SRSLY? Trump Threatens to Sue Pulitzers to Revoke Awards for Factual Russian Collusion Stories

Being the reigning heavyweight champion of the World of Whining, Donald Trump bears the burden of defending his title every day. And he wrestles with this responsibility as furiously as one would expect of a bona fide malignant narcissist. He wakes every morning with a commitment to feeding his insatiable ego.

Donald Trump

Among the most demanding tasks Trump faces is his obsession with the fallacy that he won the presidential election in 2016 all on his own. Never mind that he actually lost the popular vote by more than three million votes. Trump is still fixated on the verified charges that Russia aided and abetted his campaign. Those charges were documented by exhaustively investigated stories in both the Washington Post and the New York times. Both papers won Pulitzer Awards for their reporting.

Recently Trump has been expressing his notoriously unhinged outrage at the Pulitzer Committee’s decision to honor the journalists whose work revealed how deeply the interests of Trump and his campaign were intertwined with those of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Putin, when asked directly at a press conference with Trump standing next to him, admitted that he wanted Trump to win and helped him do so.

On Wednesday Trump sent a letter to the Pulitzer Committee demanding that they revoke the awards given to the Post and the Times. His request was triggered by reports that some of the material in the infamous Steele Dossier was provided by sources who were just indicted for lying to the FBI. Setting aside the fact that no one has been convicted, those indictments do not address nor refute the vast majority of what was reported in the Pulitzer winning articles. But that didn’t stop Trump from asserting a series of flagrant falsehoods in his letter to the Pulitzers. For instance, Trump’s letter began by stating that…

“…it has recently become apparent that the subject articles were based on incontrovertibly false information provided by dubious sources who were maliciously attempting to mislead the public and tarnish our client’s reputation.”

There’s a lot of wrong in that sentence. First of all, the articles were not “based on” the Steele Dossier. In fact, they were hardly mentioned. In the twenty articles that made up the series of awarded reporting, the Dossier was referenced in only two of them. And in both of those it was characterized as “unproved” and included Trump’s denials. One article noted that…

“…the [Steele] dossier produced last year alleged, among other things, that associates of Trump colluded with the Kremlin on cyberattacks on Democrats and that the Russians held compromising material about the Republican nominee. These and other explosive claims have not been verified, and they have been vigorously denied by Trump and his allies.”

The article also made clear the that Steele Dossier was not a significant source, saying that…

“U.S. officials took pains to stress that his report was not a U.S. government product and that it had not influenced their broader conclusions that the Russian government had hacked the emails of Democratic officials and released those emails with the intention of helping Trump win the presidency.”

The same is true for the other article that referenced the Dossier. It reported that…

“…the dossier had not been corroborated and that its contents had not influenced the intelligence community’s findings.”

Consequently, there are no grounds for defamation as alleged in Trump’s letter to the Pulitzers. For one thing, the Pulitzer Committee didn’t make any of the allegations that Trump is whining about. Those allegations were in the articles, and they were responsibly and factually reported. Nevertheless, Trump’s letter included his false assertion that the Pulitzers were somehow liable, and an impotent demand for redress, saying that…

“The Pulitzer Prize Board is actively advancing the false narrative contained therein and promoting defamatory statements against our client. […] it is hereby demanded that the Pulitzer Prize Board take immediate steps to strip the New York Times and The Washington Post of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Pulitzer Prize Board’s failure to do so will result in prompt legal action being taken against it.”

Trump’s legal assault on the Pulitzer Committee is purely a function of his bruised ego and thirst for revenge against the media that he regards in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” It has no legal merit whatsoever, particularly since it is aimed at the awards committee, rather than the journalists. Trump is just exhibiting his raging jealously at never having received any of the awards that he craves, whether they be Pulitzers or Nobels or Emmys or the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition. [Editor’s Note: Apologies in advance for that visual] However, he does like making up phony awards and giving them to himself…

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Whines to Pulitzer Board that Awards for Russian Collusion Stories Should Be Rescinded

The former Crybaby-in-Chief, Donald Trump, is resuming his role as, in his own words, the most fabulous whiner, with a new letter that he sent to the board of the Pulitzer organization at Columbia University.

