CNN’s hour of lies

Last night, CNN hosted a town hall for Trump. I didn’t watch it. My trust in the that news outlet was already low, but after they announced they were going to host this debacle, I’m writing the network off. The town hall was a catastrophe for the truth.

Donald Trump’s long-awaited return to CNN went off the rails almost immediately on Wednesday night, with the former president using the exclusive town hall event to repeatedly lie, mislead viewers, and steamroll CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins—all to the delight of a Trump-adoring crowd.

From the very first seconds of the town hall, Trump was lying. When Collins opened the event with a softball—“Why should Americans put you back in the White House?”—Trump immediately leaned into his normal election lies. He repeated debunked theories and passionately argued the election was stolen.

When he got his first question from the crowd—Will you suspend the “polarizing” talk about election fraud?—a question that had already been answered in the first minute of the town hall, Trump just pushed forward with more disproven election falsehoods.

Collins, by the way, was recruited from Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. The CNN executives had to know she was a poor choice, on top of knowing that Trump was going to lie non-stop, and that his audience was going to love it. They figured it out partway through (I knew what was going to happen last week when I heard about this nonsense — put me in charge of CNN, already, I’m smarter than anyone there.)

Halfway through the town hall, CNN staffers were acknowledging the event was a disaster for the truth.

“This is so bad,” one of CNN’s on-air personalities told The Daily Beast before the first commercial break. “I was cautiously optimistic despite the criticism… it is awful. It’s a Trump infomercial. We’re going to get crushed.”

“One of the worst hours I’ve ever seen on our air,” another CNN staffer told The Daily Beast.

And yet another on-air commentator for CNN was clear this wasn’t a good night for the cable news channel. “I’m floored by this whole evening,” this person said.

Right now, analysts at the network are reading over the viewership stats, and if this hour of non-news and MAGA propaganda was popular, you can expect to see lots more of it for the next year and a half.

Wait, I just realized the presidential race has already begun, and is going to go on interminably. Another reason to turn CNN off.

Fuck all of these guys.


  1. moonslicer says

    I didn’t watch it live of course. I saw some of the low-lights on YouTube this morning. I saw the bit where Trump was describing his encounter with E. Jean Carroll, making a joke of it to the laughter and applause of his fans in the audience.

    When people have become so deeply poisoned, it’s hard to see how to heal them. To hurt someone so badly, then laugh about it, it’s hard to see how people can sink any lower.

  2. says

    Don’t blame Collins — from what I’ve read she did challenge him and call him out on his lies constantly. The problem is that the crowd was with him, and her job was hopeless. But that aside CNN most certainly should not have given him the platform.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    The conservatives yell “boycott” whenever their feelings get hurt.

    Hmm…one might make a case for boycitting companies that shows tv ads in a channel that offers live, unfiltered coverage of conspiracy theories, and live, unfiltered coverage of a sex offender that makes crude jokes about his victims.
    The only way to have an effect on CNN bugwigs is to hurt the bottom line.
    And if you do not draw a line now, he will once again get billions worth of unpaid coverage.

  4. nomaduk says

    Wait, I just realized the presidential race has already begun, and is going to go on interminably.

    US elections have become nonstop affairs. It’s all elections, all the time, month after month after year after year. If it’s not presidential (and it’s always presidential), it’s congressional, and the bullshit never, ever stops. It’s one of the reasons living in this country is hell.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Moonslicer:” …When people have been so deeply poisoned…”

    I would make a case that it is like providing live coverage for David Duke.
    The difference is, Duke -while being a hateful asshole- can put together a sentence without murdering the english language.

  6. stuffin says

    CNN is doing anything they can to raise ratings. Even if it means bringing over some of the FOX faithful. Someone has to fill the Tucker Carlson void.

  7. says

    Heather Cox Richardson’s commentary on the disinfomercial was (as ever) insightful:
    <<Trump was speaking at what CNN billed as a “Town Hall” in front of a crowd of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, but the event quickly turned into a Trump rally. Trump played to the audience, which laughed at his attacks on E. Jean Carroll and cheered on the constant stream of lies that are by now a set performance. He steamrolled journalist Kaitlan Collins, who tried but could not counter his stream of lies. When he finished, the audience gave him a standing ovation.

