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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Trump 8/31/2016 ???

What happened yesterday ? Trump went to Mexico where he mostly stuck to his script (except for one lie) then he went to Phoenix and went wild. The New York Times made various efforts of extremely variable quality to describe the events.

The front page write up of the days Trump events by Patrick Healy was factually innaccurate. It described a speech different from the one Trump gave. It was massively edited to reconcile it with reality.

I will get expelled from the progblog community now by praising this article by Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman.

Maybe because of the edits of the Healy article, I suspect there was a draft written pre-Phoenix speech and that paragraphs 4, 7 ,8,9, 10 and 11 were added after the speech.

In the space of a few hours on Wednesday, Mr. Trump veered from avoiding a clash with Mr. Peña Nieto over his proposal for a border wall to goading an Arizona crowd into chants about constructing the barrier.

[snip] On Wednesday night, as the crowd in Phoenix grew more energized, he could not resist returning to his fiery form, even as he outlined his new approach to immigration control.

He repeated at high volume his harsh denunciations of illegal immigration as a threat to public safety. Mrs. Clinton’s plan, he said, was “open borders and let everybody come in and destroy our country.”

At one point, referring to Mrs. Clinton, he told the crowd that perhaps he should “deport her.”

And Mr. Trump, as is his pattern, created confusion for even his closest supporters as he appeared to embrace opposite sides of important issues as the day unfolded.

He told reporters in Mexico that he and Mr. Peña Nieto had not discussed forcing that country to pay for a border wall, suggesting the delicate question would be explored in the future by the two leaders. But hours later, Mr. Trump thundered in Phoenix that his mind was made up: Mexico would foot the bill.

My guess is that they wrote a story (based on inside dope from the Trump campaign) about how Trump was pivoting. Then they watched the speech and revised the article before posting it. My guess of what happened to Trump is basically the same as Charles Blow's

I think that, for all his bluster, Trump is both a bully and a coward. So, I think, he tells each audience what he thinks it wants to hear. In Mexico, he tried to appeal to Mexicans. In Phoenix "as the crowd in Phoenix grew more energized, he could not resist returning to his fiery form".

update: I think the "Make Mexico Great Again Also" hats are actually a fairly strong piece of evidence that Trump was supposed to give a speech very different from the one he gave. Those props are suited for a speech which is totally different in tone from the speeches Trump gave during the primaries -- with a deportation and wall based policy softened by praise of Mexicans. The actual speech differed from the older ones in tone, but in the opposite direction with more screaming.

One other thing, the failure to resist fiery rhetoric might have been caused by the need to get huge cheers from the crowd (the Blow hypothesis) but it might also have been an expression of rage over being caught lying over whether he and Pena Nieto had discussed who would pay for the wall

update: In this important article (which shows that the Trump campaign leaks like a sieve) MONICA LANGLEY reports that Trump did, indeed, change the speech after being caught lying. However, the Trump campaign's claim is that he only added a sentence about Mexico paying for the wall & they were planning a hard line speech. Reading the article, I almost have the impression that the person who said Trump changed his speech over a tweet doesn't understand how damaging that is to him & thinks the story is a good one for Trump.

end update:

(and over jokes about Trump losing his balls and caving and such).

end update

From this guess, I have a guess as to what went wrong with the Healy article. I guess he wrote it based on the same inside dope and felt forced (maybe was forced by a deadline) to put it up on the web almost the instant Trump finished his speech. Therefore it described the speech Trump's aids told him to give, not the one he "could not resist" giving.

Unfortunately for Healy (and anyone else who might have imposed the deadline) this is not an excuse. The article presented itself as a description of the speech as given and not as a description of what some insider had secretly said the speech was going to be. I think the New York Times failed yesterday exactly because it is the most prestigious newspaper and therefore got an exclusive advance description of the speech under double super secret background such that Healy was not allowed to even admit that he had a source.

Now reporting what a source said without mentioning that one has a source is, to my mind, dishonest and journalistic malpractice. My guess is that it is quite common and we only learned about it because Trump can't stick to a script. So some good has come of him after all.

I stated my burned by a source guess *before* I learned of the massive edits.

update 2 In a tweet storm Jeet Heer presents the same hypothesis I presented here, but with a lot more evidence. Then in tweet 12 he says he (and I) were wrong ??? I don't know how to storify. It ends here

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