Donald Trump

Trump had his spokes-shill, Liz Harrington (whose proxy Trump tweeting is violating Twitter’s rules against circumventing a ban), post a tweet that contained the contents of the letter. It was obviously composed by someone whose communications skills exceeded Trump’s third-grade level vocabulary. But that doesn’t mean that it made any sense or wasn’t riddled with lies. The letter began with an impotent demand by Trump:

“I call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to immediately rescind the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting awarded to the staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post, which was based on false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump Campaign. As has been widely publicized, the coverage was no more than a politically motivated farce which attempted to spin a false narrative that my campaign supposedly colluded with Russia despite a complete lack of evidence underpinning this allegation. […] Specifically, the prize was awarded for a series of articles centered around the now-debunked Russia collusion conspiracy theory.”

Needless to say, the articles published by the New York Times and the Washington Post were not based on false reporting. They were well documented and carefully sourced. It is Trump’s assertions that were “a politically motivated farce” and an “attempt to spin a false narrative.” There is abundant evidence of the Trump campaign’s numerous unsavory connections to Russia. Much of it is catalogued in the book Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

Trump is trying to relitigate this old issue because of a recent indictment handed down by special counsel, John Durham, who was appointed by Trump’s flunky Attorney General, Bill Barr. However, Durham’s case has nothing to do with the charges of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign. The indictment only claims that a lawyer who had ties to Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI in a separate matter, and even that charge is so weak that it will likely fail if it is ever brought to court. That, however, didn’t stop Trump from writing in his letter that…

“It has since been confirmed that the allegations were false and I have been exonerated of these charges. Most recently, John Durham’s indictment of former cybersecurity attorney and Hillary Clinton Campaign attorney, Michael Sussman, serves as a damning repudiation of the media’s obsession with the collusion story.”

None of that is true. It has not been confirmed that the allegations against him were false. Nor has he ever been exonerated. In fact, Special Counsel Robert Mueller explicitly wrote in his final report that it was not an exoneration of Trump. And there is no “damning repudiation” in Durham’s indictment. It doesn’t even allege that anything Sussman did wasn’t truthful, only that he allegedly failed to disclose that his law firm represented Clinton. And even that is disputed. Trump’s letter closed saying that…

“Ultimately, my hope is that the recipients of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, The New York Times and The Washington Post, will voluntarily surrender this award in light of recent revelations. However, should they fail to do so, I would expect that you will take the necessary steps to rectify the situation, including stripping the recipients of their prize and retracting the false statements which remain on the Pulitzer website. Without holding the recipients to such a high standard of accountability, the integrity of the Pulitzer Prize namesake stands to be wholly compromised.”

There is no one who is less credible than Donald Trump in maligning the integrity of the Pulitzers, or anyone else. He is famously notorious for having told more than 30,000 lies during his single term occupying the White House. (See Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President’s Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies by The Washington Post Fact Checker Staff). And if Trump is planning on holding his breath until the Pulitzer Board strips the awards from the Times and the Post, he had better have a ventilator and a nurse nearby to resuscitate him when it doesn’t happen.

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Pulitzer Winner: How To Speak Tea Bag

Amongst this year’s honorees for Pulitzer Awards is Mark Fiore, the editorial cartoonist for the SFGate web site. He gained some heightened exposure last year with a piece called “How to Speak Tea Bag”:

Interestingly, this cartoon did not make a big splash at first. It wasn’t until it was posted on the web site of National Public Radio that it became a sensation. And even then it was two months after the posting until some conservatives discovered it and turned it into a cause terrible. The right-wing cacophony of criticism echoed across the blogosphere and on up to Fox News where Bill O’Reilly called NPR a “left wing jihadist deal.” The familiar (and delusional) cry of “liberal media” wafted through the wingnut press.

Sadly, even NPR took the complaints to heart as they bent over backwards to mollify the hurt feelings of the right. NPR ombudsman, Alicia Shepard, wrote in response:

“Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn’t broaden the debate.” […and…]

“Some good came from the feedback deluge. NPR’s top editors responded quickly. The word “opinion” was greatly enlarged above Fiore’s cartoon to make it clear it was not a news report.”

I wonder what Shepard’s view would be today, now that the artist has been given a Pulitzer for his work that she said was “not actually funny.” But what IS actually funny is that this cartoon, which mocks the shallow, knee-jerk, substancelessness of the Tea Bag movement, required that the opinion label be enlarged so that the Tea Baggers wouldn’t mistake an animated satirical piece for an actual news report. Isn’t that more insulting than anything in the cartoon itself?

Congratulations are in order for Fiore. He was subjected to some heavy criticism, including death threats, from the Tea Bag contingent. So this tribute was earned the hard way, and is well deserved.