I thought former Vice President Joe Biden would be hard to beat for humor. But President Donald Trump has made more interesting comments in three months than Biden did in eight years, and Trump’s staff is proving to be just as comical. Trump wants to blame the media for everything. He called out the media for secrecy and not printing the names of their sources on the same day that his staff was holding a meeting with selected media and requiring their names not be used?
And did you notice that Trump’s first year as president is also the Chinese year of the rooster? Coincidence?
What a difference an election makes. Last summer, like most Republican officials in this blue state, state Sen. Mark Miloscia wouldn’t say who he would support for president. He now sends new President Donald Trump his prayers. Don’t we all!
Speaking of Miloscia, he opened a hornet’s nest when he criticized the multi-state Women’s March as un-American and un-Christian. No one supports violence, but the actions of most of these women are so American they are covered in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Then Miloscia blamed the Mirror newspaper and poor old Mr. Federal Way for his backlash. Apparently that blaming the media concept is catching.
Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer, in opening remarks to the press, said, “Our intention is to never lie to you.” Intention? Well, that would be nice. And Chief White House Strategist Stephen Bannon, in a further attempt to establish harmony, said, “The press should keep its mouth shut.” Producing blank pages of newsprint is not what the press is for. It’s for accountability and objectivity.
Former United States Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan provided guidance for thoughtful debate when he said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”
We have now found that long-held standard subject to question.
The new phrase from the Trump administration is “alternative facts.” The term has inspired recollections, comparisons and book sales of George Orwell’s classic “1984,” a story about a society where facts are distorted and suppressed with government “newspeak.” Published in 1949, it was fiction. Newspeak, and alternative facts? To some, “1984” has a more truthful ring in 2017.
Interesting parallels: “The press is the enemy,” — Richard Nixon in 1972. “The press is the enemy of the American people,” — Donald Trump, 2017. Trump wants people to believe only him, although fact-checkers frequently find the reason that his administration coined the phrase “alternative facts.”
Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell and the City Council were talking about how to obtain public input on possible new logos for a new branding theme and thought buying an ad in the Mirror might draw additional attention. Councilman Mark Koppang said, “It would bring so much readership to the Mirror, they should pay us.” Nice try, but you’re going to have to find another way to finance those police officers.
It could be a fun year — at least for late night comedians and columnists with too much time on their hands.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn and retired public official. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.