    A CNN media personality told Daily Beast media reporter Justin Baragona, “It is so bad. I was cautiously optimistic despite the criticism. It is awful. It’s a Trump infomercial. We’re going to get crushed.” A senior Trump advisor told senior NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake that the campaign team “is thrilled with how the night went.” The person called the event a “home run” and said “when the lefts melting down, we know it was a good day.”

    Maybe. But according to legal analyst Andrew Weissman, Trump’s embrace of the January 6 rioters and promise to pardon them if he’s reelected feeds a potential case against him. He made similarly revealing comments about his theft and retention of documents marked classified. It was that very kind of indiscretion that enabled Carroll’s lawyers to beat him in court.

    More important, though, while Trump’s base will love his performance, watching his lies and cruelty while his supporters laugh and cheer him on will remind voters of exactly what they worked so hard to reject in 2020. A Biden campaign advisor told NBC News White House correspondent Mike Memoli: “Weeks worth of damning content in one hour…. It was quite efficient.” It might turn out that, as journalist Ana Navarro-Cárdenas tweeted, “[Joe Biden] is the winner of tonight’s town-hall.”

    As Biden tweeted after the performance: “It’s simple, folks. Do you want four more years of that?”>>

  8. Doc Bill says

    I like Kaitlan Collins. She was White House Correspondent for the Orange Menace and even had her credentials removed in an embarrassing, belittling way. Then she got stuck on this stupid morning show with the failing Don Lemon who soon imploded. But, Kaitlan is a straight-shooter and a serious journalist. Sadly, she needs to jump from CNN faster than you can say “career ending.” Tangerine Palpatine covered her in shit and she’ll never shake the stench at CNN. Run, Kaitlan, run!

  9. raven says

    Oddly enough, the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination right now is…Trump.

    No one else is even close.
    It’s Trump at 60% and the next one is DeSantis at 19%.
    The chance that Trump is going to be nominated again is very high!

    The second runner up, DeSantis is trying to out horrible person Trump and might succeed at that anyway. He has all the charisma of a Death Camp guard, which is easy for him since that is what he closely resembles.

    Data below from a poll a few days ago.
    Tracking the 2024 Republican Primary: Trump Leads DeSantis by 41 Points

    Tracking the 2024 Republican Primary: Trump Leads DeSantis by 41 Points Among GOP Primary Voters
    Updated: May 9, 2023 | By Eli Yokley
    Bar chart with 11 bars.

    Trump 60%
    Ron DeSantis 19%
    Mike Pence 5%

    Responses shown among potential GOP primary voters, who said they would vote for each of the above if the 2024 Republican primary or caucus were held in their state today.

    Survey conducted May 5-7, 2023, among 3,574 potential Republican primary voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

  10. euclide says

    As far as I’m concerned, French TV is awful, but I can watch it at small dose when I’m visiting my mom

    I’ve been to the States 2 times for work
    I tried to watch TV in my hotel room there once. It took me 10 minutes to decide that jumping from the 10th floor would be a better idea that powering up that TV again.

  11. crivitz says

    @Raven 9.
    “[DeSantis] has all the charisma of a Death Camp guard…”
    He sort of was one of those at Guantanamo I believe.

  12. says

    But, Kaitlan is a straight-shooter and a serious journalist

    Did she ask Trump any tough questions, like: “It now appears that your own voting machine fraud consultants told you that you lost, well before Jan 6. The Dominion/Fox lawsuit disclosed that everyone at Fox knew your claims of fraud are bogus. Yet you continue to claim the election was rigged. What are you basing that claim upon?”

    No? Because that’s what a serious journalist would ask. Anyone not asking something like that is a hack who is trading their credulity for access.

  13. says

    No one else is even close.
    It’s Trump at 60% and the next one is DeSantis at 19%.
    The chance that Trump is going to be nominated again is very high!

    I like Beau’s take on it (and hope he’s right) which is that the republicans can’t run a candidate other than Trump, but Trump can’t win a general election. What a nasty dilemma for the republicans! I wonder if there are forces within the republican party that are going to try to steal the nomination from him. Most Americans forget that the original “stop the steal” meme was started when the republican party tried to maneuver Trump off the ticket for the nomination.

  14. whywhywhy says

    Are all the comments Trump is making regarding being found liable as a sex abuser grounds for another defamation suit by Carroll?

