn’t Hitler. But the Lying…” And, of course, as we know, everything that comes before the word but is usually meaningless. So when you say “Trump is not Hitler but…” you really mean Trump is not not Hitler. Now, as we read on, we discover that Trump is not not not Hitler because he’s invaded other countries without provocation or because he’s committed mass murder or because he wants to do any of those catastrophically evil things that are what we generally mean when we say “Hitler.” (Unless we’re leftists. Then when we say “Hitler,” we mean someone who disagrees with us.).
No, Trump is not not Hitler because he tells lies. Says Blow: “Just this week, Trump told the colossal lie that ‘President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls’ to the families of fallen soldiers.” Wow. That really is not not Hitlerian! Unless, of course, what he meant (which seems to me probable) was that Obama and other presidents didn’t always make calls. In which case, the colossal lie would be something else. Like the truth.
But it’s hard to tell what Trump really meant because he’s kind of inarticulate. And because no reporters ever ask him what he meant because that would hamper their ability to take every unclear thing he says in the worst possible way. Like when Trump said that horrible thing he never said about there being very fine people among the white supremacists at Charlottesville. When you read the transcript, it’s quite clear that what Trump meant to say was that there are very fine people who don’t want statues to be torn down. “You also had some very fine people on both sides…. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”
But people like Charles Blow have purposely and repeatedly misconstrued these remarks to mean that Trump believed there were fine people among the extremists. That is because Charles Blow is lying — and then repeating the lie over and over so that people will eventually accept that there must be some truth to it. Which is a technique originally outlined by Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda to, you guessed it, Hitler.
Now, of course, Charles Blow is not Hitler. But the lying…
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