Trumpanzees Try to Deflect from Bannon Story
Streiff at RedState, one of Donald Trump’s most ardent damage controllers — it’s amusing how many feel the need to defend the honor of a man they claim to believe is Alpha++ — has posted an article in which he tries to deflect attention from Trump’s embarrassing chest-beating gorilla act over Steve Bannon, by nitpicking over inconsequential misstatements in Michael Wolff’s new “scandal” book about the president.
In fact, apparently being unable to come up with any meaningful falsehoods to pin on Wolff, Streiff is even forced to extend his attack to include a deliberate parody of the book and to mock the idiots who fell for it, as if this in any way undermines the veracity of anything in the actual book.
First, his “assault” (read quibble) on Wolff’s book. According to the New York Times — you know a Trumpster is desperate when he is combing the NYT for evidence in support of Trump — Wolff has been accused of inaccuracies regarding his previous books. Um, okay, but this isn’t his previous books. But what have the NYT‘s great truth detectors found in the excerpts from his current book, the one about Donald Trump, to indicate the mosaic of lies that Trump’s cult would like the book to be?
Here’s the evidence. (Brace yourself.) Remember that salacious “dossier” detailing Trump’s alleged weirdness with Russian prostitutes? Well, Wolff says that CNN reported on this dossier, when in fact it was reported by Buzzfeed. Can you believe that? What fake news!
Furthermore, Wolff apparently also claims that Trump didn’t know who John Boehner was, when in fact, as Streiff goes to great lengths to prove with old Trump tweets, Trump did know Boehner, and had even golfed with the man! Heavens.
What Streiff doesn’t bother to mention, of course, is that if Wolff had done his homework, he would have deduced that Trump knew Boehner very well from the facts that Trump had donated massively to Boehner’s Congressional Leadership Fund — an organization aligned with Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, and dedicated to electing RINOs and defeating conservative challengers — and that during the primaries, when the GOP establishment was actively embracing their old donor pal Donald, Boehner jumped on the bandwagon by reminding everyone that he and Trump were old golf and texting buddies. Well, maybe those are not quite the details a Trump defender would want to highlight at this moment when some of the cult members might be having the shivers; so Streiff avoids all that and settles for a few tweets in which Trump mentions Boehner’s name, and an unspecified allusion to their having played golf together once.
Then, apparently realizing that if this was all he had by way of discrediting Wolff’s book, he probably shouldn’t have written the piece at all — since he might seem to be implying that the book’s main claims are unassailable by presenting only nitpicking questions about incidental facts — Streiff swerves, unannounced, into a discussion of an alleged passage from the book which was actually a parody posted on social media.
In this parodic excerpt, Trump is described as being obsessed with videos of fighting gorillas, and demanding his staffers get “the gorilla channel” for his bedroom television. The confused staffers then splice together video clips of gorillas fighting, and feed it to his TV as a made-up Gorilla TV channel, a channel Trump stares at for hours on end, to the consternation of his entire staff.
I’m not saying that something like this couldn’t be true of Trump, but of course in this case the story was an online joke. A joke which several idiots on Twitter apparently took at face value, believing it to be a real excerpt from Wolff’s book. This, Streiff tells us, is an example of confirmation bias — looking so hard for evidence of what you already believe that you uncritically believe you’ve found it in implausible places — an accusation with which he then tries, illogically, to smear the anti-Trump readers of Wolff’s real book.
But the fact that a few sleepy people on Twitter are dumb enough not to know a (marginally amusing) parody when they see one in no way indicates that Wolff’s book is fundamentally false, or that the people who tend to believe the real book’s claims — including its extensive quotations of Steve Bannon, as “inside” an insider as Trump’s universe has to offer — are merely exhibiting confirmation bias. (Streiff, by the way, claims he found the parody adult-diaper hilarious, which it certainly isn’t; but that kind of overreaction is not uncommon among people trying to be nonchalant during a crisis. A clever writer from some years back coined the expression “protesting too much” for such reactions.)
On the contrary, to say the actual book’s readers feel “confirmed” in their “bias” is merely to say that the excerpts seem to show what should be independently obvious to any thinking observer by now, namely that Trump’s White House itself is “the gorilla channel” — as the current screaming and cage-rattling over Bannon proves — and that Trump’s awestruck cultists, who have been nastily nicknamed “trumpanzees” by many since the primaries, are daily engaged in doing all they can to ensure that that epithet sticks for good.