    Anyone who works for CNN (or in the media in general) should be fired and banned from working in journalism if they were at all surprised by how the ‘Town Hall’ went. Anyone with a shred of a brain cell could see how it would turn out.

    #2 Defend Collins all you want but she still accepted going into the Town Hall. I would have quit (and yes I have quit positions that asked me to violate my own principles. I would hope that any journalist would refuse to host a night of lies.).

  15. Rich Woods says

    A full evening of a lying narcissist basking in the slavish adulation of his deluded and ignorant followers. This is where democracy goes to die.

  16. microraptor says

    CNN was never exactly a great news network, but ever since Discovery Network bought Warner last year it’s really gone down the tubes.

  17. mamba says

    Since Trump so often said that CNN is “fake news” and told his followers it should not be trusted…
    …does that mean he gave everyone permission to just assume everything he spoke is a lie on that show?

    Basic logic, the downfall of Trump and his supporters everywhere.

  18. wzrd1 says

    I’ve noticed one thing with Trump appearances. He has long stopped giving a customary introduction of himself at the onset of any speaking engagement.
    This allows him to begin and end a speaking engagement, interview, speech, town hall or rally with never having to interrupt his stream of lies by saying even a single thing that was true.
    He’s like a chatbot AI driven lie generator, whose only rule is to never give a truthful response. Not even a half-truth or simple distortion, but everything is a whopper and if pressed, greater howlers ensue.

    Over the decades, I can truthfully say that I’ve only hated one person. That is, truthfully hated that individual with every fiber of my being and well, that individual was a very real terrorist. Then, I met Trump, bringing the number to two.
    The man with the inverse Midas touch, for everything that he touches turns straight into shit and alas, he touched our nation and her leadership, giving us leadershit.

    But, CNN did succeed in one thing. They went out of their way to put themselves onto the top of my shit list. So, their channel won’t be selected on the few times I engage live television and I’m DNS poisoning their website address on my network. The latter, denying them even a single hit, should an advertisement have something hosted on CNN’s network.

    But, I do disagree with some here about Trump. He decidedly does not have the charm and personality of a death camp guard. He’s much closer to having the charm and personality of Irma Grese, a person who made her boss, Josef Mengele look good as a person.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    It currently looks like Biden vs Trump will be bad for the Republicans.
    If Joe Biden slips in his bathtub or has a stroke, it would probably end up being Bernie vs Rapist McRapeface as the current VP is less than charismatic. That might be even worse for the Republicans.

  20. R. L. Foster says

    I feel as though I have sleep paralysis. Only my eyes and ears are working and this is what I’m being forced to endure for years on end. It never ends and I can’t move. If Dante were alive he would’ve added this as a 10th circle of hell.

  21. grandolddeity says

    I tuned in. I’ll wager Kaitlin smacked DJT down more than anyone other than Ivana, Marla, and Melania.

    I had to bail at about 15 minutes due to post-Trump stress disorder rearing it’s shingles-and-tension-headache-like symptoms. Now I’m fighting off the lingering depression from understanding that he has so many supporters. I worry I may have long ‘pTsd’.

  22. HidariMak says

    I only skimmed some headlines about the propaganda-fest after it happened. My hope was that Dolt-45 would be so hopped up on Aderall following the court loss, that he’d look even more unhinged than usual. I wasn’t expecting CNN to give him such a padded crib though.
    Considering how very few talking points the idiot has, CNN could have very easily had a short paragraph typed up for each one, and just display it on screen as needed. Instead it sounds like CNN just decided to lose their audience in hopes of gaining Faux News’ audience. Hopefully this stunt will just hurt them instead. Either way, CNN has lost my interest.

  23. seachange says

    CNN’s new CEO telegraphed loudly this kind of thing is what he was going to do. All y’all are surprised at the fake-news-ness of CNN, but you-all shouldn’t be. I have a Samsung phone and the Google search that comes bundled with this phone, it comes with a very deeply paid ‘news’feed. (Cruise lines have deep deep pockets for this, so them crying poor from COVID-19 is massively disproven, to me) Oddly, my Chromebox does not do this paid newsfeed thing for some reason.

    CNN is one of Google’s regular customers in terms of paying to make sure that their coverage gets listed, sometimes the same story but with tweaks also appearing, and listed first. Sometimes stories by them that have less interest in the public goes first, too. I read/scan CNN because they show up on this and for no other reason. They are a business. I want to see -what- they’re paying for. The change in tone of CNN’s news since this dude was hired by them, while gradual, is noticeable. So my reading has turned into scanning; and will now be ignoring.

