While awaiting the final presidential debate of 2020, Donald Trump is obsessing over a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl that won’t air until Sunday. Well, it ordinarily wouldn’t air, but Trump took it upon himself to release his own video in violation of his agreement with CBS.
On Thursday morning Trump pounded out some tweets referring to the interview. True to form, Trump displayed a familiar attitude of weakness and victimhood as he sought to portray Stahl as a big meanie who was out to get him. He whimpered that…
“I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted “takeout” interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes. Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and “magnificently brilliant” answers to their “Q’s”.
“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!”
If this is what Trump thinks is anger, hatred, and rudeness, he really is a fragile little snowflake. But that’s been glaringly apparent for years. In addition to this petulant grumbling, Trump has also blatantly violated the agreement he made with 60 Minutes not to release any video prior to the Sunday evening broadcast. CBS reacted to this breach of contract in a press release chastising his “unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement.” But anyone who expects Trump to behave ethically hasn’t been paying attention.
The interview itself was a shipload of lies (video below). Trump claimed repeatedly that he already has a healthcare plan (that he still refuses to reveal) to replace the Affordable Care Act, even as he expresses his desire that the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare. He also said that he doesn’t know anything about Steve Bannon (his former campaign chairman) and Rudy Giuliani (his current personal attorney) or their smear campaign against the Biden family. Never mind that he’s been talking and tweeting about it ever since it surfaced in the right-wing press. Trump repeated his frequent lie that the Obama administration spied on him. And that’s just the tip of iceberg.
Let’s set aside the voluminous lies that Trump told during this interview. That’s business as usual for Trump. He also spent much of the time complaining about Stahl and the media instead of answering the questions. She struggled, mostly in vain, to get him to stick to the subject. But his mind wandered aimlessly through a forest of incoherence as he tried desperately to deflect every inquiry into some form of media bashing. For instance…
In response to a question he obviously didn’t like, Trump began his reply attacking Stahl’s tone, saying that “The way you said that is why people think of you and everyone else as fake news.” When she pointed out the fallacy of Trump’s claim that his recent cult rallies are “the biggest rallies we’ve ever had,” (they aren’t), he responded with a brittle “You’re so negative.” And in a tired old complaint Trump whined that “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media. Because the media is corrupt. In my opinion the media is corrupt. The media is fake. And frankly, if I didn’t have social media I’d have no way of getting out my voice.” That’s the alleged “President” of the United States saying that he has no platform for communicating with the public.
Trump raised several objections that centered around his jealousy of Joe Biden. “You don’t ask Biden tough questions,” Trump cried. “I wish you would interview Joe Biden like you interview me. […] You’re like big tech. You’re protecting him. And everyone is. Except for a few people.” Trump complained again about being asked “tough questions.” Then he falsely claimed that “When you set up the interview you didn’t say that. You said ‘Oh, let’s have a lovely interview.'” Yeah sure, that’s what veteran journalist Lesley Stahl said. Then Trump whines again that Biden has never been asked a hard question. And shortly thereafter Trump concludes that his suffering was too much and decides to run away saying “That’s enough. Let’s go.”
Somehow, Trump’s cult disciples continue to view Trump as a pillar of strength. That’s an extraordinarily perverse image of a man who is so clearly a weakling and a coward. There has never been an American leader who wallows so deeply in victimhood. However, he does have much to fear now. He’s about to be resoundingly defeated for reelection. And after that he is likely to face multiple civil and criminal trials. So maybe we should cut him some slack if he’s trembling at the prospect of his crumbling future. Nah, let’s not. He brought it on himself, and it’s what he deserves.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.