Guest MINDSETTER™ Forleo: Jail Trump, Not Reporters

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Guest MINDSETTER™ Steven Forleo

Donald Trump
In the recent, now famous, Comey memo, Donald Trump was alleged to have said that he wants to jail reporters for leaking classified information. Gee, what a surprise. Was he looking in the mirror? 

Famous for Being Famous 

This narcissistic political neophyte who made his living from inheriting daddy's apartment buildings, and became famous from nothing more than bombastic rhetoric, creating delusional self-importance, spreading outright lies and conspiracy theories, and begging to get on Page Six of The New York Post, now thinks he can thwart First Amendment Rights of a free press and jail anyone for leaking classified information? 

Hello, memo to funhouse brain. You, DT, used the free press to get where you are today. That, in itself, is frightening enough. The irony is dripping, thus melting into hypocrisy.

Why does Trump think he has autocratic power to arbitrarily throw reporters in jail? Does he think Judge Jeanine (or Judy) will allow him to play tinhorn dictator? I know he's a bad TV actor, but he can’t produce a remake of Moon Over Parador. (Sorry, my man, you can't pull off Method acting).

Trump's alleged uninformed remarks to Comey only serve to make a free press stronger, invigorated, and unified in investigating his every move, and tweet. His thuggish behavior, prompting sycophants to hate or belittle any reporter attempting to ask questions, even to the point of arresting a reporter for asking the HHS Secretary, Tom Price a question? The nerve…

Does Trump really think he can bully a free press into submission? Believe  he can obfuscate and bluster his way into forcing reporters to give up? Think again, Don the Con. We are on to you.

Fake News Redux

But his insistence on calling reputable news organizations “fake” news only inspires those media outlets to dig deeper. Eventually the hole will deepen, the chasm will widen, and his reign of terror (and error) will be finished. This beautiful republic is much stronger than his Romanov leanings.

As much as I would like to say he's unique, he's just another hypocrite who wants to commandeer the ship of state, a wrangling pirate aboard a ship of fools.

The GOP deckhands appear complicit in his coup aspirations. This Congress is comfortably ensconced in silence while he attacks (unabated) any reporter within his cheap necktie’s length. I know why he loathes the press.  Because he's always been afraid of two things; tax returns and facts. And I’m not sure the latter supersedes the former.

So if Trump can’t stand factual information, then he creates a false narrative, using his state-run twin propaganda outlets, Breitbart and Fixed News Network.  Am I getting warm? 

But I get why he has a penchant for control because he was never the cool kid from Manhattan. Look who he now surrounds himself with. Let’s see, Sessions, Flynn (oops, sorry), Spicey, Kellyanne, Bannon, Priebus, and McMaster. Oh, let’s not forget Jared & Ivanka, when they’re not hangin’ down the Jersey Shore with Snooki and The Situation.

Get the Story?

When a politician is insecure and uncertain, the easiest route to fueling the Id is to surround oneself with a coterie of flatterers. It's soothing to the inexperienced and bruised ego, right?

There you have it, Mr. Fake President. Yes, flattery, the organic opiate. Much better than fistfuls of chocolate.

However, a free press is not a bunch of rose petal throwers for you, #Sad. Nor is a responsible free press your personal punching bag. But never let a fact get in the way of a haymaker, correct? 

Trump can say almost anything he wants about the press? In the press. And about others in our society? That’s how he was elected, remember? Of course, how could I forget, he never stops telling us. And telling us...

What separates us from those banana republics Trump so admires is a determined, vibrant free press. Jefferson taught us that a free press criticizing government is essential to our democracy. He always didn't like what was written but he respected the right to write.  

A free press is adversarial, exposes political shennagins, holds public servents accountable, and should never stop speaking truth to power. And we all know how much Trump adores power. 

So did the man behind the curtain.

Look what happened to him.


Steven F. Forleo is a professor at CCRI. He very much likes the First Amendment, and is a strong advocate for student journalism. 

