3 Stories You Should Read 1/08/2019: The Trump Address Edition
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In the category of: Believe it or not, there are actual facts.
Trump has been hyping fears about violence stemming from the United States/Mexico border since the early moments of his presidential campaign. In June 2015, for instance, he painted an ugly picture of Mexican migrants crossing the border. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said. He has kept up his fearmongering about the border, but ramped it up in recent weeks as justification for his sudden decision to shutdown the federal government because neither Democrats nor Republicans in his own party will approve funding for Trump’s border wall. He has tweeted about “our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER” and even threatened to declare a state of emergency to build the wall that he insists is not only needed but is also needed now more than ever.
In the category of: The big truths.
A linguist explains how Trump uses lies to divert attention from the “big truths.”
President Donald Trump has hacked the media.
As Vox’s Ezra Klein argued recently, the press is in a lose-lose situation — and we all know it. Trump thrives on opposition, and often the media plays right into his hands, feverishly chasing every lie and half-truth he utters or tweets.
George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics and cognitive science at UC Berkeley and the author of the 2004 book Don’t Think of an Elephant, recently published an article laying out the media’s dilemma. Trump’s “big lie” strategy, he argues, is to “exploit journalistic convention by providing rapid-fire news events for reporters to chase.”
In the category of: The problem remains the same.
The historically resonant stagecraft represents an attempt to convince the country — with scant hard evidence — that a real threat is unfolding on the frontier of the US and Mexico border, including drug trafficking, rising sickness among migrants, increasing border crossings and a busted asylum system.
“The American people will hear from the President tonight that we have a crisis,” Vice President Mike Pence told “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, part of a series of appearances on network morning shows to make the administration’s case. He urged Democrats to “come to the table” to make a deal but did not indicate that the administration’s funding demand was negotiable.
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