Kittens, it’s been an exhausting few days in this, the darkest timeline.
So, two stories broke on Friday of last week:
First, CNN reported that the Trumps received an email on September 4 with a decryption key and website address for hacked Wikileaks documents. In reality, the email was received on September 14, and CNN corrected the story within hours. (It was a bigger story if the email had been received on the 4th because Drumpf Jr. tweeted about Wikileaks on that day.)
Second, the Roy Moore accuser that claims Moore signed her yearbook came forward to say that she had added the date and place to his signature, but that everything else was written by Moore. Fox News initially tweeted that she admitted that she forged his signature, and then later issued a correction, removing any reference to forgery.
Fun game: guess which network the Liar-in-Chief claimed made a “vicious and purposeful mistake,” and called for someone to be fired. Hint: It wasn’t Fox News!
Then, a Washington Post reporter tweeted a picture that cast doubt on the size of a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida that President Largest Audience to Witness an Inauguration, Period claimed was “packed to the rafters.” The reporter, Dave Weigel apologized to Trump and deleted the photo, but that wasn’t good enough for some people:
Then, The New York Times published a piece detailing how President Lazy spends his time, and guess what? It’s mostly rage-watching TV, and drinking Diet Coke. When he’s not playing golf which he promised he would never do.
People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.
The ammunition for his Twitter war is television. No one touches the remote control except Mr. Trump and the technical support staff — at least that’s the rule. During meetings, the 60-inch screen mounted in the dining room may be muted, but Mr. Trump keeps an eye on scrolling headlines. What he misses he checks out later on what he calls his “Super TiVo,” a state-of-the-art system that records cable news.
Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.
But he is leery of being seen as tube-glued — a perception that reinforces the criticism that he is not taking the job seriously. On his recent trip to Asia, the president was told of a list of 51 fact-checking questions for this article, including one about his prodigious television watching habits. Instead of responding through an aide, he delivered a broadside on his viewing habits to befuddled reporters from other outlets on Air Force One heading to Vietnam.
“I do not watch much television,” he insisted. “I know they like to say — people that don’t know me — they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources — you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents a lot.”
Later, he groused about being forced to watch CNN in the Philippines because nothing else was available.
One former top adviser said Mr. Trump grew uncomfortable after two or three days of peace and could not handle watching the news without seeing himself on it.
During the morning, aides monitor “Fox & Friends” live or through a transcription service in much the way commodities traders might keep tabs on market futures to predict the direction of their day.
If someone on the show says something memorable and Mr. Trump does not immediately tweet about it, the president’s staff knows he may be saving Fox News for later viewing on his recorder and instead watching MSNBC or CNN live — meaning he is likely to be in a foul mood to start the day.
When the guests depart, the remote control comes back out. He is less likely to tweet at this hour, when the news he would react to is mostly recycled from hours earlier. But he watches Ms. Pirro and her fellow Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, and sometimes “hate-watches” CNN to get worked up, especially Don Lemon.
As the piece itself points out, President Snowflake does not like to be seen as spending a lot of time watching television, and he had a little snit about it:
OK, but … if you never watch Don Lemon, how do you know he’s the “dumbest man on television”?
CNN called his comments “sad” and compared President Bully to a bully. MELANIA, WHERE ARE YOU, HONEY?
He also launched another general attack on the media, which I assume was directed at CNN, the Washington Post and The “failing” New York Times, but hey! who knows! maybe he means Fox News, too, since they were also forced to retract a story recently. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here because WHY NOT:
Press Secretary Sanders then had to do a press briefing yesterday with a room full of journalists who were, let’s say, peeved at the President calling them all lying liars who lie and this hilarious exchange took place:
Q And I would just say, Sarah, that journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn’t make them fake news.
But the question that I —
MS. SANDERS: But when journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them.
Q We do.
MS. SANDERS: Sometimes — and a lot of times you don’t. But there’s a difference — there’s a very big difference —
Q The President hasn’t —
Q This wasn’t going to be my question.
MS. SANDERS: I’m sorry, I’m not finished.
MS. SANDERS: There’s a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people — something that happens regularly. You can’t say —
Q You mean like tweeting stuff on the Middle East —
MS. SANDERS: I’m not done. You cannot say —
Q He retweeted something that was completely fake, Sarah. Can he admit it?
MS. SANDERS: You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you’re purposefully putting out information that you know to be false, or when you’re taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, and that has been continually denied by a number of people, including people with direct knowledge of an instance.
This is something that —
Q Are you speaking about the President?
MIC DROP ANONYMOUS JOURNALIST.