  • Jennifer Duffy

    Cook Report

    "We don't really know what a Trump presidency means for the nation, never mind the smallest state.  One of the unintended consequences of last night's results is that Sen. Jack Reed won't be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Chalk that up as a loss for RI."

  • Pam Gencarella

    Head of Ocean State Taxpayers' Association

    "Trump’s win means that his signature issue, illegal immigration, could have a big impact on RI, hopefully reversing our course as a sanctuary state and saving the state taxpayer millions of dollars.  While we agree with his 'repeal and replace' Obamacare stance, we have no idea what that means to the RI debacle known as UHIP.  It is not a stretch to believe that federal funding for this kind of system will be off the table so, will RI be stuck with this massively expensive system that still doesn’t work and that is expected to cost another $124 million to fix?  

    Trump's belief that there is significant fraud in the Food Stamp program and the policies that may come from that belief could have a negative impact on RI's local economy since there are businesses in certain cities that rely heavily on this program, fraud and all. On the upside, we may be able to ditch the UHIP program if there is significantly less need for processing welfare program requests (ie. Medicaid and food stamps) resulting from fewer illegal immigrants and less fraud.  While we are ambivalent about his touted child care policies, if enacted, it may force our legislators to revisit the ever growing state cost of subsidies in this area and possibly reduce the fraud and abuse in this system." 

  • Kay Israel

    Professor at Rhode Island College

    "With a Republican President and Congress, Rhode Island will probably be excluded from the 'fruits of victory."  

    The congressional delegation will be able to vocally make their presence felt, but in the long term it's more symbolic than substantive.  

    For Rhode Island it's a matter of holding on and waiting until '18 or '20 and a surge in Democratic influence."

  • Jennifer Lawless

    Professor at American University

    "The RI congressional delegation just became even less powerful than it was. With unified government, Trump doesn’t need to quell Democrats’ concerns or acquiesce because he’s worried about a Democratically-controlled Senate.

    His appointments will reflect that. His executive orders will affect that. And the conservative policy agenda he puts forward will affect that."

  • Len Lardaro

    Professor at University of Rhode Island

    "Well there's a few things -- because there's not going to be gridlock, that's a big difference if it had been Hillary and a GOP Congress, in which nothing would got done. We'll at least get a half a billion in infrastructure that's going to pass which will have an impact.

    I think you'll see there will be reduced reliance on government nationally -- and that's where we'll stick out like sore thumb. We've relied way too much on government -- and our government is highly inefficient and ineffective.  Maybe, just maybe, in this who cycle of things we might be forced to be small and more efficient for once.

    A couple of other things -- interest rates jumped. The one to follow is the ten year government bond rate -- which is tied to mortgages. It went from 1.7% to 2.05% in one day. The point is -- if the ten year stays high, mortgage rates will start going higher -- and in the short time people will run to re-finance. 

    That's the short term impact -- but then if rates stay hight, that will make mortgages more out of reach. And we just passed a bond issue to limit open space -- housing has limited upside here.
    The next thing -- the Fed Reserve will go ahead with tightening next month. A strong dollar will hurt manufacturing. When the dollar is strong our exports become more expensive overseas. 

    Our goods production sector -- manufacturing and construction -- in the near term will do a little better, but as time goes on will be more limited. But something you won't hear, is there are lags in fiscal policy, of six months to year. So we won't really see the effects until the third our fourth quarter of 2017, going into 2018."

  • Mike Stenhouse

    RI Center for Freedon and Prosperity

    "As the unbelievable turned into reality this morning, it struck me that the presidential election was not really all about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was about a fed-up people, revolting against a corrupt system - the "beast" - that relentlessly favors insiders. Hillary personified the beast, while Donald personified the slayer.

    Sadly, based on election results in our state, Rhode Island's version of the beast lives on. I fear our political class has not learned the lessons from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump movements - and will continue with their government-centric, anti-family, anti-business status quo."

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