Recently, the world-famous blogger Pharyngula (who is actually Professor P.Z. Myers of UMinn/Morris) noted that the president was running an online survey, so he asked his minions to screw it up by choosing their answers to "go against the result the poll is engineered to generate". I generally like Pharyngula, although he is sometimes too willing to conflate "scientifically proven" with "true". (Newton's laws were scientifically proven for over 300 years, but they were false the entire time. F = m⋅a is a statement about the universe that you can only "prove" if your equipment isn't very precise.)
So anyway, I clicked on the link to the poll, even though it seems politically incorrect to visit a page that has "DonaldJTrump" right there in its URL. Oh noes — my address bar is displaying Voldemort's name! But really, the poll isn't so bad, if you are willing to let the president speak his own icky Republican language.
The poll asks 25 questions, for 13 of which I am able to give the answers that The Donald wanted to evoke. That's over half! Maybe this guy isn't so bad. I suppose it's time for me to bore you with my rundown on his poll.
- The mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement: Yes! The MSM hates Trump because he clowns around too much and they want a president with gravitas, so that the stories they write about him will seem important.
- MSNBC reports fairly on Trump's presidency: No! MSNBC's viewership skews liberal, so a "fair" reporting would not convince their viewers to spend more time with them and would not maximize shareholder value.
- CNN reports fairly on Trump's presidency: No! Over the last year, CNN has morphed into the "Clinton News Network". They are as reflexively anti-Trump as Fox was anti-Bill Clinton back in the day.
- Fox reports fairly on Trump's presidency: Yes! This is an odd one. It seems to me that Fox News doesn't like Trump. He isn't the capital-C Conservative they want, but is instead a capital-P Populist. So they sometimes cheer him on and sometimes complain about him, exactly as one would expect from the "fair and balanced" coverage that Fox always claims to offer but very rarely delivers.
- Issues on which the mainstream media does the worst job of representing Republicans: Economics, Religion, Conservatism, Foreign policy. This is a hard question, since I don't really understand the Republican positions on "individual liberty" and "pro-life values" and "Second Amendment rights". A Republican poll shouldn't make me have to think!
- Television source you primarily get your news from: Local news. Another hard question, since I don't watch TV.
- Your news source not listed above: The Internet.
- Online news source you use the most: Reddit.
- Trust the mainstream media to tell the truth about the Republican Party’s positions and actions: No! I don't trust them to tell the truth about the Democrats, either. In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is unprofitable.
- The mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration: Yes! These days, "due diligence" seems to be an unnecessary frill that merely improves the media outlet's brand image but not its profitability. Did you hear about the Muslim immigrants who went on a sexual rampage in Frankfurt? Many German papers reported on that — but it didn't happen, any more than the widely-reported Black sexual rampages in the Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina. But reporting on things that didn't happen sure sells papers!
- The media unfairly reported on President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting people entering our country from nations compromised by radical Islamic terrorism: Yes! The president's order was not a "Muslim ban". It was a "temporary ban on *some* Muslims". It was specifically worded to *not* be the "Muslim ban" that the liberal side of the media have insisted on calling it ever since. And it is rather similar to orders that many previous presidents have issued, so calling it "un-American" is just being a-historical. Really the problem is that religious/ethnic restrictions on immigration are only *too* American.
- Aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported President Trump's temporary restriction executive order: Yes! I really like how this question is worded. They didn't ask, "do you believe that keeping out Muslims will help make America great again?" (No, I do not.) Instead they ask whether I knew that most Americans were in favour of the ban. Why yes, I *did* know that!
- Political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism: No opinion. I don't understand what the term "political correctness" should mean in this context, so I can't form an opinion on the question. Is this the same as "herd mentality among journalists"?
- Contrary to what the media says, raising taxes does not create jobs: Other. Raising taxes creates government jobs, which are actual jobs. Really, the question should be whether raising taxes improves the overall economy (sometimes it does).
- People of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media: Yes! In particular, people of the Islamic faith have been mischaracterized — which is probably not what Donald had in mind here but still I can agree with him!
- The media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights: No opinion. If "Second Amendment rights" includes the right of known-unstable mentally-ill people to own assault rifles, then it is not wrong for the media to attribute some of the gun violence to that.
- The media has been far too quick to spread false stories about our movement: Yes! Hey man, whatever sells more papers!
- The media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare: Yes! To some extent, this happens every time there is a change-of-control in the government. It takes the media a while to wrap their heads around the idea that (R) now means "in power" and (D) means "whiny brat", after 8 years where those symbols had the opposite meanings.
- The media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats: No. I really haven't seen this, at least to anything like the extent to which the media used to do it to Democrats in order to elect Republicans during the W. administration.
- The media creates false feuds within our Party in order to make us seem divided: No opinion. The feuds seem real, but then what do I know?
- The mainstream media has been too eager to jump to conclusions about rumored stories: Yes! Hey man, whatever sells more papers!
- If Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to President Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans: Yes. In fact, that's exactly what happened all the way through the Obama admin, which is the Dem's main (rather childish) excuse for why it is perfectly okay for them to do it back to the Repubs now, even though this proves Ralph Nader's point that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the parties.
- Agree with the President’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the White House Press Secretary questions: Other. Get real. That's not what Trump is doing. He is snubbing reporters who write stories he doesn't like and giving a chance to reporters who haven't offended him yet. It's called "media control" and every president does it in some way or other. There is no free press in the USA — and this isn't a change from the Obama administration.
- Agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people: No. If he wants to throw a temper tantrum, he can do it on Twitter.
- Our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable: Yes! There should be mild penalties for media outlets that elect to skip their due diligence; otherwise the shareholders will not approve expenditures in that area.
In other news, Craig Deare has lost his job at the National Security Council and returned to his previous job of Dean of Administration at the National Defense University (née the National War College). Deare had to go because he is an expert on Mexico and Trump doesn't want to hear opinions that disagree with his own — and Deare couldn't keep his mouth shut about that, which was fatal. Now *this* is the Trump Administration that I was expecting! It doesn't matter that Trump's initial cabinet is the "worstest ever" because many of these people will not last long on the executive payroll.