CHARLOTTE, NC: If ever there was a more descriptive oxymoron than “honest politician” it would be difficult to find one that is better. Or more accurate. With the President’s daily COVID-19 briefings, journalists are quick to pay the Gotcha Game, attempting to catch the President lying.
Until Barack Obama came into office, it was virtually a journalistic sin to even suggest that the president might be lying. Even when Ronald Reagan resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the media would usually seek any way possible to avoid saying the president was guilty of lying.All of that stopped under Obama.
Forget that he was a media darling, ¨the Great Black Hope, ” when Obama was president, it became commonplace to use the word “liar.” (Talk of the County: ‘President Obama is the biggest liar’)
Today, under the leadership of Donald Trump, reporters have no qualms about using the term to describe the president’s prevarications be they real, imagined or intended as a matter of national security.
All politicians lie
It is simply part of the game. In fact, most of our leaders lie about lying. Now they may honestly believe in their dark little hearts when they are being less than forthcoming that they are being as sincere and open as possible under the circumstances. But they absolutely know when they are hiding something and when they are not leveling with the American people.
Lying by omission is still lying.
Which brings us to an interesting observation about our current president and his role as anchorman on the popular new national broadcast of the “Trump News Hour,” also known as the “Coronavirus News Network Too” (CNN-2).
Donald Trump is a cheerleader with boundless enthusiasm and optimism for anything he undertakes.
In that sense, Trump is the ideal person to occupy the Oval Office at this moment in history.
Not because he’s the smartest, but because he is a businessman and because like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, Trump knows when and how to delegate authority. Giving those who are better equipped and prepared and who have more experience the freedom to tackle a problem.
From the outside looking in, especially given his reputation as the “Mad Tweeter”, the president creates the illusion of being thin-skinned. So adept is he at his social media mind games, that the Democrats still haven’t figured out what he is doing.
That, in itself, is one of the reasons Trump is so reviled by Democrats.
All anyone needs to do is tune into Trump’s now nightly COVID-19 press briefings to realize that he is energized by the task of resolving the crisis.
Furthermore, there are three major factors that benefit the Trump re-election campaign by holding the briefings at the same time each day:
• He reduces criticism from the media by delaying their opportunity to respond.
• By holding the briefings at the same time each day, viewers have a specific time and place to receive updates.
• Opposition rebuttal from Joe Biden is minimized because Trump is masterfully controlling the bully pulpit.
Watch closely and observe how the president does his best to provide us with as much information as possible without crossing the line. Frequently he will drop hints about countries that are not cooperating or governors who are throwing up barriers to politicize and criticize his efforts.
Most of the time Trump will stop short of naming names, choosing instead to challenge the press to do their homework and find out for themselves.
The sense you have as you watch is that the president is chomping at the bit to reveal everything he knows about the pandemic to the American people. But he is limited in what he can share for reasons of national security. Which is neither lying or lying by omission.
Sins of Omission – is top-secret the same of lying
If that’s true, is it “lying” or is it another form of top-secret information that must remain just that, top-secret?
Ask yourself how successful would the D-Day invasion at Normandy have been if we had told the Germans in advance when and where the allies were attacking.
A day doesn’t pass where some reporter asks for a specific end-date to the lockdown. It’s the one question for which everyone anxiously awaits the answer.
It’s an answer Trump refuses to give, though he did come close once when he made a general observation that he did not know but that Easter would be an ideal time for it to happen. CNN immediately announced that the president had said the shutdown would be over by Easter.
So who was really lying?
Will Trump and his task force make every decision perfectly without a snafu now and then?
Of course not.
On the other, let’s give the task force some credit for their efforts to contain the pandemic and to resolve it as quickly as possible.
If indeed there is no such thing as an “honest politician”, we should, at the very least, be thankful that we have a president who will run interference and take the heat while others seek out answers and solutions.
If that’s lying then bring it on, but the real truth is that it sounds more like leadership.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up