  24. lotharloo says

    @15 Marcus Ranum:
    Trump can absolutely win against Biden, he is even ahead in some polls. Biden will likely win the popular vote but the race will always be close and very loseable for Biden. Biden is too old and he is a very hard to sell. The only game that Dems have is to scare people by Drumpf.

  25. springa73 says

    It seems extraordinary to me that anyone, let alone news professionals, were surprised that Trump would use any opportunity to lie and attack his critics and opponents. When has he behaved any other way?

  26. says


    If you think Joe is too old for the Presidency then explain these 2 people who are/were actively doing their respective jobs at Biden’s age such as the still living Jimmy Carter working on building homes for the homeless in his 80s’ and 90s’ and The Late Great Betty White who was highly active in the entertainment world in her 80s’ and 90s’? And none of them faltered or have any major health issues affecting them while doing their respective jobs? President Biden is in his 80s’ and he’s still healthy, going strong, and active. He’s ready to do another term in the WH and I’ll be there to support him all the way.

    It just comes to show that you’re never too old to do whatever kind of job you enjoy doing.

  27. raven says

    If you think Joe is too old for the Presidency then explain these 2 people who are/were actively doing their respective jobs at Biden’s age…


    I have a friend who is now 84.
    He still goes kayaking once a week or so in the summer on the local waterways and he is still a strong paddler.

    We joke that he is a better kayaker than almost all of his peer group.
    Because most of his peer group are…dead.

  28. numerobis says

    grandolddeity: that’s just what TDS does to normal people. Trumpists have different symptoms because they’ve reprogrammed their brains, the rest of us get headaches.

  29. gijoel says

    I hope Trump’s poisonous heart strangles him in his sleep, but I fear the wing-nuts will find someone even worse to support.

  30. wzrd1 says

    springa73 @28, there is a time when he doesn’t behave that way. Fortunately, we don’t get to witness it, as we’d have to sleep with him.

    @Owosso Harpist and raven, there is one thing that irritates me about Biden and raven’s friend. Both are doing ever so much better physically than I am and I’m 20+ years younger than them. ;)
    Good for them!

  31. Ridana says

    Collins didn’t do that bad a job (not great, but she did try to counter his lies a bit – kinda of like trying to hold your ground in the face of a firehose, but still, more than Tapper or Cillizza ever did). The proof is that he called her “nasty,” an epithet he usually reserves for Black women, and toward the end felt the need to try to intimidate her by standing up and towering over her, like he did with Hillary. And to her credit, she didn’t back away.

  32. says

    I’m amazed that CNN had no provisions to cut Trump’s mic or turn up the volume on hers, or to tase him or shoot him. Anyone should have expected that performance and been prepared for it.

    Zoom is a good technology for this. Just have the moderator turn off Trump’s sound when he’s not supposed to be talking. Of course he would never agree to that – so they gave him a microphone on his terms. They knew what would happen.

  33. birgerjohansson says

    For fuck’s sake, why cannot the Republicans recruit some classy evil bastard instead of this orc?
    There must be some racist or corrupt businessman/politician who does’t look creepy on TV. I am thinking old school Bond villain, someone who drinks wine while dropping napalm on rivals.
    David Duke us too klansy even for Republicans, Ron Paul too old…

  34. lanir says

    @Marcus #35:

    This could only really have gone one of two ways. 1. The way it happened. 2. Five or fewer minutes of talking with Trump, then cutting away to another team of talking heads who brutally dissect the lies he just told. And back in the studio with Trump they just shut down the whole affair, turn off the mics, and kill the stage lights. If he wants to keep performing he can shout his lies in the parking lot. The punishment for really blatant falsehoods like his has to be deplatforming or it doesn’t matter. And if him lying is ever newsworthy again for some reason the setup should be something like “Trump Still Lying About 2020 Election.”

  35. chrislawson says

    The only surprising aspect of all this is that some CNN people were ‘cautiously optimistic’ about it beforehand. What have they been watching the last 10 years? DT behaved exactly as expected, and yet they failed to set any boundaries or plan any responses to it. It’s almost as if they knew this was coming, knew it was dangerous broadcasting, but wanted the ratings boost and are now pretending it was all such a surprise to them!

