In the near future, we'll all learn just how long liberal-leaning news sites and social media groups can convince their readers that Donald Trump's impeachment is just around the corner. Articles like this ...
... regularly build up, and then dash, the hopes of millions. It sucks. And it sucks for people like me, who have to take time out of our busy schedules doing literally anything else in order to defend this orange hobgoblin of a president. For example ...
The truth is that nothing was "removed" from the census. The Census Bureau apparently proposed adding data on sexual orientation to the next census, and then decided not to do that. And yeah, that could be the result of some Republican homophobic shadiness. But since no census has ever included this data, it's pretty inaccurate to call it erased. The real tragedy is that every one of these bullshit stories has something real and ugly at its core, but all that stuff is getting buried under sensational BS. Vice President Pence doesn't have a great track record on LGBT rights, but a story titled "To the surprise of exactly no one, old conservative politician has entrenched anti-LGBT attitudes," isn't as eye-popping.
Case in point, this story:
Holy shitting dicknipples, that's a lot of Facebook shares. And a pretty fucking incendiary claim. It's a shame the basic evidence of the story has absolutely nothing to do with that title. The bullshit starts at the very beginning of the article, when DailyKos cites the analysis by a human rights lawyer of several Financial Times "studies".
The Daily Kos
"Get your impeachment champagne ready!"
Reading that, it sounds like they might be reporting on a serious piece of scholarship. But if you actually click that last link, you realize they're just citing a Facebook post summarizing several articles:
So less of a smoking gun and more of a leaky Super-Soaker.
And when you read the actual articles Mr. Horton is summarizing, the real story is a lot less damning than "Trump's failing business was propped up by hundreds of millions in Russian mob money."
The worst find was that a Kazakh family who operated a money-laundering ring also bought apartments in a Manhattan tower partly owned by Donald Trump. A couple of million dollars might've made its way to Trump's pocket via this deal, which probably broke no U.S. laws. Is it shady that the president didn't give a fuck about being incredibly unethical as long he wasn't breaking the law? Sure. But that's not a compelling headline, and so we get shit like this:
This article, which came out two months after the DailyKos piece, claims, "The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering." And what are these links?
-- One guy who worked for the company who designed a Trump SoHo hotel once stabbed a guy.
-- One of the investors in that hotel was accused of money laundering in Belgium.
-- Three Russian gangsters bought Trump condos in the U.S.
-- Money launderers from Ukraine and Kazakhstan bought five total condos in Trump buildings.
USA Today's title is technically accurate, but it makes it sound like the story is "Trump worked hand-in-hand with the Russian mob" rather than "rich gangsters like to buy overpriced Trump condos." Yes, there's troubling stuff in both these reports, but conflating them to "Trump was bailed out by the Russian mob" just makes it easier for him to dismiss real criticism as fake news. When Trump tweets this ...
... he's not wrong. We should all be focusing on the actual shady shit here, of which there is an abundance. The president didn't seem to care that international gangsters were buying his condos. He actively defrauded American citizens with a fake university. His former campaign manager advised brutal dictators for a living. His former national security advisor took tens of thousands of dollars in payments from foreign governments. The Russian government absolutely influenced the 2016 election through their propaganda.
You can make very strong arguments that Donald Trump is bad at vetting his employees, shady as hell, and generally the kind of dude who takes from his own charitable foundation to pay his legal bills. You can make the case that Vladimir Putin really wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that should scare us. But instead, prominent voices in the media are making claims he can refute, and I'm stuck defending an asshole with whom I wouldn't shake hands even if his palm was coated in the antidote I needed. Please, for the love of Bob Woodward's future spinning corpse, stop making me do this.
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Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.