The Fact Burner

If you woke up this morning feeling sorry for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you should probably just get back in bed and continue your rest from reality. Because if you do have sympathy for the woman who lies for Tr-mp each and every day, after she was “ripped” by a comedian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, then your sympathy is hopelessly misplaced.

Michelle Wolf, the comedian who, among other things, highlighted Sanders’ truth-slaying skills—“she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye”—did what she was hired to do: she told jokes. Some of the jokes were good, some not so good. But there was much truth running through her jokes, including that Sanders, Tr-mp’s press secretary, really does burn facts for a living. And it wasn’t Wolf’s fault that Tr-mp didn’t have the guts to show up for the dinner, like other presidents did until he came along, and defend his propagandist in person.

All day Sunday and continuing into today, journalists have been beside themselves trying to apologize for, or demand apologizes from, Wolf and those responsible for hiring her. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell tweeted, “Apology is owed to and others grossly insulted [by] Michelle Wolf.” Maggie Haberman, of the New York Times, tweeted:

That sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.

Hooey. Double Hooey. Nobody “owes” Sanders an apology. Nor should anyone praise her for sitting and absorbing personal insults. She knew what was coming. It couldn’t have been a surprise.

But Sanders does owe us an apology. And she should praise us for not walking out of the Tr-mpian nightmare she so proudly lies for nearly every time she opens her mouth.

Sanders should apologize for vigorously defending the narcissistic anarchist sitting in the Whites’ House. She should give us a shout-out for not fleeing to Canada, as we still dare to dream that America will come to its senses and rid itself of the parasite feeding on, and quickly depleting, the norms of our democracy. She should apologize to and heap praise upon all those folks who are genuine victims of Tr-mpism and the policies associated with it.

And as for journalists, how about Andrea Mitchell apologizing for endlessly focusing on Hillary Clinton’s emails during the last campaign, while Tr-mp was robbing the country of its dignity? How about Maggie Haberman, who has done good work since the 2016 election, apologize for her paper’s front-page obsession with the Clintons’ every flaw, all the way down to butt pimples, while a crass, corrupt demagogue was tearing down the press and other vital American institutions?

And speaking of obsessions, how about journalists apologizing for focusing on “Tr-mp voters” and their feelings almost to the exclusion of the rest of us? Or how about journalists realizing that there is more to America than those places that voted for Tr-mp? Look at the way Jake Tapper addressed John Kasich yesterday, appearing for the gazillionth time on Sunday morning television, on CNN’s State of the Union:

So, I want to ask you about the midterms. Republican congressional leaders increasingly worried that a Democratic wave is coming, that they will lose the House, they might even lose the Senate. President Trump doesn’t agree. He’s confident in his abilities. He’s confident that the Republicans are going to hold the House and Senate.

You’re out there in real America in Ohio. How concerned should Republicans be, how concerned should President Trump be?

Huh? Ohio is “real America”? Okay. Let’s agree that Ohio is real America. But when is the last time you heard a journalist address, say, a senator from a blue state by saying, “You’re out there in real America in Oregon”? Or how about a journalist introducing the mayor of a large city by saying, “Here’s Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, which is in real America”? Have you ever heard Maxine Waters addressed as the congresswoman who represents people out there “in real America in the 43rd District of California”? No. You haven’t. For some reason, real Americans only live in states Tr-mp won and has the potential of winning again.

It’s effing ridiculous.

I will be the first one to call on Michelle Wolf to apologize to Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the day Sarah Huckabee Sanders, with or without smokey eyes, goes to the Whites’ House briefing room, stands proudly behind the podium, and tells the world she is sorry for the damage she, and her boss, have done to the country.

