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Old 11-19-2018, 10:21 AM
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Does Trump want to undermine the role of the press?

Is there any doubt now that President Trump actively seeks to undermine the role of the press in the United States?

Quote:
the White House has suggested that they plan to suspend his pass once again when the temporary restraining order expires, 14 days after it was issued.
ETA: I don't think there is any doubt.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 11-19-2018 at 10:22 AM.
  #2  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:30 AM
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Of course he does, his whole "Fake News" narrative is used to discredit the media -- he even admitted it to Leslie Stahl.

Seeing people type "Fake news" is like fingernails on chalkboard to me. It kills me that anyone would fall for this BS.

Last edited by Intergalactic Gladiator; 11-19-2018 at 10:31 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:36 AM
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It's the same reason that in the past he was actively trying to undermine the FBI and Comey. It's called "working the refs" in sports. He knows that he's engaging in suspicious activity, so he tries to call into question the legitimacy of those whose job it is to point out the suspicious activity.

I fear that his efforts will have long lasting negative repercussions to our society long after he is gone.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:52 AM
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As the Atlantic article I posted in the other thread argued, people like Acosta aren't helping the situation with "speaking truth to power" routine rather than asking real questions at the press conferences. Do that in your editorials or news stories, don't show up to get into a jousting match with the President on live TV.

Jim Acosta’s Dangerous Brand of Performance Journalism

That said, of course Trump is trying to undermine the authority of the press. He's not exactly trying to hide it

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-19-2018 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
As the Atlantic article I posted in the other thread argued, people like Acosta aren't helping the situation with "speaking truth to power" routine rather than asking real questions at the press conferences. Do that in your editorials or news stories, don't show up to get into a jousting match with the President on live TV.

Jim Acosta’s Dangerous Brand of Performance Journalism
That may well be the case, but it doesn't address the OP. Does Trump want his pass revoked because he thinks Acosta's behavior is uncalled for, or because he doesn't like the questions and the implicit understanding that he should answer reasonable ones?
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
As the Atlantic article I posted in the other thread argued, people like Acosta aren't helping the situation with "speaking truth to power" routine rather than asking real questions at the press conferences. Do that in your editorials or news stories, don't show up to get into a jousting match with the President on live TV.

Jim Acosta’s Dangerous Brand of Performance Journalism
It is a fine line for Acosta. Rule number one in Journalism is "don't become the story". But what do you do if your are pursuing rule number one, and asking tough questions, and your subject makes you the story? That said, prominent journalists can't really help but become the story, to some extent, in today's news media / celebrity market.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:04 AM
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The "question" that caused the brouhaha was basically "just admit the caravan isn't an invasion!". This is an unfortunate test case.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:19 AM
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Was there ever any doubt?
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
The "question" that caused the brouhaha was basically "just admit the caravan isn't an invasion!". This is an unfortunate test case.
And how was Trump's behavior while he attempted to ask his questions? In fact, how was Trump's behavior during the entire press conference?What I saw was constant interruptions and insults from the man Acosta was trying to question.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:05 PM
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That may well be the case, but it doesn't address the OP. Does Trump want his pass revoked because he thinks Acosta's behavior is uncalled for, or because he doesn't like the questions and the implicit understanding that he should answer reasonable ones?
Acosta does not ask reasonable or even tough questions. He makes a left-wing argument and then phrases it in the form of a question. Any President (Republican or Democrat) is there to inform the press of what is going on that day or week and to provide information to the public. It is not the Debate Hour with Jim Acosta.

Further, there are other reporters trying to ask questions. Acosta tries to dominate the whole press conference.

That example was particularly egregious. To paraphrase:

Acosta: Mr. President, you called the caravan an invasion. We now know it is not an invasion...
Trump: In my opinion, it is an invasion.
Acosta: But it is not...

That is not questioning, that is arguing and no President should be required to argue with a reporter.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Acosta: Mr. President, you called the caravan an invasion. We now know it is not an invasion...
Trump: In my opinion, it is an invasion.
Acosta: But it is not...

That is not questioning, that is arguing and no President should be required to argue with a reporter.
That is not arguing, that is calling out a liar. Isn't that what the press is supposed to do?
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:10 PM
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No reporter should be required to accept lies at face value.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
It's the same reason that in the past he was actively trying to undermine the FBI and Comey. It's called "working the refs" in sports. He knows that he's engaging in suspicious activity, so he tries to call into question the legitimacy of those whose job it is to point out the suspicious activity.

I fear that his efforts will have long lasting negative repercussions to our society long after he is gone.
This.