    ‘No, officer, how could anyone have predicted that giving a chimpanzee a dose of meth and a loaded Uzi at the county fair could go so wrong?’

  36. says

    Drumpf’s comments do, in isolation, set up another lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll against him for defamation.


    there will be big arguments about the standard of proof — this time, because Carroll is probably much closer to a “limited-purpose public figure” (because this time she was the plaintiff before, so she “injected herself into the controversy”). Which creates a legal problem, and a ground to delay any trial while that question (a mixed question of law and fact that would be amenable to an interlocutory = during the middle of things appeal) gets litigated. Endlessly. Distracting from what was said…

    …and what was said is close enough to hyperbole-as-a-matter-of-law and opinion that it’s going to be a contest of who hires the better lawyer(s) rather than the merits of the case. I think that if Carroll does sue for defamation based just upon this “town hall” (and the “town” was probably Paul Simon’s My Little Town, that is Queens — not coincidentally, where Drumpf actually grew up), Drumpf changes lawyers to a much-purer “First Amendment hired gun” type. Which means each side can expect to spend a minimum of $1.5 million on attorneys’ fees.

    Then, too, if Carroll is determined to be a limited-purpose public figure, the standard of proof is a lot higher — actual malice (which really has nothing to do with the dictionary definition of “malice”). And there’s a problem here: The Orange One is so delusional that he might be found unable to have knowingly uttered a falsehood.

  37. bcw bcw says

    I guess my biggest takeaway was that Trump sure seemed to be confessing to a lot of crimes. His statements on the stolen documents, on the Georgia ballot tampering and the rape seemed pretty incriminating, they may show up at his next trial.

  38. chrislawson says


    ‘The Orange One is so delusional that he might be found unable to have knowingly uttered a falsehood.’ Yes, but this requires DT’s legal team to present him to the court as seriously mentally ill, which he will never agree to.

  39. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson @ 37, well, contending is Tommy Tuberville, (R) Alabama, who griped to the press about how evil Biden is, injuring the US DoD by suppressing white supremacists.
    I wish I was making this up, but no, dude had a cruse ship steam whistle for that dog whistle.

    Jaws @ 40, I’m rather with chrislawson on this one. I can’t see Trump admitting in any way to delusions, as that would be to willingly admit to an imperfection and we all know that he’s perfect. He said so, repeatedly.

  40. says

    Chrislawson and wzrd1, you’re assuming that there must be a formal presentation of that as a defense. There might need to be if we were talking only about a summary judgment — but that’s extraordinarily rare in defamation matters. Instead, I would expect to see a wink-wink-nudge-nudge approach to the jury that is not judgmental at all, and merely characterizes everything The Orange One said as his “opinion.” They’ll keep saying opinion-opinion-opinion even as to statements that the judge has already ruled are statements of (alleged) fact. They’ll risk the sanctions, and interim rulings in the courtroom, and the judge striking questions or statements made in the opening or closing statements… because the reality is that in defamation matters, the jury never completely disregards anything. They’ll present him as delusional and incapable of distinguishing between purported “objective fact” and his personal beliefs without ever explicitly playing the mental-illness/defect card.

    And this strategy can work, in the hands of a specialist. Or, more likely, the bank account of a specialist. The most-notorious instances involve the basis of the personal beliefs having a religious undercurrent (snark: since the Orange One worships himself, they might try that here!). In this instance, too, it’s going to be very difficult indeed to empanel a jury that includes only members who haven’t heard about Mary Trump’s book, which explicitly lays out an evaluation by a mental-health professional based on substantial observation that the Orange One has a condition of that nature.

    Plus, there’s one other frustrating thing about juries in defamation cases: Perhaps nowhere in law is one more likely to run into lawyers who tried the case in a dark corner of the bar at a convention, weeks or months afterward, pour them a tasty beverage of choice, and learn that the lawyer doesn’t understand exactly how the jury reached its conclusion — win or lose. IMNSHO, those uncertainties are being pondered by Carroll’s lawyer, and Carroll herself — especially as to the absolute-malice standard that they must prove (if, as I noted above, Carroll is found to be a limited-purpose public figure here), by a preponderance of the evidence (“more probable than not”), that The Orange One actually knew or was subjectively reckless regarding the truth and chose to speak anyway.

  41. John Morales says


    And there’s a problem here: The Orange One is so delusional that he might be found unable to have knowingly uttered a falsehood.

