Administrative Name-Calling, January 25, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for a presidential appointee in  the Department of Housing and Urban Development to refer to a White House reporter as “Miss Piggy.” (She later deleted her tweet and apologized.)

Sources: Brian Klaas’s Twitter feed, Lynne Patton’s Twitter feed.

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Fake News Awards, January 17, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to bestow “fake news awards” on journalists who made mistakes, wrote an editorial with a prediction that proved to be wrong but contained no factual errors, or tweeted and then deleted a misleading photo from a personal account. The final “fake news award” was bestowed on “RUSSIA COLLUSION” (the president does love his Caps Lock button) without naming a particular journalist; as I’ve said in the past, an investigation that has yielded two plea agreements and the indictments of two former members of the president’s campaign staff is not “fake news.”

Sources: Vox, the actual Fake News Awards.

Wall Street Journal Interview, January 14, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL, and should be deeply concerning, for the president to give a rambling and at times incoherent interview to the Wall Street Journal. In particular, it is NOT NORMAL for the president to say that “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea,” to whom he has not spoken and whom he has dubbed “Little Rocket Man.” It is also NOT NORMAL for the president and his press secretary to vehemently insist that the president was misquoted and continue to do so several hours after the Wall Street Journal posted an audio clip from the interview that clearly demonstrates the accuracy of their transcript.

Sources: the Wall Street Journal, Politico.

 

Presidential Twitter Insanity, December 26, 2017 – December 31, 2017

The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) wish “enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media” a happy new year; (b) question why “smart voters” would elect Democrats to Congress; (c) continue to call his presidential opponent and the former Secretary of State “Crooked Hillary”; (d) accuse the media of using “Phony and non-existent sources”; (e) complain that the United States Post Office does not charge Amazon enough; (f) falsely claim that his approval rating is the same as former president Obama’s at the same point in their presidencies; (g) argue that the current cold snap disproves global warming; and (h) attack a magazine for posting a list of satirical resolutions for his presidential opponent, while simultaneously insulting her. In addition, given the tense situation in Iran, one wishes the president would not insist upon conducting foreign policy via social media.

Source: the Presidential Twitter feed. Scroll to the appropriate dates.

Andrew Lack Insinuation, November 29, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to insinuate on Twitter, after expressing surprise about the termination of a morning show host, that the president of NBC News might have something untoward in his “past.” Granted, given the current torrent of sexual harassment allegations, he might, but as of right now it appears the president is just trying to start a baseless rumor because he doesn’t like NBC’s coverage of him. It is also NOT NORMAL for the president to hint that an MSNBC host should be investigated for the death of an intern in 2001. (The death was due to an abnormal heart rhythm.)

Updated to add Joe Scarborough allegation, November 29, 2017.

Sources: the Presidential Twitter feed, the St. Augustine Record.

Media “Manhandled” in Alabama, November 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the staff of Alabama’s Republican candidate for the United States Senate to “”decided to push the cameras back and physically manhandle two Fox News photographers, pushing them away and grabbing their cameras” at a campaign rally that was open to the media. If you are not comfortable with being on camera, you should probably not run for the Senate.

Sources: CNN, Fox News