Trump would like all media to follow the lead of FOX news and praise him, congratulate him, marvel at his leadership, and never ask any hard questions. Then he would be fine with the press.

Thump's presidency will have long-lasting negative repercussions in many areas, not just the press. We will spend years locating the damage.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Acosta does not ask reasonable or even tough questions. He makes a left-wing argument and then phrases it in the form of a question. Any President (Republican or Democrat) is there to inform the press of what is going on that day or week and to provide information to the public. It is not the Debate Hour with Jim Acosta.

Further, there are other reporters trying to ask questions. Acosta tries to dominate the whole press conference.

That example was particularly egregious. To paraphrase:

Acosta: Mr. President, you called the caravan an invasion. We now know it is not an invasion...
Trump: In my opinion, it is an invasion.
Acosta: But it is not...

That is not questioning, that is arguing and no President should be required to argue with a reporter.
You make a very adulterous point, UltraVires.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:09 PM
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And how was Trump's behavior while he attempted to ask his questions? In fact, how was Trump's behavior during the entire press conference?What I saw was constant interruptions and insults from the man Acosta was trying to question.
That's my point: it wasn't a question. He was there to "challenge" the President over his choice of rhetoric. Acosta got exactly what he was looking for from Trump- a nationally televised bicker session.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:15 PM
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That's my point: it wasn't a question. He was there to "challenge" the President over his choice of rhetoric. Acosta got exactly what he was looking for from Trump- a nationally televised bicker session.
And as a side benefit he got to forcibly rape a hot defenceless intern, or so the Trump administration would have us believe.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:18 PM
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That's my point
But it sure as hell isn't my point, which is that you continue to push this narrative that the only problem in this situation is the supposed disruptive attitude of Acosta(totaling dropping the former "He put his hands on her!!" narrative). Why do you not want to talk about Trump's role in this-his continual interrupting, insulting and intimidation of those trying to question him?
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:20 PM
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That's my point: it wasn't a question. He was there to "challenge" the President over his choice of rhetoric. Acosta got exactly what he was looking for from Trump- a nationally televised bicker session.
Can you point out a reporter in the White House press corps that is "doing it right" and getting answers from Trump? If not, then I suspect it is questions and not the supposed attitude of those questioning him that bother you.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:22 PM
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That is not arguing, that is calling out a liar. Isn't that what the press is supposed to do?
Acosta chose to debate/argue with his interview. It was a Whitehouse press conference. No one cares what Acosta thinks. The public wants to know the views of the person being interviewed. Acosta said this, or Acosta said that, is not supposed to the news story. It's not the "all about Acosta, and when will he get his own show" press conference. When asking about the illegal alien invasion of Mexico, people want to know what the President thinks. The reporter should be transparent to the actual story. Even CNNSUX debaters/reporters.

Trump is, and always has been, a counter-puncher. The media is not used to a popular President treating them the same way that they treat him.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:23 PM
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Trump is, and always has been, a counter-puncher.
He has not. He's a bully who picks weak opponents and tries to destroy them for his own malevolent purposes, mostly to make himself feel important. I don't think he has ever "counterpunched" anyone.

Last edited by Ravenman; 11-19-2018 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
Acosta chose to debate/argue with his interview. It was a Whitehouse press conference. No one cares what Acosta thinks. The public wants to know the views of the person being interviewed. Acosta said this, or Acosta said that, is not supposed to the news story. It's not the "all about Acosta, and when will he get his own show" press conference. When asking about the illegal alien invasion of Mexico, people want to know what the President thinks. The reporter should be transparent to the actual story. Even CNNSUX debaters/reporters.
It's kind of cute how you think these are real rules and actual facts.
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Trump is, and always has been, a counter-puncher. The media is not used to a popular President treating them the same way that they treat him.
IME this is demonstrably untrue: I have never once seen or heard of Trump researching a reporter's past words on a subject and then questioning them about what they said. Also: why do you think a question should be answered with a counter-question and why do you call them "punches"?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 11-19-2018 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:30 PM
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Trump is, and always has been, a counter-puncher. The media is not used to a popular President treating them the same way that they treat him.
You are confusing "counter-punch" with "sucker-punch".
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:36 PM
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The media is not used to a popular President treating them the same way that they treat him.
1. That's not surprising, and they're not dealing with a popular president now. (52.9% negative, 42.6% positive at time of post.)

2. The President works for us; the press--who are part of "us"--don't work for him. When an employee lies repeatedly to their supervisors, it's time for some tough questions.

And this is one hella mendacious employee.

