TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Attacks on Donald Trump have been fast and furious, but some appeared to be so cheap, ridiculous or hurtful that even the man himself was too embarrassed to list them in his "Fake News Awards." Are they credible? You be the judge.
While previously thrown around as a vague insult, this accusation has been recently used more literally, with such impartial president-watchers as Joe Scarborough and Michael Wolff listing incidents of Trump’s reluctance to talk about reading and claims by unnamed White House insiders that the president is “no more than semi-literate.”
#Resistance Youtubers seized on the idea, and started meticulously picking apart “evidence” in Trump’s body language and behavior to reinforce the idea that his reading skills are rudimentary.
There is a basic implausibility of a silver-spoon heir going from an elite military school; to Wharton; to concluding billion-dollar-deals; to signing acts as the president; without knowing what is written, but perhaps that would fit in with an image of Trump as a maverick savant.
Just thinking more day-to-day... Could Trump send his uncensored and eccentrically-spelt tweets without knowing how to read? Would an illiterate person even know how Twitter works? Would he bother to attack the “failing” New York Times?
Trump often has to deliver lengthy speeches, whose contents are known in advance. To assume that he can memorize them perfectly without notes in hours would really make him a “stable genius” of the oral tradition.
Trying to nail the thrice-married serial cheater, who was elected despite epic prior coverage of his ‘locker-room talk’ audio, on grounds of morality, is harder than it looks.
Here, the media has either overshot or undershot the public revulsion target.
The Christopher Steele dossier image of Trump marshaling compliant Russian prostitutes to defile the bed Barack Obama had slept on was too lurid, cartoonish and cheaply satirical.
Meanwhile, the much-touted Stormy Daniels revelations of Trump as a “one-position” superannuated gallant, “obsessively”watching Shark Week in his hotel room and complimenting the porn star with awkward comparisons to his daughter, came off more tame and pathetic than explosive. The fact, that in the context of the #MeToo campaign, professing that women had to be believed, Daniels’ denials of the story – whether or not paid for with hush money – were batted away for the sake of attacking a political opponent, also flavored the affair with an aftertaste of hypocrisy.