    Um, that’s not how it went last time (this time, close enough).

    Why should the next time be different?

  42. John Morales says

    I mean, different messages there, to be obvious.

    Delusional and unable to discriminate falsehood kinda contrasts with competent.

  43. StevoR says

    @42. chrislawson :

    Jaws@40–‘The Orange One is so delusional that he might be found unable to have knowingly uttered a falsehood.’ Yes, but this requires DT’s legal team to present him to the court as seriously mentally ill, which he will never agree to.

    Except that even if that’s not presented incourt given how well people know Trump by now a jury might possibly decide that that is the case anyhow?

    Not sure if juries get enough leeway to rule based on that like that but maybe?

  44. says

    bcw bcw@#41:
    I guess my biggest takeaway was that Trump sure seemed to be confessing to a lot of crimes.

    One of the interesting things about Trump’s crime spree is that many of his defenses appear to be affirmative, i.e: “yeah I did that but it’s ok because ${shifting stream of bullshit reasons}” Back in the day, I knew lawyers who said affirmative defenses were doom. So, for example, a normal person who stole classified documents and gave the intelligence community a run-around and affirmative defense would be in custody awaiting their inevitable conviction. Then there’s “sure I sexually assault women, but not that one” it’s so mind-blowing! He hasn’t even mounted a defense regarding his insurrection, unless it’s sort of “well the election was already stolen and I was trying to steal it back”…

    Now is when I sound like a conspiracy theorist. I think Merrick Garland is not concerned with justice, he’s concerned with protecting the institution of the presidency. That’s why Trump was not immediately charged with the secret documents. And you’ll also notice that the Mueller report, which said that there was obstruction of justice, just sort of never was re-surfaced. When Trump basically dared Garland to bring charges, Garland kicked the can down the road by bringing in Jack Smith. The Jan 6 Comittee and DA Willis both uncovered the outlines of a massive disorganized coup, and Garland stood around with his hands in his pockets while subpoenas were blown off all over the place. You can bet Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton are seething with envy. Trump obstructed justice in the Russia influence affair, and Jan 6, and the Stormy Daniels incident. He has not mounted a defense against any of those, except “witch hunt” (to which the reply should be “sometimes witch hunts find a witch”) he’s too experienced a criminal to deny matters of fact because there are receipts all over the place, and he knows where more are.

    My money is on the hypothetical that after a bit of stalling, DA Willis’ case is going to evaporate (she’ll probably become the DA of a bowling alley in an Army base in Qatar or something) and Jack Smith is going to continue to produce an airtight charging document that will wind up buried in classification. And 15 years from now, someone will leak it (right after Trump is safely dead) and the leaker will wind up in a federal prison for espionage act violations.

    I hope I’m wrong. But the fact that the DOJ has him dead to rights on witness tampering and espionage act, and has staunchly done nothing, is a big red flag. I remember when my fellow liberals were cheering “it’s Mueller time” and that came and went and nobody has dug up the body, which is quite ripe by now. We’re going to be expected to forget this. I bet they’re going to stall until Trump dies and suddenly we’ll learn that he had serious dementia, was addicted to Adderal, had a long-term thing with Hope Hicks, harassed every woman in the white house except Kellyanne Conway because she was scary, etc. It’s going to use up half of the US Strategic Whitewash reserve, but if that’s what it takes that’ll be how it goes down.

    Did I mention that I really hope I’m wrong?

    In 2017 I predicted that Mueller was emplaced to do a report that was prepped for burial [stderr] you’ll notice he did exactly what he was supposed to: handed his report to the guy with the shovel. He didn’t leak it, didn’t fuss, didn’t go public. Etc. Because he was supposed to do exactly what he did.

  45. Silentbob says

    @ 47 StevoR

    Except that even if that’s not presented incourt given how well people know Trump by now a jury might possibly decide that that is the case anyhow?

    That’s literally the opposite of how courts work you fucking pillock.

  46. wzrd1 says

    Jaws @ 44, “…the jury never completely disregards anything.” I’m intimately familiar with the tactic, having witnessed it in use as a juror in multiple civil trials. To me, when bringing up that which has been ruled against, is an affont to my intelligence and I admit to the character flaw of vindictiveness and to the trait of being capable of influencing my fellow jurors significantly and effectively.
    In short, one using that tactic discovers it’s a double edged sword, which just got knocked back at the attorney’s face. Because, I dislike being told to my face that I’m an idiot. I do enjoy when someone actually thinks that I am, because they always find to their chagrin that I’m decidedly not.