Last edited by choie; 11-19-2018 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Got the numbers slightly wrong.
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:30 PM
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Can you point out a reporter in the White House press corps that is "doing it right" and getting answers from Trump? If not, then I suspect it is questions and not the supposed attitude of those questioning him that bother you.
Suspect away. Do you suspect the same of that Atlantic article I linked?
  #25  
Old 11-19-2018, 02:57 PM
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We've known the answer to this for over 2 years. The good news is things haven't worsened/escalated much in that time, other than Huckabee-Sanders displaying a significantly more toxic attitude toward a free press than Spicer did. The bad news is the passage of 2 years makes the corrosiveness of lying and calling the media the enemy of the people more normalized; and it can and will turn into something far worse if Trump finds himself fenced in by a scandal.

I don't sense the Acosta situation is going to matter in the big picture unless it begets a trend that happens to others. The basics of the conflict can't be that aberrant from quarrels other presidents have had with guys who push limits.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:08 PM
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Suspect away. Do you suspect the same of that Atlantic article I linked?
Weak deflection is weak...but not unexpected.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:21 PM
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was he counter punching when he used to call the NYC media pretending to be someone else and then praised himself?
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:26 PM
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was he counter punching when he used to call the NYC media pretending to be someone else and then praised himself?
My first thought on seeing doorhinge's nonsense was, "Who was he counter-punching when he called for the execution of five innocent people in the Central Park Five case?" But your question is perhaps better!
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:29 PM
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Trump wants to undermine the role of the press when they point out that he is bullshitting, which is their job.

He wants to praise the role of the press when they suck his dick, like Hannity.

It's that simple.


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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
You are confusing "counter-punch" with "sucker-punch".
Or rather, doorhinge is just drinking the Koolaid of Trump's bullshit persona. Lying like a five-year-old with his hand in the cookie jar is not a "counter-punch." The adults don't buy it, and he throws a temper tantrum.

Last edited by guizot; 11-19-2018 at 03:30 PM.
  #30  
Old 11-19-2018, 03:43 PM
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Weak deflection is weak...but not unexpected.
You're the one deflecting. You refuse to endorse the posturing style of journalism, in fact I have no idea if you think that it is or not. I'm not a press corp fanboy. I don't have a favorite asker of questions. Why should I worry about disproving your sneaky suspicion that I'm really a Trump lover in disguise?

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-19-2018 at 03:46 PM.
  #31  
Old 11-19-2018, 03:48 PM
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Trump is, and always has been, a counter-puncher.
doorhinge is right. Why, Trump says so himself, in this 2016 interview with Megyn Kelly!

Donald Trump explains being a 'counter-puncher'

(Although, I listened to the whole interview, and I don't believe he ever used the term 'counter-puncher'. But that's what the headline says.)
  #32  
Old 11-19-2018, 03:49 PM
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No, not even close to that. C'mon, dear USAians, try harder for the "Trump is a dictator!!" thingy.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:52 PM
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When someone lies, the time to address the lie is right then and there.

And the reason why Acosta didn't ask a question is because Trump never gave him the opportunity to. All questions must, necessarily, be based on premises. Honest questions are based on true premises. If Acosta was asking a question based on the true premise that the "caravan" is not an invasion, but the person he is asking the question of does not accept that true premise, then it is necessary to first establish the truth of the premise.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:54 PM
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No, not even close to that. C'mon, dear USAians, try harder for the "Trump is a dictator!!" thingy.
That was certainly out of left field. Did you mean to post this in some other thread?

Last edited by Czarcasm; 11-19-2018 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:56 PM
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When someone lies, the time to address the lie is right then and there.

And the reason why Acosta didn't ask a question is because Trump never gave him the opportunity to. All questions must, necessarily, be based on premises. Honest questions are based on true premises. If Acosta was asking a question based on the true premise that the "caravan" is not an invasion, but the person he is asking the question of does not accept that true premise, then it is necessary to first establish the truth of the premise.
Ok, what do you imagine the real question was going to be after Acosta finally browbeat Trump into accepting the truth of his premise? How long should the rest of the room wait?