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16 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  April 30, 2018

    Sad Sarah was intentionally planted at that dinner to hopefully create this kind of fire storm! Mission accomplished! Republicans be damnned! F- – k them all!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Planted or not, Sanders—who has defended the ridiculer-in-chief for months now—definitely knew she would be a prime target of ridicule, since she showed up and had a prominent place. The bad thing is that journalists are rushing to her defense, partly as a way to get on her good side I imagine, and partly because they want to appear to be even-handed. The former is understandable, given most journalism is a business, but the latter is just a replay of the campaign coverage. No matter if you thought the comedian’s jokes were crude and offensive, she is not the president, who has ridden crudeness and offense all the way to the Whites’ House. For people like Andrea Mitchell to butt in and demand an apology from a comedian and not butt in and demand an apology from Tr-mp, pretty much explains what is an ongoing problem with journalism. If Andrea Mitchell wants to offer opinions on who is or isn’t due an apology, she should begin with Tr-mp. But I bet you can’t find a tweet where she says Tr-mp owes anyone an apology. 

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  2. I think you hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head in your reply to Anonymous, it’s the media that should praise Wolf for having the guts to say what they are thinking anyway but are too cowardly to say it. The press needs to remember Voltaire’s declaration, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today, Voltaire might agree with the statement that freedom of speech is the speech you don’t like.

    The supposed offendees of the verbiage they don’t agree with is being carried too far – on college campuses and in school libraries. Where today would you find required reading in a high school “lit” class that included “Huckleberry Finn?” And I’ve heard that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is being pulled from public school’s libraries as well. Meanwhile on college campuses such speakers as George Will and Condoleezza Rice have been “dis-invited” to speak. After all, we have to protect our overly sensitive students from having to become critical thinkers now, don’t we?

    Jesus H. Christ, what the hell has this country become?

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    • Herb,

      I know about some of the issues on college campuses regarding stifling speech. To the extent it is happening, I think it is a big problem. I just don’t know, though, how big a problem it is. All that stuff tends to get blown out of proportion (especially by right-wingers on social media). I think free speech is alive and well on campuses and on the left (not the same, you know). Matthew Yglesias published a piece a few months ago (“Everything we think about the political correctness debate is wrong”) in which he argued against the notion that there is an alarming trend of stifling speech (except on the right, of course).

      Having said that, no one is entitled to an automatic pass to speak on campuses. “Free speech” is a guarantee in most cases under the Constitution, but there is no guarantee that you get to choose each and every venue in which you exercise that right. Racists should not be invited to universities to speak, as the very notion of racism is antithetical to the mission of any institution of higher learning. Neither should Nazis. And so on. There just has to be common sense applied to these matters, and I think for the most part, with some exceptions obviously, common sense is ruling the day.

      Duane

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  3. The incredible lack of insight exhibited by some pundits and others when talking about PresiDunce, his accomplices, and followers is astounding. They ignore that PresiDunce is not a normal president (and not even a normal person) due to his extreme narcissism, ignorance and lack of intellectual curiosity, xenophobia, constant lying, lack of principles, and lack of self-control. (Did I leave anything out?) They also erroneously refer to people who voted for him and continue to strongly support him as “the true Americans” which makes the rest of us what … fake Americans? It’s interesting that a recent study confirmed that PresiDunce’s supporters voted for him, not because of “economic anxiety” as is often claimed, but because of fear related to a loss of white privilege. So only Whites who are afraid of losing their dominant status are true Americans? (Am I crazy for thinking that unacknowledged racism is responsible for referring to PresiDunce voters – who were mostly White – as the true Americans?) For a description of the study: http://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/us/politics/trump-economic-anxiety.html

    I’m so sick of pundits and others going out of their way to be “neutral” by equating PresiDunce with other presidents. For example, on his April 28th show, Smerconish compared Kanye’s support of PresiDunce to the support of other celebrities for other presidents to help critics of Kanye realize they aren’t being fair to poor Kanye. But there’s no comparison because PresiDunce falls short of other presidents in a multitude of ways. He’s not a normal president, and we must actively resist attempts to normalize him so that we don’t become numb to his idiocy and do things like condemn a comedian for stating the truth.

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    • Dayan,

      Yeah, I wrote about that Times article (and the studies connected to it) last week. It is what I have been saying for 9 years on this blog.

