Monday, May 01, 2017


You may have seen White Working Class Whisperer Salena Zito’s obsequious interview with Donald Trump, and perhaps learned about the bizarre part of the interview, which does not appear in the print version, in which Trump wondered aloud what the Civil War had been about. Zito was interviewed about this in a podcast with the Washington Examiner’s own Michael Graham, and to spare you good people I have transcribed a large chunk of it.

The preliminary logrolling is pretty terrible. “When I read your piece and saw his schedule and how much he had — I was exhausted!” enthuses Graham. “I was exhausted,” agrees Zito. “It was about 3:30, 4 in the afternoon — he had already been up for 12 hours.” True, some fast-food workers get up before dawn, too, but look what Trump had accomplished with his waking hours: He “had met with the President of Argentina along with his wife, along with the first lady Melania, he had signed two executive orders, he had had dozens of children in the White House for Take Your Child to Work Day, and then he was doing a series of interviews that began with me, and there was a line of journalists out the door waiting to get in.” “Incredible, particularly the kids part!” says Graham. Whew! All that signing, talking, and staring at young life forms wondering how much their parents would sell them for. Whatever Trump's getting in grift, it’s not enough.

Then Zito gets into the history lesson:
Before the tapes were rolling, he and I were discussing the portraits that hung behind him, which was of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was to his right as he’s sitting at the Resolute Desk, and Jackson to his left. And, in very vintage Trump style, he bounced back to that, apropos of nothing, and that’s sort of how those quotes were inserted in the conversation — now, if you were in the earlier conversation it makes sense --
At that point I was really interested to hear how some earlier conversation made Trump’s ravings coherent, but alas, that's where Zito falters (there’s no video, so you can’t tell whether Jared Kushner was holding a gun on her family):
— but you know — if you’re following — I mean — let’s face it, he just bounces around when he talks. He is very much a businessman in his display of language —
Huh? Who thinks businessmen talk like that? If you were arranging a large wholesale order with a guy and he started talking that way, wouldn’t you maybe say you had to go to the bathroom and then skip out the back?
It’s very different than your typical politician or journalist who use very crafted, very vetted words and sentences and that’s not who he is. He’s not a politician. That’s largely why he was elected president. But it doesn’t always serve him well in interviews because he’s all over the place.
You littlebrains are expecting him to make quote-unquote sense, like a schoolteacher or something, but supermen like Trump are beyond your puny sequential thought and sentence structure!

Graham asks Zito what Trump was trying to say.
He was projecting strength.
Holy Mary mother of God.
He was talking about Andrew Jackson’s strength as a leader, you know, as first a general, he referred to him as a swashbuckler, and then as a leader. And he felt confident that had Jackson been in office later in the 19th Century — I think he left off as, no, he was elected in 1828 — he may have been able to thwart the Civil War.
Jackson was as strong a Union man as ever lived and even threatened to hang John C. Calhoun over the threat of secession. So it’s just possible that, had he served later, he might have kept the slave power alive a little longer to preserve that Union. But, if you take Lincoln’s analysis of the situation more seriously than Trump’s or Zito’s, you know he could not have held it off indefinitely. And of course that alternate history would have meant more slaves, but with this crew I figure that's more a feature than a bug; in fact, maybe that's the message Trump was trying to get out to his hardcore supporters.

Last word to Zito:
Y’know, as I always say, context is everything. Anything outside of context is a lie.
Well, glad I was able to help, then.

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