Monday 23rd of April 2018

running out of ammunitions...


According to some critics, the Saturday Night Live is running out of steam. Their spoof on Trump is losing traction. The show is not as funny nor as stupid as the real Donald. Meanwhile:

Actor Alec Baldwin's impression on Saturday Night Live of Donald Trump tricked a national newspaper into thinking he was the real thing. 

El Nacional in the Dominican Republic has now apologised for accidentally publishing a still of Alec Baldwin, captioned as the US president, next to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. 

The image accompanied an article about Israeli settlements.

The paper has said sorry to readers and "anyone affected".

The picture was sent to the newspaper along with information about Saturday Night Live, the long-running US satirical programme. 

No-one spotted the mistake, says El Nacional.

Saturday Night Live is not Mr Trump's favourite TV programme. He says Baldwin's frequent impressions of him "stink".

"Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!" he once tweeted.


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they don't like the comedy routine...

The White House correspondents’ dinner is a fixture of the Washington scene, a spring event at which the cream of political journalism shares bonhomie, fine food and comedy roasting with the politicians it reports on – including the president. Under Donald Trump, however, the dinner is facing uncertainty.

Trump, who has repeatedly attacked “the very dishonest press” and accused leading news outlets of peddling “fake news” about him, is expected nonetheless to attend the dinner, at the Washington Hilton on 29 April.

Many news outlets, however, are planning to give the event a miss. The New York Times has not sent journalists to the dinner since 2008. The Guardian, which normally attends, will not be represented there this year. Jeff Mason, a Reuters journalist and president of the WHCA, has been obliged to confirm that the event will happen.

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a crazy, cynical, creepish nick cohen...


From Nick Cohen at the Guardian...

Three types dominate extremist movements: crazies, cynics and creeps. The true crazies are always at the bottom of the heap. Cynical propagandists stoke their righteous fury, without which the extremist movement would collapse. Creeps rise to the top, in extremist movements as elsewhere. They are cynical, too, of course. They know how to manipulate their base. But they must show signs of authentic craziness as well or their grip on leadership would weaken and others would take their place.

Crazies, cynics and creeps. Of the three, the cynics are the easiest to understand. They live in the conspiratorial world of clickbait journalism where charlatans churn out fantasies for sites as various as the Telegraph and the Canary. Asking if they believe their propaganda is like asking a lawyer if she believes her client is innocent. It helps, but it is beside the point. What matters is not whether they are sincere, but whether they can fake sincerity like any other salesman or woman with a product to market.

Cynics now manipulate the fate of nations. But once they were dismissed. From the fall of the Berlin Wall until 2016, polite society believed it could safely allow the extremes to fester. The far left would never take over the Labour party. The nationalist right would never take over the US Republicans or British Conservatives. If they did, sensible voters would reject them. Hillary Clintonwould always beat Donald Trump. The British would always prefer the European devil they knew to a dangerous, uncertain future.

In this complacent environment, mainstream politicians and commentators assumed that every variety of cynic – and crazy and creep – could be bought off. David Cameron assumed he could appease the right by giving them a referendum “everybody” knew he would win. The centre left never bothered to fight the far left because “everybody” was equally certain that it was an irrelevance.

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Sure but the crasiest, creepiest, more cynical of them all are opinionated journos like Nick Cohen who only see one side of a story with one eye while pissing into the wind. 

the tearing up of tribal beliefs...


Did I forget to tell you? Donald Trump is a monster. He’s an idiot, a liar, a narcissist, a sex maniac, a torturer, a xenophobe. Come to that, he is a bully, a nepotist, an adulterer, thin-skinned, corrupt and fat. I should add that he is also a tiny-handed, Putin-loving, hateful, rightwing populist. And have you seen his hair?

Does that make you feel better? Is that OK? How is the weather round at your place? Free for lunch?


Almost nothing Trump said in his progress to office seems reliable, if only because his “policy” was mostly shot from the hip. As he said in his memoirs: “The day I realised it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience.” Much of his platform, and of what he has so far attempted in office, was repellent or stupid. But some was sensible, at least in intent.

