The messianic aspirations of Donald Trump continue to be displayed by Dear Leader on a daily basis. His reckless pronouncements of acceptable standards of obedience are made clear as he lashes out at any and all sources of criticism, particularly those that have the audacity to tell the truth about him.
In a recent tweet Trump made it clear that he opposes a common and necessary part of responsible and professional journalism. Unidentified sources are an indispensable part of collecting information that is being actively suppressed or misrepresented. They have been a factor in the uncovering of untold crimes and behavior that is improper and unethical on the part of public officials. And the information they have provided has been praised by members of both parties as well as law enforcement. But then we have Donald Trump…
Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses “anonymous sources” having to do with trade or any other subject. Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it. The Fake News Media makes up many “sources say” stories. Do not believe them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
This is a bizarre commandment issued by a person who is obviously consumed with anxiety and the fear of having his criminal behavior exposed. He is well aware of the criminal activities that he has engaged in and is frantic that others will learn the truths he is hiding. Consequently he has decreed that his subjects close their eyes and ears to reality and believe only what he tells them.
Notice that Trump isn’t merely suggesting that people take care to consider the veracity of what they see and hear. He is instructing them to “not believe ANY article or story you read or see that uses ‘anonymous sources.'” None of them, regardless of how accurate, well documented, and corroborated by named sources. He dictates that only stories with “an actual living name” are acceptable under his doctrine.
This is wrong on many levels. First of all, he’s not really referring to stories with “anonymous” (i.e. unknown) sources. He’s really talking about “unidentified” sources. These are sources whose identity is known to the reporters and editors, but who don’t want their identities to be made public for fear of retribution. In these cases the reporters have confirmed their credibility and suitably to provide information.
Furthermore, Trump’s assertion that “The Fake News Media makes up many ‘sources say’ stories,” is entirely unsubstantiated and as often as he has said it, he has never offered any proof. Trump just brazenly attaches this assertion to any story that he doesn’t like.
Often the unidentified sources that Trump is whining about are people in his own administration. In fact, the White House regularly holds officially, sanctioned anonymously sourced calls with reporters where they demand that the calls be attributed only to “senior administration officials.” And Trump himself routinely cites anonymous sources in his remarks to the press. He frequently prefaces his implausible comments to say that “people say…” or he asserts that “I’ve heard…” this or that nonsensical claim. He also tells stories about people without names who have come to him with ludicrous tales that coincidentally support some ridiculous position he’s taken.
A recent example includes his claim that unnamed “people” are telling him that they have to flush their toilets 10 or 15 times. Really? People who have the unique opportunity to talk to the President of the United States are telling him about their troubles in the bathroom? Setting aside that improbability, if anyone else were reporting this Trump would insist that they not be believed because the sources are not identified.
The Trump commandment that his disciples can “only accept information” under conditions that he deems fitting is just the latest demonstration that he is not leading a political party, but a cult. And as the cult leader, the only truths are those he deems acceptable. But what’s most frightening about this is that there are people who subscribe to this madness. And if Trump tells them not to believe any stories with anonymous sources, they will obey – unless they are his stories.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.