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-19-2018 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:58 PM
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Ok, what do you imagine the real question was going to be after Acosta finally browbeat Trump into accepting the truth of his premise?
Poor, poor put-upon Trump.
  #37  
Old 11-19-2018, 04:01 PM
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The "question" that caused the brouhaha was basically "just admit the caravan isn't an invasion!". This is an unfortunate test case.
Not really. Here's his question as he probably had it written down, with the president's interruptions and insults removed:
Quote:
Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign in the midterms, that this . . . caravan was an “invasion.” As you know, Mr. President . . . the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.
. . . Why did you characterize it as such?
It's somewhat gotcha, but it allows for an actual answer. An answer that I'd consider stupid and racist, but an answer, like, say,
Quote:
Thank you. Invasions can happen with guns and with tanks, but they can also happen with crime and with terrorism. There are bad guys hiding in that caravan. It's a tremendous way to smuggle drugs into the country. MS-13 is bringing their recruits to the United States. I've talked to very smart people who tell me that Al Qaeda could hide members among the Mexicans. It's very short-sighted of you to think that just because they're not marching alongside tanks, that means they're not bringing danger to America's citizens. It's absolutely an invasion.
The question of "why did you characterize it as such?" is a perfectly legitimate question, and it allows a perfectly plausible answer (I was going to say "legitimate," discarded that for "reasonable," and am pretty unhappy with "plausible", too). Trump's decision to not answer the question doesn't make it a bad question.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 11-19-2018 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
The question of "why did you characterize it as such?" is a perfectly legitimate question, and it allows a perfectly plausible answer (I was going to say "legitimate," discarded that for "reasonable," and am pretty unhappy with "plausible", too). Trump's decision to not answer the question doesn't make it a bad question.
Yes. In fact, most of the questions asked by the White House press pool are insulting to the American people, because they're such lame-ass questions. They're dead-end YES-NO questions:
Mr. President, do you still have confidence in ___________?
Mr. President, are you going to fire _____________?
Mr. President, will you apologize for ______________?
Mr. President, do you regret _______________?
All pathetic YES-NO questions which don't get anywhere closer to holding Trump accountable.
  #39  
Old 11-19-2018, 04:19 PM
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Trump's decision to not answer the question doesn't make it a bad question.
I think what made it a bad question was that it was essentially a question that begged itself, or poisoned the well, or maybe some other fallacies to boot. To remove this from Trump, imagine if a Fox News reporter asked you:

"Mr. Dorkness, you said that Five Guys cheeseburgers are the best. But you are wrong. Why did you say something wrong?"

If you do have fondness for Five Guys, of course the first thing out of your mouth is going to dispute the editorializing of the reporter that Five Guys are not the best. Because after all, that's just a reporter stating an opinion that his interviewer is wrong!

In my opinion, there's quite a few ways to improve upon the question. Drop the bare assertion that the interviewee was wrong (or untruthful), cite experts who have an objective opinion on what constitutes a cheeseburger, and so on. But framing a question as "I'm stating my opinion in contradiction to yours, and the premise of my question is that I'm right and you're wrong" is just an invitation to a goat rope, not a substantive response.

Of course, I fully agree that it is not an invasion, that Trump couldn't answer a question if his life depended on it, but I just don't think it was a good question.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:24 PM
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It occurs to me that there's another sort of answer that question allows: crazy to say, it allows for an informative answer:
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Originally Posted by hypothetical answer
As a matter of fact, I've been in consultation with my intelligence advisors, and they have shown me credible intelligence that Al-Qaeda has been attempting to use Central American refugees as cover for entering the United States to carry out terrorist operations. Obviously I cannot share the details of this information with you, but in this age of asymmetrical warfare, an invasion may consist of a few trained terrorists, and it may be cloaked by thousands of innocent refugees. It is the first group, not the last group, that I characterize as an "invasion."
Still problematic, but perhaps the president actually had a non-racist reason for characterizing a bunch of refugees as an invasion. A question that provides him with the opportunity, at least in theory, not to be a racist shitbird is a perfectly fine question.

The idea that Acosta is a bad journalist does not seem supported by this question. As it ties directly into Trump's campaign against a free press and against facts, I'm not inclined to support him.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:28 PM
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I think what made it a bad question was that it was essentially a question that begged itself, or poisoned the well, or maybe some other fallacies to boot. To remove this from Trump, imagine if a Fox News reporter asked you:

"Mr. Dorkness, you said that Five Guys cheeseburgers are the best. But you are wrong. Why did you say something wrong?"
No. Trump (to use your analogy) didn't say Five Guys cheeseburgers are the best. He said they would give you minty-fresh breath.

