May 29, 2018

Another week, another load of anti-Trump fake news. The good news: it’s a holiday week, so we only get four days of it!

For instance, there was the media frenzy over a claim that HHS has lost track of about 1475 children who arrived at the border as unaccompanied aliens. Naturally, this must mean that Trump is so cruel and hates “immigrants” so much, he must’ve torn these children away from the parents and abandoned them in the Mojave Desert or something.

In fact, the explanation is much less overwrought: most of these children, having been sent across the border alone by their families, were placed with close family members or parents who claimed them here in the US. Many of those family members were also undocumented immigrants who don’t want further contact with the government, so they disppeared and don’t respond to attempts to contact them.

Of course, HHS could track them down and take the kids back, or simply refuse to allow unaccompanied minors to cross the border in the first place – but if they did that, the same Trump critics would say that’s also proof that he’s cruel and hates immigrants. That’s the great thing about Trump Derangement Syndrome: since whatever he does is always wrong, it doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Thinking is hard for some people.

And here’s another media frenzy by some people for whom thinking is harder than petrified woodpecker lips (thanks to Defense Secretary James Mattis for that wonderfully colorful phrase, which I plan to use often from now on.)

Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King tweeted a photo he’d found of two unaccompanied alien children sleeping in an ICE border detention facility behind a chain link gate that resembled a dog pound. He was outraged and railed that it was an “abomination.” It was quickly picked up and retweeted by other prominent liberals, many of whom added their own condemnations of the evil Donald Trump for treating these children like dogs.

One problem: that photo turned out to be taken in 2014. Now, let’s see…who was President in 2014? Was it Trump? No, I believe it was Barack Obama.

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King and his Twitter echo chamber were correct: that was a disturbing photo. And I don’t hold it against King so much for making the mistake, since he’s not a professional media figure who is expected to do basic fact-checking before going off on a rant. Unlike some of the people who retweeted it, one of whom was actually Obama’s speechwriter. Come to think of it, I guess he hasn’t had much experience at checking facts before he writes things, either.

But Monday was a red letter day for the media, since Trump finally got flak for something he actually did. And you could make the case that he deserved some criticism, since he sent out a Memorial Day tweet that boasted about how well America is doing now. He was blasted for the tweet being more about his accomplishments than the military’s, and that’s a fair criticism. That’s one of those occasions when I wish the President would've spent a few more seconds considering how his tweet would be perceived before hitting the “Send” button.

On the other hand, it’s not as if Trump’s critics had any other fodder they could use to claim that he doesn’t respect the military. As this story about the tweet also notes, he spent Memorial Day attending a wreath-laying ceremony and addressing thousands at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump also released a video in which he talked about the meaning of Memorial Day…

This followed his rousing patriotic commencement speech Friday at the US Naval Academy. He also stayed after the speech for about 90 minutes in the heat, to shake the hand of every one of the 1100 or so graduates (click the link to see video of the speech and the 1100 handshakes condensed to 41 seconds). It probably would have been more comfortable for him if he’d had a Marine standing next to him, holding an umbrella over his head. Thankfully, he did not. Let's hope that will be another Presidential precedent he will take delight in breaking.


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