Our Political Press Fails Us Again: “The Very Stable Genius” Edition

Stable Jenius

Some more excerpts from A Very Stable Genius are making their way into the media:

Now an excerpt of a new book published in The Washington Postdemonstrates exactly what tipped Tillerson over the edge. An account of the meeting in the upcoming book A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America depicts Trump becoming increasingly angry as his generals tried to teach him the fundamental basics of American post-war history.

The book states that the meeting took place six months into Trump’s presidency after his generals became concerned about “gaping holes” in Trump’s knowledge of America’s key alliances. The idea was to bring Trump to the Pentagon’s Situation Room, where military leaders, so the plan went, would give him a crash course on who America’s allies were, why they were worth keeping on side, and where on earth they were located.

Right off the bat, my hackles are getting raised. I’ll explain later.

However, the meeting seems to have descended into chaos almost immediately. Tillerson, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn reportedly took turns trying to explain their points to Trump. But Trump is said to have first appeared bored out of his mind before he got increasingly angry.

The account states Trump repeatedly interrupted the lesson after apparently being triggered by a word or phrase uttered by the military leaders. One example given is that he heard the word “base” during the lesson, which sparked him into launching a tirade about how “crazy” and “stupid” it was that the U.S. paid to build and maintain bases overseas.

Prznint Transaction is transactional. Got it.

Trump is then said to have complained about President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, and the length of the war in Afghanistan. Each time, his generals reportedly tried to gently explain why his view of these complex geopolitical issues might not be entirely accurate. It was reportedly during a conversation about Afghanistan that Trump blew his top.

The president reportedly called Afghanistan a “loser war,” and told his military leaders: “You’re all losers… You don’t know how to win anymore… I want to win… We don’t win any wars anymore… We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.” It’s reported that Trump was so angry at this point that he wasn’t breathing properly.

In his most incendiary comment, Trump—a man who, remember, managed to get out of military duty in Vietnam due to a supposed bone-spur problem—is said to have told the assembled forces: “I wouldn’t go to war with you people… You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

…When the meeting ended soon afterward, Tillerson reportedly stood with a small group of confidants and said: “He’s a fucking moron.”

OK, that gives us some context to the widely reported Tillerson quote. But what we don’t really get is what triggered the actual outburst.

I will now conjecture wildly: if they were talking about who is our friend, they surely talked about who is our enemy. Imma bet my quatloos that he got triggered by an explanation that Russia is not our friend, that Vlad is our enemy.

But here’s the thing that got under my skin: these WaPo reports got that story in 2017 and are only now telling us in an eff’ing 2020 book. What else are they withholding for book sales? This story is reported from one of the most secure locations on earth, they got the read out from someone, but they are NOT telling us the whole story.

What is the whole context?

So why am I supposed to trust the WaPo when they hold back information to only later use to tease a book. What’s the news editor process for determining what is in the pages of the newspaper and what do they save for making serious coin later? Who makes those decisions, what’s the criteria?

The whole basis for our faith in the news is that to the best of their ability they report the whole truth to us, not save some bits for years later. It’s a question of trust

Now that we’ve had an international incident with Cadet Bone Spurs ording a killing of a foreign Maj. General from Iran (in Iraq!) and potentially starting or escalating a NEW war in the Middle East, this book comes to us way too late. Shouldn’t we have learned this earlier? Maybe we could have done something about his clearly unstable mental state.

This should be old news, not new hot dish.

This is complete journalistic malpractice.

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12 Responses to Our Political Press Fails Us Again: “The Very Stable Genius” Edition

  1. This isn’t journalistic malpractice, it’s the journalistic equivalent of war crimes.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. donnah says:

    And to take a very valid point further, how about those generals, aides, staff, and advisers who saw this nutjob moron and quietly threw up their hands, tossed their balls out the window, and slunk off to never be seen again. Never warned us, never went to the press or told us what that idiot said and did. It sends me into orbit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MDavis says:

      Apparently some did go to the press. But WaPo sat on it for whatever reasons.
      This explains the repeated incidents of public letters sent to large newspapers. I wonder how many of those were also quashed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. DoremusJessup says:

    To paraphrase a great thinker: Mediacracy, mediocracy … it’s all the same!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. CalicoJack says:

    Howdy y’all!
    Stories like these are enough to make you question the profit motive as the basis for everything we do. Do we really want every decision based on what financially benefits us individually and as businesses?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hopefully by this time they are slipping Abilify into his soda while he lunches on his 5 quarter pounders and mega order of fries.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. jilldennison says:

    I read this earlier today and it made my blood boil. And yet, this is the behaviour that some 40% of the people in this country not only tolerate, but actually applaud. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


    • Redhand says:

      If there is any response to Tengrain’s point about media negligence in exposing this madman fully, it is this 30-40%. Tragically, I don’t think earlier disclosure of this shocking incident would have made a difference. Not only is Trump batshit crazy, but his “base” is too, as well as the GOP Congress critters who cower before him. But I am still glad the story is now out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • tengrain says:

        I’m glad the story is out now, too. No question about that.

        Maybe it’s just me, but I have not seen any media self-reflection on this. At all. If anything they are all gob-smacked that the WaPo got the story.

        We’re being failed in such a big way, it makes me wonder if we can ever fully trust the political press again. I’m beginning to doubt it.



        Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        Wait, you still have “trust” for the political press?
        May I suggest that you consider the technique I use for following foot-the-ball, er, the NFL?
        Teams are nice, (like the NYT or the Seattle Times, for example) and if you have a geographical or sentimental connection there is some value in cheering for a team. But I reserve true fan loyalty for certain players.
        I favor Stonekette, Tengrain at MPS, and the Professional Left crew, for example. Among others.
        The NYT aren’t worth broaching the paywall. I only go there if a more trustworthy news source suggests it for a particular article, or for Krugman, or if I hit a link before I realize it goes there.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. soughwind says:

    Does Drumpf have sanpaku eye in that picture?


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