Who do you trust more Trump or the Media? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Who do you trust more Trump or the Media?

“Enough about me, let’s talk about you,” is sort of what Donald Trump said to the media on Tuesday.

In January when Trump opted out of a GOP debate hosted by Fox News and moderated by Megyn Kelly, he held a very publicized fundraiser for veterans. During that event Trump claimed they had raised $6 million, which would be a very good thing. He even donated a million from his own wallet, a very good thing indeed.

Or did he?

The news media being what it is, doing their job to hold Trump accountable, started asking questions. Meanwhile, the candidate went barnstorming around Iowa giving groups those big promotional size checks to signify just how much money he had given to various veterans organizations in the state.

Okay, he got scared away from the debate by a woman reporter, but made up for it by holding a fundraiser for veterans.

Over the span of four months news organizations couldn’t find where all that money had gone. Campaign spokespeople were telling various news organizations the money had all been dispersed.

But then Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold, using Twitter, started asking veterans organizations if they had received any of the Trump money. The candidate saw that and decided enough was enough and lashed out at the press, calling the media “dishonest and disgusting,” all because a reporter was doing his job.

Retired Marine Corps veteran and New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro spoke to the press as well, telling them, “Get your heads out of your butts and focus on the real issues.” (YouTube)

Retired Marine Corps veteran and New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro spoke to the press as well, telling them, “Get your heads out of your butts and focus on the real issues.” (YouTube)

So last week, after a reporter started probing to find out about Trump’s very public claim of donating $1 million to a veterans group Trump actually donated to a veterans group, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. They provide scholarships to the children of fallen warriors so that was a really nice thing for Trump to do … four months after first claiming he had made the donation.

Well you know, you have to vet these organizations, you can’t just be handing over a million dollars to just anyone. Except that Trump has had a history with this particular group and they even gave him an award for being so generous. Which kind of makes the vetting excuse sound a little … false.

As it turns out, in the week before Memorial Day the Trump organization sent money to various veterans groups so that when he held his press conference Tuesday Trump could tell the assembled media he had given $5.6 million to various veterans organizations. Not over $6 million, like he had claimed in January.

Here’s where I would give Trump a little slack: not everyone who pledges to make a donation actually follows through with the donation, so it is conceivable over $6 million was pledged, but only $5.6 million was collected.

But Trump’s Tuesday press conference wasn’t about how much money he and his organization gave to these mostly worthy charities (one got a failing grade from Charities Watch), it was to attack the media for actually doing its job: holding the candidates accountable.

Just like they are doing with Hillary Clinton’s email server issue. Every news organization that interviews Clinton asks about her email server issue. On Tuesday Chris Hayes of MSNBC was the latest, asking Clinton about it and whether the FBI had contacted her or anyone else in relation to the email server issue. The press has yet to be satisfied with her answers, even though she said she made a mistake and wouldn’t do it again.

Hillary Clinton (YouTube)

Hillary Clinton (YouTube)

The State Department’s IG report cited many failings of Clinton and her staff regarding the server, which the Clinton campaign tried to spin into a positive for her. This email server issue just isn’t going away, even though she has admitted she made a mistake.

So the press is doing its due diligence with both major party presumptive nominees. Sorry Bernie Berners, your guy is out of this race, and no Grateful Dead-style miracle is going to change that reality. Two of the leftiest lefties in California have endorsed Hillary Clinton (Governor Jerry Brown and Senator Barbara Boxer), she’s got a double-digit lead over Sanders in the state, and in reality, the California primary doesn’t matter. Hillary Clinton will get enough delegates to win the nomination.

But good on ya for showing up to Sanders’ rallies across the state giving everyone the impression California’s primary matters for once. The Democratic Primaries were effectively over in mid-March.

“I got a feeling and it won’t go away, oh no
Just one thing then I’ll be okay
I need a miracle every day.”

  • John Barlow and Bob Weir.

Back to Trump. At his press conference Tuesday, after detailing where the $5.6 million went, the blowhard bully started bashing the media, singling out individuals; “You’re a real beauty,” Trump said to CNN’s Jim Acosta after the reporter asked, “it seems as though you’re resistant to scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for President of the United States?”
“Excuse me. I’ve watched you on television and you’re a real beauty.”

Well, I’m sure Acosta’s significant other thinks so.

Trump said he wanted to keep his donation private … ummm, he was on a telethon-style program bragging about making the donation and how much money he had raised. He made a very public show of handing out those promotional checks in Iowa — doesn’t appear he was trying to keep it quiet and under the radar.

He said that if you check Hillary Clinton you’d see she hasn’t given anything to veterans groups — except that she and her husband have: $70,000.

See how big his hands are? (YouTube)

See how big his hands are? (YouTube)

Not to mention when she was a senator from New York Clinton and John McCain raised money for the Intrepid Fallen heroes Fund that built a state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility in San Antonio, Texas and elsewhere. She’s also sponsored or co-sponsored a host of bills that extended care to veterans and service members, like expanding health care coverage for reservists and National Guard members. She helped push legislation to expand benefits to the families of fallen heroes, including raising the amount of money sent to a fallen warrior’s family, from $12,000 to $100,000.

She did all of that with Democrats and Republicans, during a Republican presidential administration.

The insulter-in-chief told the media it was dishonest and that the political press was “unbelievably dishonest.” The same political press that he’s been using for the past 12 months in lieu of paying for political advertising. The same press that followed all his campaign stops chronicling his lies and insults to women, minorities, the disabled and veterans who were prisoners of war.

Trump got it right though, when he called ABC reporter Tom Llamas a sleaze. “I’m not looking for credit,” — huh? He bragged about it for a week in January — “What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say – like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he’s a sleaze in my book.”
“Why am I a sleaze?” Llamas asked.
“You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well,” Trump replied.

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award winner Tom Llamas of ABC News. Some of us are envious.

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award winner Tom Llamas of ABC News. Some of us are envious.

That he does Mr. Trump. That’s what the press does. It digs for the facts and then reports on them. Like the fact that you lied to the American people about raising money for veterans groups and didn’t fulfill your obligations to the veterans until a reporter shamed you into doing it.

No, the press isn’t going to pat Trump on the fanny and say, “Good boy, Donny,” just because he said he did something nice. No, they are going to follow up on it and see if Trump actually made this wonderful gesture. And you, even late as some of the payments were, it could have been a wonderful gesture, if Trump had avoided all this drama. But no, he first lied about it and then picked a fight with the media after they called him on it.

This is whom Republican voters have chosen as their nominee. It boggles the mind why a veteran group dedicated to prisoners of war and those still missing in action would endorse Trump (Rolling Thunder Run). It’s baffling that any veterans organization would back Trump, other than those that received a lot of money from Trump.

Veterans groups should be thanking the media for holding Trump accountable on this one, making the candidate follow through on his claims. Even if it was are four months after the fact.

The only dishonest, sleazy person at Trump Tower for that press conference was Donald Trump himself. The guy is a little crybaby who can’t stand up under the pressure of an inquisitive and skeptical press.

He has this going for him though: among his many endorsements is Kim Jong-Un, the dictator that is currently starving the citizens of his nation. A North Korean shill said, “Supreme Leader has considered all of the choices and has named Donald Trump the official candidate of the DPRK.”

Donald Trump: endorsed by the KKK and a brutal Communist dictator. He must be proud of his diverse coalition.


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality. Contact the author.
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