Frontline in the War on Trump

I hope you watched the Frontline Tuesday night about Donald Trump. If you didn’t, try to download it because it will provide you with more laughs than you’ve had since election night.

I didn’t expect it to be fair, but it was so negative, Trump’s own mother wouldn’t have recognized him. According to this show, Trump has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. None. He’s motivated by revenge and spite, nothing more.

It begins with him looking at TV monitors election night. “On election night 2016 Donald Trump watched as his world suddenly changed,” says a stentorian voice. Another says, “You see in these pictures as Donald Trump is wearily and warily looking at the screen. And he looks like someone who can’t actually believe that he’s winning.”

That wasn’t my impression. It was more an expression of intensity. But you see, they are setting up a narrative that Trump isn’t meant to be president and isn’t up to the job – and he knows it.

The the Voice goes on to say “And it was a moment of vindication for a candidate who had climbed back from a bitter humiliation.” Then the show switches to the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, where Trump made an appearance. “It happened at one of Washington’s most glamorous events,” they continue. It shows him entering with Melania. The narrator goes on to explain that weeks earlier, Trump had questioned Obama’s citizenship. (Horror!) A clip of Obama shows him mocking and deriding Trump. “But that night, in front of Washington’s journalists, politicians and power brokers, Obama would hit back.” Obama called out Trump immediately and “proceeds to fillet Donald publicly.”

Yeah, well, we remember it and it made Obama look petty. But we’re supposed to believe, from all the time spent on this one incident, that Trump decided right there to run for the presidency – to spite Obama.

Don’t you imagine a lot more went into it than that? If it didn’t, why was Trump pleasant to Obama and about Obama at their first White House meeting? Oprah had talked to him in the 80s about running for president, way before Obama came on the scene.

Then they shift to Trump’s childhood. Posh, don’t you know. However, he grew up in Queens, not Manhattan, the great center of the liberal universe. “It was quite beautiful, but it was in Queens,” a woman says.

The writers go on to tell of his exploits. They are all bad.

His dad was a cold man – of course! They imply that they were eugenicists, but omit that the family grew up going to a church pastored by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. You might think that his philosophy of the power of positive thinking would give a big clue to Trump’s efforts. Nah. Little Donald instead was a handful. “Always the kid in the family that would start throwing birthday cake at all the parties; that if you built a tower of blocks he would come knock your blocks down.”

In other words, a normal boy. We should be horrified that one actually existed!

To stop these antics, “They sent him up the Hudson River, just a few miles from West Point, to the toughest boarding school they could find,” the voiceover declares. Consider how they phrase it: sent up the river, like prisoners are. Then the mention of West Point to imply that he wasn’t good enough for it. Puhleez!

Against all expectations, Trump liked it and excelled there. Of course, the teens, the show explains, spent a lot of time looking at Playboy and thinking about girls. Well I for one am shocked and disappointed that teen boys think of girls and sex.

Donald went on to go to college, then on to conquer Manhattan real estate because he wanted to upstage his dad, according to the show. None of these traits are described in any admirable way. They skip over his personal life, including the death from alcoholism of his brother, Fred. It had a big effect on him as he vowed never to become addicted to anything and is a teetotaler. They do mention the scandal of Trump leaving Ivana for Marla Maples, then head straight to the bankruptcies.

Most Americans would say that you learn a lot from failure. It strengthens and deepens you. When you are able to pick yourself up and find a way back to the top, well, it’s an American dream.

Not to Frontline producers, though. All the people who comment on Trump’s life are adversaries, except for Roger Stone. I have the feeling Frontline edited out all the nice things and anecdotes Stone gave about Trump. What he does say is nothing of particular import.

Certainly Donald Trump is no angel. He’s done things he’s not proud of and admitted that. If he were this bad, though, Hillary would have used more of this as ammunition against him. She didn’t and not out of the kindness of her heart either. Frontline could have given us a portrait that was a little bit more three dimensional than the one they gave.

That would have disturbed the liberal audience and backers of PBS, though, and they want nothing but a villainous portrait to be perpetrated.

It would be a blessing for the country if PBS gets defunded. As this profile shows, they are completely partisan and have no journalistic standards. Time to go.

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