The observation wrongly ascribed to Mark Twain that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” should be the slogan of CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and every other mainstream purveyor of “the news” in the Trump era. If the press can be reliable for anything, it is doubling down on the lies they tell.
This was the case last Saturday when the media jointly implied that the president had personally canceled a planned visit to a cemetery for Americans killed in World War I because he doesn’t like standing out in the rain. As the AP, itself frequently unreliable, truthfully reported, the decision to ground Marine One, the president’s helicopter, was made as it always is “by the Marine Corps and the White House Military Office, which then presents the recommendation to the White House in collaboration with the Secret Service.” Trump had nothing to do with it.
The Washington Post and other major media outlets published a “correction” the following day, but only to clarify that the Marine Corps and the White House Military Office — not the secret service alone — take part in making this decision. There was no effort to retract the notion that Trump is averse to going out in the rain.
Flash forward to Monday, Veterans Day. Once again, rain was in the forecast, and once again the president did not make a visit, this time by car, to Arlington National Cemetery. At least that’s the way the media painted their narratives. The left-leaning Raw Story headlined its report “White House confirms Trump will not visit Arlington cemetery on Veterans Day as rain is expected.”
The first part of that headline is nearly true. As Raw Story’s David Edwards notes, “[T[he White House announced ‘a lid’ on presidential movements at 10 a.m. ET, meaning the president is not scheduled to leave the White House for the remainder of the day.” There was no more to the message, but that didn’t prevent the media from connecting the dots. Here’s Edwards:
Although President Barack Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day services on several occasions, President Trump has chosen to avoid the remembrance of military deaths at the national cemetery.
Weather.com forecasted a 100 percent chance of rain at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.
Yes, President Barack Obama was so devoted to the military that he couldn’t return the salute of the Marines flanking the stairs leading down from Marine One because he had a latte in his hand.
This is not to suggest that President Trump shouldn’t have made the visit to Arlington or at least explained why he couldn’t go. But even if he had paid tribute to the men and women who laid down their lives for their country, the media and Trump haters would have found something else to rag him about.
But as things stand they jumped all over him:
Imagine how Right Wing media & GOP leaders would react if Obama cancelled visit to cemetery to honor fallen due to a little rain, while other world leaders did attend, on Veterans’ Day Weekend, no less. Then, listen to the sound of hypocritical silence as Trump did just that. SMH https://t.co/I6DPZt1Pxd
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 11, 2018
Why do veterans support this guy? https://t.co/DlIXLol6RA
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) November 12, 2018
Unlike Trump, a little rain never stopped President Obama from honoring our fallen war heroes on Veterans Day pic.twitter.com/wFYOgTXGt0
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) November 10, 2018
Trump you fucking pussy. Too entitled to serve our country when called, too afraid of your stupid hair getting wet to honor those braver than you. You FUCK. (Don’t @ me w/ he couldn’t fly- it was a 90 minute drive). https://t.co/lJsxwvIrvI
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) November 10, 2018