Beginning in 2004, and continuing for the next decade, Donald Trump was the host of a television reality game show known as “The Apprentice.” His hosting duties were minimal as he generally appeared only the the opening sequence and a staged “board meeting” at the end. So like most of Trump businesses he merely lent his name to the venture, collected a paycheck, and went off to play golf.
That’s pretty much what Trump has done to the presidency. His name is widely promoted as he tries to take credit for anything positive that happens – or even that doesn’t happen, but which he says happened anyway. At the same time he lays the blame for anything negative on anyone but himself. Then he gets paid, mostly in the form of profits from his private enterprises that flagrantly exploit his position. And then he trots off to his golf resorts where he continues to advertise his Trump-label businesses.
In his free time Trump lounges in the White House executive suite where he watches Fox News and live-tweets what he sees. It doesn’t matter that the many of those Fox stories are riddled with inaccuracies and lies. In fact, that only makes it more consistent with the Trump brand. So it should surprise no one when Trump rattles off delusional commentaries on Twitter that are as far removed from the real world as the Chronicles of Narnia. Case in point:
The Rigged Witch Hunt, originally headed by FBI lover boy Peter S (for one year) & now, 13 Angry Democrats, should look into the missing DNC Server, Crooked Hillary’s illegally deleted Emails, the Pakistani Fraudster, Uranium One, Podesta & so much more. It’s a Democrat Con Job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2018
This tweet reads like classic fantasy fiction. There is literally nothing in it that approaches the truth. But it does employ many of the tricks of effective storytellers. It could actually be a pitch for a new primetime fairy tale coming to a TV near you this fall. Let’s break it down:
Trump begins by introducing the heartwarming love story of FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. For some reason Trump and the right-wing press have become obsessed with their (alleged) relationship. It’s almost as important in the narrative as the content of their clandestine love letters. And as with any good fantasy, it is infused with phony characterizations and motives, but no substantive evidence of any wrongdoing. Despite repeated harping on this plot point for months, no one has shown that there was any bias whatsoever in their work product.
Then Trump unveils the story’s villains, which he has dubbed “the 13 Angry Democrats.” This theme is taken from Trump’s deranged perception of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his investigators. It’s a brilliant plot twist because what could be more frightening than angry Democrats? Their “strongly-worded memos” are like swords of vengeance that can pierce the heart of our sainted hero. How could Trump ever face this baker’s dozen of bad guys when all he has is the entire force of the United States government. So unfair. However, Trump missed a gap in this plot point that ignores the fact that there are actually more than 65 million angry Democrats, and that isn’t even counting Independents and more than a few patriotic Republicans.
From here Trump’s story heads into episodes that explore specific adventures in the Trump World fantasy. First comes “The Mystery of the Missing DNC Server.” The mystery is that the server was never missing at all. Trump’s frequent assertions that the FBI was denied access to it are a figment of his imagination. The DNC actually worked with the FBI and a private security firm to deliver everything that the FBI required.
Next we delve into “Crooked Hillary’s Illegally Deleted Emails.” This is a yarn so unsettling because it involves a retired grandmother and her horror-filled communications that are mostly about vacation plans and grocery lists. And to top it off, none of these dastardly emails were deleted illegally.
At this point in the story, Trump introduces a super-villain know only as “The Pakistani Fraudster.” Well, the notorious PF was actually just the tech guy who worked for a Democratic member of Congress. He was caught committing a garden variety bank fraud that was unrelated to anything political. But it sure has a scary name.
Finally, Trump dives into a controversy that caught the whole nation in a web of utter indifference. “The Uranium One Affair” concerned allegations the Hillary Clinton secretly sold America’s supply of uranium to the Russians. Why that would bother Trump is unexplained. He loves the Russians and wants to be besties with Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, when Clinton does it there must be a devious intent to harm America. What makes this affair all the more curious is that there actually wasn’t any uranium at all sold or otherwise provide to Russia. None, zero, zip. The transaction involved a a Canadian processing facility located in the U.S. that was sold to a Russian energy company. And the sale was approved by nine separate government agencies of which Clinton’s State Department was only one.
Trump wraps up his scenario with vague references to John Podesta (who was the victim of a Russian hack) and a “Democrat Con Job.” The latter is Trump’s way of projecting his own motives onto his perceived enemies. Taken in full, “The Rigged Witch Hunt” promises to be a wild romp that splashes Trump’s famous lies and paranoid delusions across the small screen. If you’re the sort who enjoys getting lost in total fantasy that has no basis in truth whatsoever, “The Rigged Witch Hunt” may just be the entertainment event of the season for you. And you can catch it all on Fox News without having to pay anything extra for one of the elite Hollywood movie channels.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.