BUT ALSO, yesterday, four of President Gropey’s accusers went on Megyn Kelly’s show to talk about their allegations against him before hosting a press conference where they called for a congressional investigation into their claims. (This also certainly contributed to Sander’s crankiness, especially when one journalist asked her if she had ever been harassed or had empathy for victims of abuse. I want to send you flowers, Journalist.)
Then, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand went a step further and called for Trump’s resignation over the scandal — which, may I remind you, is exactly why she had to call for Franken’s resignation first — which led to these charming responses from the man we elected to the highest office in the land:
That’s correct: the President of the United States suggested that a United States Senator is a prostitute.
Gillibrand responded powerfully:
This is not a fight you should have started, you vulgar nutbucket. This is a fight you are going to regret. I don’t know if you’ve been paying close attention to the news, pal, but the tide is turning, and not in your favor. Just look at all the scalps we’ve collected already — I can’t wait to add your weird orange one to them. Tick tock, motherfucker. Tick motherfucking tock.
So, to recap: The most powerful man in the world called the free press a bunch of deliberate liars, demanded reporters to be fired for mistakes they promptly corrected, called his many many accusers liars — again — and then not-so-subtly called a female Senator a whore.
I don’t have anything novel to say about this that I haven’t already said one thousand times: freedom of the press is vital to our democracy so it is particularly dangerous for the President to call for the firing of private citizens with whom he disagrees — ESPECIALLY and PARTICULARLY journalists — as it sets a dangerous precedent, has a silencing effect, and undermines the fourth estate which is supposed to serve as a check on the government’s power and blah blah blah blahdeddy blah.
As for the PRESIDENT calling a SENATOR a whore … Simply put, every single American woman should feel personally affronted and attacked by their President.
This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.
Break out those pussy hats, ladies, I think we’ll be needing them soon.
And oh, Robert Mueller? PLEASE HURRY.
In Other Gropey News
NFL Network has suspended Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans while they investigate allegations of harassment.
The New Yorker has fired and and CNN has suspended Ryan Lizza over “improper sexual conduct.” He is denying the allegations.
Actress Mia Kirshner is calling for CAA to put their money with their mouth is regarding the sexual harassment scandal, and lead an effort to combat the problem.
Oh, did Kevin Nealon defend Al Franken? This is my surprised face.
In TV News
Here’s what to expect from This is Us when it returns in January.
- Cancel Bear finally agrees with me: Valor is doomed.
- This is interesting: Fresh Off the Boat is a toss-up — unless that Disney/Fox merger goes through, in which case it will probably be renewed.
- Related: The Mick looks safe — unless the merger goes through, at which point everything is up in the air.
- Things are not looking great for Great News.
- Hawaii Five-0 has edged ahead of Blue Bloods in the ratings, giving it a good shot at renewal.
- ABC has bought a new Kenya Barris comedy that will (probably) star Alec Baldwin.
- NBC is developing Natural History, a comedy from Chris Hardwick.
- Science is adding two new shows: Building Giants and Mega Machines.
- The Grill Dads and Eat, Sleep, BBQ are coming to Food Network.
- Netflix will bring The Frankenstein Chronicles to the United States and other markets.
- Netflix has revealed its lineup of documentary shorts.
Mark Your Calendars
- The Emmys will be on September 17th, and hopefully this year I will actually not!liveblog them.
- Steven Soderberg’s miniseries Mosaic debuts on HBO on January 22. It stars Sharon Stone.
- Hunting Hitler returns on History on January 2.
- Catfish returns on MTV on January 3.
- Project Runway All Stars returns to Lifetime on January 4.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: One hour fall finale. 8 p.m., Fox
Gwen Stefani’s You Make it Feel Like Christmas: Chelsea Handler does not seem like the most obvious guest on a holiday special… 8 p.m., NBC
Independent Lens: Newtown: It’s been five years and we haven’t done nothing — we’ve made the gun situation considerably worse. 10 p.m., PBS
Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Annette Bening, Judd Apatow, SZA Late Night with Seth Meyers: Seth Rogen, Jenna Coleman, Clean Bandit & Julia Michaels, Mark Guiliana The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Tom Hanks, Katy Tur, Mac DeMarco The Late Late Show with James Corden: Owen Wilson, Jane Krakowski, Joel Edgerton, Seal Conan: James Franco, Ari Graynor, Noomi Rapace, Gary Clark Jr. The Daily Show: Bob Odenkirk The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Jessica Rosenworcel Watch What Happens Live: “Below Deck” Reunion Show
|Fresh Off the Boat
|Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
|NCIS: New Orleans
|CW||Greatest Holidays Commercial Countdown||Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
|Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas