When I first read this predictable anti-Trump Washington Post article I thought “that’s pretty lame” of Donald Trump Jr. to post such fakery, and for Trump supporters to perpetuate in such blind fashion.
But as with all news in today’s polarized political environment, one must read, and read deeply. Read cynically.
The people who spread the poll lies are just as foolish and disingenuous as the Washington Post. Everyone needs to relax, step back, and quit reacting.
Donald Trump Jr. shared a doctored image that makes his father’s Gallup presidential approval rating look 10 points higher than it actually is — surprising even people who have otherwise become numb to factual distortions from Trump’s inner circle.
Trump Jr. did not acknowledge countless requests to correct the obviously manipulated image after he posted it to Instagram late Wednesday. It was deleted Friday afternoon, by which time tens of thousands of people had seen, shared or endorsed his father’s bogus 50 percent approval rating.
So CNN’s John King pulled up a graphic based on Gallup’s presidential approval polls and various economic measures. While Trump outperformed his predecessor in terms of the deficit, employment rates and gross domestic product (Barack Obama became president during a deep recession, King noted), he clearly lagged behind Obama on the top line:
Trump had a 40 percent approval rating, compared with Obama’s 45 percent at the same point in his presidency.
Something like a consensus formed on that forum — Trump’s real approval rating ought to be 50 percent. No one cited any data. Maybe they were recalling outlier polls that have put Trump’s numbers higher, like several from Rasmussen Reports, which the president tends to cherry pick and promote. Maybe they were following an axiom that Trump once put forward: “Whatever Trump’s poll number is, add nine.”
In any case, someone soon pasted a “50%” where CNN’s “40%” had been, and the crudely doctored freeze frame began to spread across the Trump Internet.
Quite a few people noticed that this wasn’t even a quality hoax.
The “50%” was misaligned with the text on the original CNN graphic, and its background was a different shade of red. Also, by zooming in one could see that the original “40%” was still visible underneath the fake number.
It’s still unclear how Trump Jr. found the fake image, or why he decided to share it, or left it up for a day and a half. Neither he nor a representative responded to questions from The Washington Post sent Friday morning — but by midafternoon, the bogus image had disappeared from his Instagram account.
And we’re left with a chain of events and narrative that certainly appears damning to President Trump. As a public figure who’s persona is predicated on reliability, if you’re caught trying to pull a fast one on the American public in today’s digital environment, you have lost the battle. There is no reclaiming the higher ground at this point.
But I’m not one to simply let things go without digging. Unfortunately, I’m the exception, not the rule, in today’s news-consuming America.
Yes, the 50% was “faked.” This is regrettable and stupid and the result of some childish online charade which has now exposed Trump to the normal, degenerate leftist ridicule.
However, look at Fact 2. Only the approval numbers were fudged. All the other performance stats were not. President Trump is outperforming Barack Obama in key indicators which have nothing to do with public subjectivity. This is important. The people who photoshopped the CNN television screen did the Right a disservice. They distracted from the true significance of the original shot: President Trump is trumping Obama’s illusory effectiveness, but the empty-headed American public is now distracted by the stupid fakery (which might have been done as a red herring by a leftist to begin with, we’ll never know).
And keep in mind that the “true” approval gap of 5% is rather astounding given the adulation Obama was lavished while in office versus the ridicule and denigration that all facets of mainstream left culture today heap on President Trump. Those who hate Trump have a mouthpiece in pop entertainment, news, literature, art, and they express it roundly and loudly. Everywhere you look are images and exclamations of anti-Trumpism. Judging by the looks of it, Donald Trump is the most vile and malevolent fiend to ever occupy the White House. Reality is hardly this, but it’s not about reality, it’s about optics and perceptions. We live in a feminine, immature and childish 21st Century society. The fact that Donald Trump’s approval rating is only 5% less than God Obama’s is simply miraculous. In spite of the hate, and all the misplaced love, Barack Obama was only marginally more “popular” than Donald Trump at this point in his Presidency. This should be a reassuring fact to Trump supporters. Faking stupid television screens are below us.
And most importantly,
This “reality” is not important because that other 5% which prefers Barack Obama (and all other Democratic blowhards seeking to make waves) is not a factor.
They will be in jail on Election Day.
(Since the Post “discourages” archiving, this is the next best thing.)