Trump’s desire for term limits in Congress and his assault on Washington lobbyists was overdue. His remarks about Wall Street seemed at times to echo the Occupy movement. His concern for rust-belt jobs, for “urban carnage” and for spending on infrastructure was welcome.

Trump was also bold in demanding Nato rethink its core purpose and budget. He was belatedly outspoken against America’s wars of intervention and its craven links to the Gulf states. The wish to re-set relations between the west and Russia was more sensitive to Europe’s evolving balance of power than Nato’s belligerent provocations. The antagonism towards the eurozone is refreshing after the frozen, illiberal mindset of his Washington predecessors.

We may puzzle at how a man so hostile towards Mexicans, Muslims and gun control can be equally hostile to the CIA, the FBI, the Federal Reserve and the Iraq war. That is the new politics, the tearing up of tribal beliefs and identities.


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"suffer the investors under trump..."

World stock markets hit record highs – business live

All the day’s economic and financial news, as shares continue to hit new peaks 

Having hit a one-month high yesterday, London’s stock market is slightly spoiling today’s narrative by dipping in early trading.

Mining companies and oil producers are falling, pulling the FTSE 100 down by 30 points to 7272.

That’s partly due to the pound gaining against the US dollar; up half a cent to $1.25, cutting the value of revenues earned overseas in dollars.

Other European markets are a little lower, after posting seven days of gains in a row - helping to drive global markets to record highs.

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more funny than ever...

The ratings are in, and they are bad news for President Trump. Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression is so popular that it led the program to six-year ratings high and easily bested the ratings for the episode that Trump guest hosted in 2015. 

CNN reported:
The NBC comedy series, which Baldwin was hosting for a record 17th time, brought in a 7.2 overnight rating, according to NBC. That is the show’s highest overnight rating since 2011.

Baldwin, who again played Trump, brought in a bigger rating than the real thing. When Trump hosted the show as a presidential candidate in November 2015, the episode brought in a 6.6 overnight rating.

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from the murdoch press...

It was an extraordinary use of the bully pulpit, yet accounts calling it a nonstop rant don’t do it justice. Some of it was playful and teasing, and Trump wasn’t alone in finding humor on several occasions. Many journalists clearly enjoyed the raucous informality, which included back-and-forth exchanges where some freely talked over the president.

Contrast that with the previous eight years of news conferences, where President Barack Obama generally delivered long lectures to an amen chorus.

There was contrast, too, in Trump spending 50 minutes taking more than 40 questions, all spontaneous and none arranged in advance. It was a scrum to be called on, and no topic was off-topic — he answered them all.

He also made errors, repeated himself frequently and some answers raised more questions. But the overall performance was incredibly effective at creating a very different narrative about his tenure for the TV audience — the people he cares about most.

Expect those two themes — he is putting America First and much of the media is dishonest — to be the pillars of his presidency, as they were the pillars of his campaign. That’s why he’s taking his show on the road, and likely will do so regularly.

Predictably, his prime media targets reacted with feverish claims that Trump was “unhinged” and his ­attacks were “un-American.” Some said he is a threat to the First Amendment.

On the contrary, he’s embracing it. As legendary New Yorker Ed Koch often said about his own criticisms of the press and judges, he didn’t lose his First Amendment rights when he became mayor.

So it is with Trump. He’s free, like all Americans, to speak his mind. His words carry more weight as president, but attempts to silence him are truly un-American. The White House is not a coddled college safe space.

Something else Koch said also is relevant. He once called a journalist who was a partisan critic a “politician with a press pass.”

That’s how Trump sees much of the media, and he’s more right than wrong. Many tried to block his election, and now are trying to destroy his presidency.

They have a choice: get back to being journalists, or get used to being a piñata.

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critics of the critics...

This week’s cold open of Saturday Night Live sees the return of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, this time facing the possible extinction of Earth due to aliens from the planet Zorblatt 9.

The sketch purports to show how Trump would handle himself in the midst of a global – heck, universal – crisis, and finds that he’d be the same guy the show has been parodying all along – which is a nice way of saying that recent reports indicting Baldwin might be winding down his Trump portrayal on SNL might be coming just in time.

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