    StevoR @48, WWII had a plenitude of monsters come out to freely play. Most ended up dangling from a rope afterward, the majority that survived were incarcerated for a very, very long time.

    Marcus Ranum @ 49, maybe so on the Trump classified mishandling, maybe not. As a counterexample, I remember my phone ringing back when I was the post IASO (of all placed, on an Army base in Qatar (boy, we wished we had a bowling alley)). On the other end was a JAG officer on TDY, reporting a classified document spill via copying of a classified document on a multifunction device (printer/copier/fax machine (the latter not connected)). The offending document being clearly marked, but misfiled in an unclassified file. I alerted our unit S2 and installation J2, then basically destroyed the copier’s ability to reproduce or store the offending data, the storage capable components properly destroyed and documented everything to the satisfaction of regulations and both intelligence shops.
    On the technical side, that attorney could’ve been charged, but the reality is, everyone makes mistakes and this was the culmination of a chain of human errors. The first error being misfiling a classified document in an unclassified file, which was then inappropriately stored in an unclassified file cabinet, then printed on a device 2 meters from an outside door. It was caught by the attorney and reported when the attorney reviewed the copies, with a modest delay of “oh shit” being uttered.
    Suffice it to say, there were some mitigations and overtime put in by those ineligible for overtime. Nobody got charged or reprimanded, no sweeping under rug needed.
    In Trump’s case, well, the same as in most other mishandling cases, showing an ongoing and continuing pattern of disregard amounting to malfeasance. Proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the person isn’t simply error prone, but intentionally just didn’t care or was outright malicious in their behavior, deeds and thought.
    The rest, most things in political life tend to be, ahem, gentlemanly. A chiding, a public embarrassment, public censure being effective for normal human beings, without the need of a bludgeon. Trump, well, he’s of dubious sanity of sociopathic level dysfunction, so even the greatest shaming and shunning effort would be about as effective as trying to break Jupiter in half with a sledgehammer. Alas, one toolbox vs the greatest tool on earth.
    Worse, a tool with tons of money and millions of enablers giving more money. Frankly, I think that the only cure that’d be effective would most probably involve a lead/antimony alloy.

    Silentbob @ 50, seriously, you do know that how something is supposed to work isn’t typically how it always works, don’t you? Do you honestly think no jury considers what they’ve already saw reported, the behavior of a defendant in court, a newspaper article read in the past or conversations with friends and relatives and never reported to the court as a juror? If that were the platinum standard, to always be true, we’d have to set aside every jury decision in human history. Try sitting on a jury.
    I have – repeatedly. I loathed the experience, but a jury duty is a duty, something I’m finely attuned to the concept of.

    Since some wandered into Muskrat land, at least he’s announced a new incoming CEO. Of course, he’s announced a lot of other vaporware before…
    If real, all I can say is, that poor soul.

  47. chrislawson says


    Oh, I can certainly believe that DT’s team might use the ‘everyone knows he doesn’t tell the truth’ defence. It’s worked before for rightwing fabulists and I’m sure it would tickle his ego to think he is above the usual requirement care about the truth (while at the same time refusing to acknowledge that anything he’s ever said is wrong). I was reacting specifically to the word ‘delusion’, which in context seemed to me to imply his team presenting a mental-incompetence argument which I know he would never allow.

  48. wzrd1 says

    Ah, but is there an affirmative defense of insanity in civil cases? Most states I’m aware of still hold the insane liable for any tort committed.

    Wow, 86F outside (that’s 30C for the civilized)! I suspect that summer may get interesting.

  49. says

    Chrislawson@56: I was using the term “delusion” in the way it would be used in the briefs, and in oral argument to the judge outside the jury’s presence. It’s one of those examples of a term with a technical legal meaning that partially overlaps with a technical medical meaning that in turn partially overlaps with reg’lar ‘murikan English. In front of the jury, and in places where court reporters go, his counsel wouldn’t use the “d” word — but everyone on the inside would understand that’s what was being asserted.

