Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Days after Donald Trump's election to Distractor-in-Chief, a pundit sagely opined: "While
C'mon, do you blame him for being smug?
people admiringly compare Pres. Obama's presidential style to three-dimensional chess, Trump is playing three-dimensional Battleship at 120 frames a second with 4K resolution: it's so clear and clean that it doesn't look real."

OK, so that pundit was me. But it doesn't mean I wasn't right, right? I was referring to the way Trump deflected bad news by throwing the press something entirely different to chew on in order to throw them off the track -- and that they fell for it every dagnabit time.

Like Trump's 1040, not as scary as it's
hyped to be.
Last night was no different. But in a way it was so different that it became headline news for the wrong reasons. 

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC's highest-rated prime time host, announced that she had Donald Trump's near-mythical tax returns -- a prize "get" similar to a movie historian stumbling upon a print of Lon Chaney's long-lost London After Midnight -- a movie every film lover wants to see despite its mediocre reputation.

Maddow's "get", alas, proved its equal in quality. 

Actually, it wasn't even her scoop as much as it was that of her guest, investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, who received photocopies of the first two pages of Trump's 2005 tax return in the mail. (By the way, how much investigating does it take to receive something that you didn't ask for?) 

And it wasn't even much of a scoop for him, either, because the White House Tweeted about it a full half-hour before Maddow's show, thus deflating what little air was left in that tire: Trump made $150-million in 2005, for which he paid $38-million in taxes.

Just put a little blond wig on it.
You would have thought that Maddow -- the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship from Oxford University -- would have been smart enough to know that while her fans would yell That's only 25% of his income!, Trump fans would think, Gee whiz, $38-million is a lotta dough! Especially when many reporters were speculating that he never paid a dime in taxes in his satsuma-faced life.

And the beauty part: Maddow and Johnston admitted that the 1040 might have come from Trump himself. You know, so that he could distract them from... oh, what is it now? The insurance reform debacle? Trump's belief that Obama wiretapped him? Investigations regarding Russian influence?

Maybe, just maybe, the stamp reading "Client Copy" might prove
the source of the 1040.
Hell,throw in Trump's penchant for ill-fitting suits and cheap neckties while you're at it. Take your pick folks -- it doesn't matter. What's important is: It worked! 

Because this morning, Rachel Maddow is waking up to bad reviews from the left -- for hyping an overdone, dried out nothingburger -- and the right -- for confirming their belief that the press is out to destroy President Trump by any means necessary.

And all that other negative news about Trump? It has, for the time being, been shoved aside so that reporters can talk about a 12 year-old tax return which shows that he paid more to the IRS in one year than they'll make in 10,000 lifetimes combined. Nice work!

To repeat: Donald Trump pulled the wool over the eyes of both an investigative reporter and a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate from Oxford. I don't want to hear anyone say how stupid Trump is.

Oh, one more thing. The Wall Street Journal already did a piece on Trump's 2005 tax return a year ago. And they got the information from public records. Maybe David Cay Johnston should have turned his investigative skills toward a Google search.


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