More and more damning information is coming about Dr. Fauci, the Wuhan lab leak theory, and the mechanics of statecraft applied to the suppression of scientific inquiry, even from some piously leftwing outlets. The border crisis continues unabated. Mere weeks after Eastern European hackers shut down a major gas pipeline and caused gas shortages across the southeastern United States, hackers shut down the systems of Canadian beef producers, forcing an emergency shutdown of their American peers. Inflation is on the march and “shrinkflation” is now a thing.
Berlingske’s editorial team doesn’t appear to find any of these things worthy of their readers’ attention today, however.
They do, however, consider it worthy of note that former Vice President Mike Pence spoke in public for the first time about the events of January 6 (he didn’t say anything newsworthy, but The Hill ran a story, so by Pilestræde standards it must have been important).
They also felt it was important to let their readers know that “America is putting even more Chinese companies on the blacklist.” This is actually Biden expanding on a Trump policy, which is probably why Biden’s name isn’t in the headline and Trump is only referred to as “Biden’s predecessor” in the lede:
Joe Biden is expanding his predecessor’s blacklist and is now hitting especially hard at companies helping China with monitoring technology.
Against that backdrop of ignoring hard news in favor of news that makes you go meh, it’s a little bewildering that they chose to run an entire article about a tweet by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times and fluff it up with quotes sourced from the usual gang of idiots.
Here’s Haberman’s tweet:
“Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August (no that isn’t how it works but simply sharing the information).”
Which people? Anyone on the record? Anyone with a name? A title? Nah. It’s just Maggie Haberman saying so. So of course it caused hysteria, and of course Berlingske had to go stumbling after the herd:
A pillow billionaire, a former general, and a bunch of Republicans have set America on fire. Now they await Trump’s return
Kristian Mouritzen, Berlingske.dk, June 4
Is it true? Is America really on fire? I remember a lot of fires burning across the country last summer, but I was told they were fiery but peaceful. Is Trump really telling people he thinks he’ll be restored to the White House in August? Or are these drooling morons just tripping over their own tails again?
A lot people have heard Trump say a lot of things he ever said, even when he’s talking in front of cameras to big crowds. These things almost never stand up to scrutiny.
So far, the only people repeating this nonsense are all certified Trump haters, including the ostensibly conservative Charles W. Cooke at the formerly conservative National Review, who wrote a June 3 article entitled “Maggie Haberman is right.”
That might be sorta kinda credible—Cooke is sure trying to push all the right buttons, in any case:
It will be tempting for weary conservatives to dismiss this information as “old news” or as “an irrelevance.” It will be tempting, too, to downplay the enormity of what is being claimed, or to change the subject, or to attack the messengers by implying that they must “hate” Trump and his voters. But such temptations should be assiduously avoided. We are not talking here about a fringe figure within the Republican tent, but about a man who hopes to make support for his outlandish claims “a litmus test of sorts as he decides whom to endorse for state and federal contests in 2022 and 2024.” Conservatives understand why it mattered that the press lost its collective mind over Russia after Trump’s fair-and-square victory in 2016. They understand why it mattered that Hillary Clinton publicly described Trump as an “illegitimate president” who had “stolen” the election. And they understand why it mattered that Jimmy Carter insisted that Trump had “lost the election” and been “put into office because the Russians interfered.” They should understand why this matters, too.
To acknowledge that Trump is living in a fantasy world does not wipe out his achievements or render anything else he has said incorrect. It does not endorse Joe Biden or hand the Republican Party over to Bill Kristol or knock down an inch of the wall on the border. It merely demands that Donald Trump be treated like any other person: subject to gravity, open to rebuttal, and liable to be laughed at when he becomes so unmoored from the real world that it is hard to know where to begin in attempting to explain him.
I will go down on the record as saying that the idea of an August restoration is nuts. But I won’t believe that Trump said it, or believes it, until there’s a credible on-the-record statement, preferably from the Dread Tyrant himself.
Charlie Cooke should understand why I feel that way.
Note, by the way, Berlingske’s circular sourcing of the story: they cite Maggie Haberman’s tweet, then say “The story has since been confirmed by the conservative journal National Review, based on central sources in the Republican party.”
They link to the Cooke article I already linked to in support of that “confirmation,” but Cooke never says anything about “central sources in the Republican party.” What he says about his own sources is this:
I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.
Was Maggie Haberman part of that array? Regardless, who else was? And why would they be afraid to go on the record?
Haberman: some people say Trump believes this ridiculous thing.
Cooke: Haberman is right, I have talked to a bunch of people who say Trump believes this ridiculous thing. A whole array of them!
Berlingske: Haberman tweeted a thing and Cooke confirmed it with central Republican sources.
Berlingske then goes merrily running after a lot of silly stuff.
For example, General Michael Flynn bungled an answer to a question at an event in Dallas in such a ways that CNN was able to claim he supported a Myanmar-style military coup to put Trump back in office: Flynn swiftly issued a firm and unambiguous statement that he supports no such thing, but CNN’s gonna CNN. (“Flynn made the comments at an event in Dallas on Sunday that was attended by prominent peddlers of the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Big Lie,” for example, might be an appropriate line in an unhinged Rachel Maddow rant or a Bernie Sanders stump speech, but it’s not journalism.) Their concluding paragraphs deserves to be shared:
Talk among Trump supporters of a coup not only happens online; CNN spoke to followers of the former President in Ventura, California, in February who said they wanted to see a Myanmar-style coup happen here.
It’s not just online chatter, there were people in Ventura, California, who actually said this exact thing!
Could the bar possibly be set any lower?
We’re also informed that MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said that “if Trump is saying August, that is probably because he heard me say it.” There’s a link to a paywalled Daily Beast article about a podcast in which Lindell says that.
Am I the only that noticed his use of the word “if?”
If someone said, “If Joe Biden really is suffering from dementia, we should probably get him out of the White House,” would Berlingske interpret that to mean that the speaker had confirmed that Joe Biden has dementia?
Next we’re told that disgraced fabulist Sidney Powell, who once promised to “release the kraken” of election fraud evidence, has said some insane things about an inevitable Trump restoration.
Then Berlingske makes an irrational leap into a spectacular non-sequitur:
And as if that wasn’t enough, Republican politicians in two states began to demand a recount, and more are on the rise. Republican politicians, who are neither part of the QAnon movement nor other conspiracy groups for that matter, are going along with idea of a recount.
The article then describes how lawful audits are being undertaken in Arizona and Pennsylvania, and notes rather mystically (and with no specifics) that “the ghost of Trump” is haunting the once staunchly Republican state of Georgia, which had otherwise been hoping for “a certain calm in the couple of years before the next election.”
And that’s it.
An unsourced tweet, backed up by an unsourced statement by a prominent NeverTrumper, supported by a bunch of irrelevancies, topped off with a complete non-sequitur.
Heck of a job, Berlingske.
Reminder: the idea that Trump could be ushered into an office in August is idiocy: there’s no Constitutional way that could happen. Ever. It is an impossibility. But I want to stress I’m not taking a position on whether or not Trump is in fact acting as though it were a real possibility, or even whether or not he said it was: I am stating that the credibility of the people claiming that to be the case is every bit as low as the likelihood of it happening, and a high degree of skepticism is warranted.