    Wzard1@57: On the one hand, there’s no affirmative defense of insanity in civil cases. Most US jurisdictions are moving toward calling it “diminished capacity” — there’s a concept in criminal law of “inability to form criminal intent.” And it’s complicated very much by the historical bigotry of the mental-health professions… and those misusing mental health terminology and concepts for ulterior motives.

    Where “ability to intentionally state a falsehood” matters is in the particular elements of the tort of defamation regarding a limited-purpose public figure. One can defame a public figure in the US only under the absolute malice standard, which requires either proving “reckless disregard for the truth” or “intentional statement of falsehood” — but both of those, in turn, require the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant knew what “the truth was,” or had the capability of “knowing what the truth was.” There’s substantial case law that a “true moron” (sorry, quoting old case law that’s still valid) can’t commit defamation if he/she can’t understand what’s true and what’s not. There’s also substantial case law that someone who constantly uses hyperbole and extreme rhetoric regarding what are legitimately opinions (“she’s a nutjob”) who slips up and makes a false statement of fact in the same communication (“I don’t know her”) that shades that opinion into itself a statement of fact may not be liable — but it’s highly fact/evidence-specific. Remember: Unlike the UK, it’s the plaintiff’s burden of proof to prove each and every element of a defamation claim, including defeating defenses offered that have some evidence (however, on balance, unpersuasive to fair-minded observers… because both sides have done their best to get a not-fair-minded jury that favors them).

    This is a rabbit hole. And at the bottom of the rabbit hole you’ll find this guy. But since it’s a courthouse, you may not bring the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in with you to deal with the rabbit (or the rabbit hole).

  50. Pierce R. Butler says

    nomaduk @ # 4: US elections have become nonstop affairs.

    This goes way back. Per William Manchester’s Death of a President, the Democratic Party, admitting that some scheduled events served as campaign efforts, paid half the costs of a “non-political” Air Force One flight to Dallas ~59.5 years ago.

  51. Stuart Smith says

    My fervent dream is that right after the deadline where nobody else can possibly run, both Trump and Biden die from old age, and we are treated to the election of the century, Marianne Williamson vs Nikki Hailey.

  52. wzrd1 says

    Your honor, we wish to introduce plaintiff’s exhibit 490 into evidence, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, to be secured by our firm’s resident True Moron. Obviously, we’ve disarmed the infernal thing.
    Inadmissible? So be it, your honor, allow us to dispose of it down this rabbit hole…
    Alas, such humor is out of place in a court of law. I’d also forgotten that term, it’s been so long since I’ve conversed such subjects.
    Although, the video does remind me of an incident that occurred while Jimmy Carter was fishing once.

    Still, “…because both sides have done their best to get a not-fair-minded jury that favors them”, yes, that’s part and parcel of our system and it sorta works, in a rather maddening kind of way. That maddening part is part of the reason attorneys on both sides prefer settling matters out of court.
    Although, I do recall some sheer, literal madness in a couple of relatively recent cases, where one side demanded a judicial duel and while codified law did not expressly prohibit such in that jurisdiction, it was of such an outlandish nature to the court that the requestor did end up receiving psychological examination by court order.
    Proving again, even the driest of proceedings can take a rather humorous turn for all, well save one, concerned.

  53. says

    Oh, it gets worse. Or better, depending upon your definition (and just how sick and twisted your sense of humor is). See, e.g. Driskell v. Homosexuals, 533 B.R. 281, 282 (D. Neb. 2015) and Collins v. Henman, 676 F.Supp. 175, 176 (S.D. Ill. 1987), both citing United States ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D. Pa. 1971) (PDF).

    I can just see Ken Ham (or Kent Hovind) now, half a century later, trying to appeal Mayo because “it’s theologically unsound” and regardless of legal requirements like “standing” and “timely filing.” Uhoh, I may have given them ideas…

  54. wzrd1 says

    I don’t recall precedent for “theologically unsound” being of consideration in our courts, indeed, if anything, less than the Declaration of Independence that so many brain trusts trot out as some theory of legal position.
    That the Declaration was a declaration of war and the Constitution replacing any previous foundational law doesn’t enter into their minds.
    Of course, such sound minds also scream that foreign court decisions don’t matter within our courts, right until some convenient foreign court decision, when such should suddenly have merit…

    Of course, whenever I really want to get them into a confused tizzy, I simply ask them why they’re rejecting the New Covenant in favor of the Old Covenant, of which they never could become a party.