      You hit upon something I find extremely frustrating. In too many cases journalists keep trying to treat Tr-mp like he was a normal *person*, not to mention “president.” He can’t act anywhere close to the norm in the Whites’ House because he is not anywhere close to the norm as a human being. There is something seriously wrong with the way his brain works, or doesn’t. And we cannot afford for journalists to ignore that obvious fact. Some have begun to realize that and their coverage is starting to reflect that reality. Too many, though, (like CNN’s John King, for instance) act like you can compare this administration with others in the past. 

      And Oh. My. God. There is serious talk of handing him the goddamned Nobel Peace Prize. I am not going to make it, if this keeps up.

      Duane

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      • When I first heard mention of a Nobel Peace Prize for DT I had a strange thought. Perhaps we Dems should begin talking up Pompeo or Moon of South Korea for that honor. That should produce a Trumpian reaction of raw jealousy and reveal more of his characterless core. Then sanity returned. The Trump movement is well past reason and into blind commitment.

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        • Jim,

          I don’t know if anything could reveal more of his “characterless core” than what we have already seen. As you suggest, those who are persuadable were persuaded a long time ago and those who aren’t will never be. 

          Duane

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  4. Great post, folks. John Pavlovitz sent an open letter to Sarah Huckabuck Slanders. I have nothing to add to it. It reads like this here:
    “Dear Sarah,
    I’ve been trying to reach you for a few days, but I know you’ve been busy lately with this whole White House Correspondents Dinner business—which I imagine you’re already pretty sick of talking about.
    Honestly, I am too.
    Please know this has nothing to do with that.
    This is about you—and it’s about Jesus. (Well, sort of.)
    You see, I’m a Christian and I’ve heard you claim that you’re a Christian too—and watching you work recently, it got me thinking:
    How does she do it?
    What I mean is, how do you reconcile your supposed faith in Jesus of Nazareth, with your current position as a mouthpiece for this morally malignant President?
    As a professed Christian, how do you make peace with the reality that you regularly mount the largest bully pulpit in the nation—and you lie for a living on behalf of a serial predator?
    How do you square your Christianity with the realization that you are the most visible and vocal surrogate for a man who is by nearly every measurement—fully devoid of Christlikeness?
    Look, all Christians (myself included), feel some measure of fraudulence as we live this life while claiming we’re trying to perpetuate the character of Jesus in the world.
    None of us can avoid the hypocrisy inherent in professing faith in a perfectly loving, compassionate, merciful Savior—while being profoundly flawed human beings. That tension and duplicity are ever-present.
    But this isn’t that.
    This is about actively working for the opposition.
    This is about purposeful betrayal of your namesake.
    This is about conspiring with the enemy.
    I watch you every week as you repeatedly distort the truth,
    as you attack journalists who come carrying facts.
    as you vilify politicians who oppose your employer’s malfeasance,
    as you categorically defend his every vile statement, every personal attack, every nonsensical Tweet, every baseless firing, every legislative assault.
    I watch your face contort with the unmistakable tells of a person who doesn’t believe a word they’re saying; one who’s sold their soul and is now hopelessly trapped in a lie about a lie about a lie.
    I wonder what Jesus-story you tell yourself, about the fact that every week you stand in front of a microphone and willingly perpetuate falsehoods that do great harm to millions of people?
    That has to be rough—or maybe it isn’t.
    Maybe it’s a breeze for you now.
    Maybe you’ve convinced yourself it’s somehow all the Lord’s work.
    Maybe you’ve been on this slippery slope of deception for so long that you actually believe the lies now too.
    Or maybe your Jesus and my Jesus are just that different.
    Maybe your Jesus is good with deporting immigrants.
    Maybe your Jesus celebrates the poor staying poor.
    Maybe your Jesus is fine with affairs with porn stars.
    Maybe your Jesus is totally cool with supremacist Cabinet members.
    Maybe your Jesus amens the banning and the wall-building. 
    Maybe your Jesus sanctions the fear of brown people.
    Maybe your Jesus is pleased with sick people going broke trying to not die.
    Maybe your Jesus applauds the racism and the bitterness and the cruelty.
    Maybe your Jesus somehow blesses the lies you broker in on behalf of the monster you work for.
    If that is your Jesus, Sarah—then know you are evangelizing brilliantly right now.
    You are spreading the Gospel of that Jesus exponentially.
    You are a powerful preacher of that Jesus to the watching world.
    But for my money, that Jesus is the reason so many people want nothing to do with Christianity anymore.
    It’s why the Church is hemorrhaging.
    It’s why the pews are emptying.
    It’s why people run from Christians.
    I imagine you feel that thirty seconds of jokes from a comedian is terrible treatment; that you feel unfairly bullied, that feel that you didn’t deserve to be personally attacked.
    I imagine you feel like an innocent victim in all this.
    Given the countless hours you’ve spent lying to the world and claiming Jesus while you’ve done it—I think you got off easy.”