Conversely, if Trump had spoken like your analogy, he would have said that the caravan was "the worst." He didn't say that; he made a specific claim about it. "Invasion" isn't an opinion word. It's a word with a meaning; and in this case it's an objectively wrong meaning.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:29 PM
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I think what made it a bad question was that it was essentially a question that begged itself, or poisoned the well, or maybe some other fallacies to boot.
I agree here. He should have just asked: "How can you realistically justify the term 'invasion' for a situation that even your own military describes as a minor occurrence of minimal importance, and if you really believed it was an invasion anyway, why have you suddenly minimized your references to it?"
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
I agree here. He should have just asked: "How can you realistically justify the term 'invasion' for a situation that even your own military describes as a minor occurrence of minimal importance, and if you really believed it was an invasion anyway, why have you suddenly minimized your references to it?"
Do you really believe he could have gotten that sentence out without being interrupted by Trump?
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:36 PM
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Guizot's rephrasing is fine, but unnecessary, IMO: as I showed, Trump could've given either a cogent-but-racist answer, or an answer that provided new information. Even, if he knew what a metaphor was, he could have explained a little bit about rhetoric.

And if we want to go crazy here, he could have given an honest answer in which he explained how his inflammatory rhetoric was designed to get racist voters out to the polls.

The fact that he didn't have any options for answering the question that made him look good is certainly not the fault of the questioner.
  #45  
Old 11-19-2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
No. Trump (to use your analogy) didn't say Five Guys cheeseburgers are the best. He said they would give you minty-fresh breath.

Conversely, if Trump had spoken like your analogy, he would have said that the caravan was "the worst." He didn't say that; he made a specific claim about it. "Invasion" isn't an opinion word. It's a word with a meaning; and in this case it's an objectively wrong meaning.
Acosta's premise to the question was weak because it was just setting up a he said-he said argument... even though I agree with the premise of Acosta's question! With a setup to the question like that, there's no chance one could get a substantive answer out of anyone, Trump or whomever.

Back to your point, even if you said that cheeseburgers give you minty fresh breath, just making a bare assertion that they don't, is not a productive rebuttal of an error.

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Originally Posted by Czarcasm
Do you really believe he could have gotten that sentence out without being interrupted by Trump?
Whether he did or did not, it would have been a better question. You might have noticed, that Trump's propensity to interrupt reporters has virtually nothing to do with the quality of the question.

By the way, why are you making criticism of Acosta such a big deal? I don't think anyone's saying he's a bad journalist. Some other people and I have simply said that it was a poor question. You seem to be acting like we all just kicked your dog.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:12 PM
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By the way, why are you making criticism of Acosta such a big deal? I don't think anyone's saying he's a bad journalist. Some other people and I have simply said that it was a poor question. You seem to be acting like we all just kicked your dog.
By the way, why are you making such a big deal about the same subject?
  #47  
Old 11-19-2018, 05:56 PM
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Do you really believe he could have gotten that sentence out without being interrupted by Trump?
Speaking very quickly it's sometimes possible to squeeze in questions like this with Trump. It depends on his frame of mind at the moment--whether he's in a childishly peevish mood or not, and planning to interrupt, which he often is. With Acosta he probably was bound to be that way, but that question is not much longer than what he was trying to ask anyway.
  #48  
Old 11-19-2018, 06:02 PM
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Acosta does not ask reasonable or even tough questions. He makes a left-wing argument and then phrases it in the form of a question. Any President (Republican or Democrat) is there to inform the press of what is going on that day or week and to provide information to the public. It is not the Debate Hour with Jim Acosta.
Of course he asks reasonable questions. I could link to others.

And certainly the president is there to inform. But more important, he is there to answer questions.

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Further, there are other reporters trying to ask questions. Acosta tries to dominate the whole press conference.
Every day reporters ask follow ups and at times try to hold onto the mic when the president doesn't answer. I've seen plenty of them, I know. Are you not just singling out Acosta because the press pass issue involves him?

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That example was particularly egregious. To paraphrase:

Acosta: Mr. President, you called the caravan an invasion. We now know it is not an invasion...
Trump: In my opinion, it is an invasion.
Acosta: But it is not...

That is not questioning, that is arguing and no President should be required to argue with a reporter.
I agree that is not much of a question and Acosta should not have tried to determine Trump's definition of "invasion" for him. But that is just one example from you. In the same press conference, he asked Trump directly if he thought he demonized immigrants and if he was worried about the Russia investigation.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:06 PM
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That's my point: it wasn't a question. He was there to "challenge" the President over his choice of rhetoric. Acosta got exactly what he was looking for from Trump- a nationally televised bicker session.
Yes, Acosta used the word "challenge". That alone doesn't mean Acosta did NOT ask questions, which he clearly did.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:17 PM
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The media is not used to a popular President treating them the same way that they treat him.
When was the last time a reporter called Trump the "enemy of the people"? I don't recall them "treating" Trump in this way.
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