    Amen — and Amen.

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    • It’s not a surprise that Sarah can claim to be religious and work and lie for the moron in the White House: Look at Daddy Huckabuck. Sarah’s just taking his hypocrisy to a greater extreme. Sometimes when I’m watching MSNB or CNN, I switch to Fox during the advertisements to see what they’re talking about (and am nearly always sorry I did). A few years ago, when Daddy Huckabuck had a weekend show on Fox, he was on stage before a small live audience playing Cat Scratch Fever with that morally bankrupt slob Ted Nugent. Do you think Daddy Huckabuck thinks Cat Scratch Fever is actually about cats?

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      • I saw that episode with Nugent. I have to say that it was amazing watching that churchy audience feed on Nugent’s naughty music.

        As for watching Fox, I just recently took to watching it again after a long hiatus. I can only stand it in two- or three-minute doses these days. Age is claiming my neurons every hour upon the hour and I don’t aim to speed things along by watching too much Fox & Friends.

        Duane

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        • Duane — I can only stand about 30 to 60 seconds of Fox, so you have more stamina than I do. It’s incredible what stories are covered and how they’re covered. It really is like they’re in another reality. Listening to the meanness and vitriol spit out by the evening hosts and pundits (e.g., Michelle Malkin) feels like being injected with a toxin. What is frightening is that Fox’s viewers are regularly listening to and being brainwashed by Fox’s reality.

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          • You are absolutely right. And to tell you the truth, part of the problem with Fox is not really Fox itself, but the credibility given to it by other news organizations. I remember when Obama’s folks were trying to point out Fox’s lack of authenticity, there was a mighty pushback from mainstream journalists. And I don’t know how many times I have heard something like the following from real journalists: “There are a lot of really good reporters who work for Fox.” Oh, yeah? I can think of one, or two, or maybe two and a half. 

            I worry a great deal about the brainwashing that goes on. I was an avid listener to talk radio beginning with the start of Limbaugh’s career in the 1980s. Now all that right-wing nonsense is on the radio 24 hours a day. Add to that Fox and the various propaganda sites on the Internet, and you have a Tr-mp in the Whites’ House. Oh, and I won’t even mention the indoctrination that goes on in many evangelical churches.

            It’s really something we all should be frightened of.

            Duane

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    • “Got off easy,” indeed. I follow Pavolvitz on Twitter and have read many of his posts (I missed that one, though, so thanks). If more Christians were like him, I wouldn’t have a bad word to say about the religion. The trouble is that Jesus, whatever one thinks of him, has been appropriated for all kinds of bad purposes since stories began circulating about him. This latest use (or mis-use) of his name and ministry is just one more depressing episode, one that I hope, given the apocalyptic views of his most ardent followers, doesn’t end with something that looks like Armageddon.

      Duane

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. Insanity reins — it seems. Wait until these fools get their Armageddon and discover there is no Rapture, no Heaven, no streets of gold. They think they’re gonna be saved from Hell, but they’ve really brought us all Hell on earth. I’m just rambling now. Pay no attention to me.

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