Lara Trump’s “Real News”

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 4.01.44 PM.pngLara Trump, former producer at “Inside Edition” and also wife to the hapless younger son from President Trump’s first marriage, has created a weekly “real news” program on Facebook. Her explicit purpose is to bring viewers the good news of the good things done by her father-in-law’s administration each week. You can find her latest report, which clocks in at well under three minutes, here.

Almost every story that she reports, after suggesting they have not been covered in “the fake news,” had reached me already through the mainstream media, and most of my sources are the ones Trump derides most: The NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR. (I don’t think Trump ever mentions The New Yorker or The Nation.)

First, she speaks of the president’s contributing his first quarter salary to the Parks Department, his second to the Department of Education. (Yes, I knew this already.) She does not acknowledge the fact that Trump’s policies, as implemented by these two departments’ secretaries, are designed to reverse the mission—indeed, the very purpose—of each department. It’s also worth noting that 25% of the president’s $400,000 salary is, trust me, significantly less than the $9.2 billion that he has cut from the Department of Education.

Next she touts “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” And she isn’t wrong. (I know, because my fake news sources have already reported on this.) The unemployment rate really has been falling since Trump was elected—just as it did throughout the last several years of the Obama administration. It isn’t particularly fair to suggest that Trump somehow created that trend or can take credit for it, though I’m certainly glad he hasn’t reversed it. And when she cites Foxconn’s promise to create 13,000 new American jobs by moving some manufacturing to Wisconsin, she doesn’t also mention that Foxconn has reneged on such promises in the past. Nor does she seem aware that Foxconn is a tremendously controversial Taiwanese corporation that has even been charged with running sweatshops so severe that they drive some employees to suicide. And she fails to mention the fact that Wisconsin has offered Foxconn $3 billion in tax breaks and exemption from several environmental regulations in order to deserve the corporation’s largesse.

Ms. Trump also celebrates the muscular stock market. I guess it’s true. I already knew that the Dow was rising. I don’t know why—but then I never have understood Wall Street. What she calls a “booming economy” could be a result of renewed consumer confidence (which apparently is on the rise) or of big time investor’s confidence that corporations, banks, and the 1% in general are sure to keep on thriving under this administration. Lara Trump doesn’t mention either possibility, simply letting “booming” speak for itself. Nor does she consider how clearly this boom is merely a whimper for the middle and working class workers whose wages and salaries have been frozen or declining for decades.

Ms Trump’s pro-Trump reporting then moves on to praise the administration’s respect for men and women in uniform. This week the president awarded the Medal for Valor to the officers who brought down the shooter at the Republican baseball practice; he met with veterans in Ohio; and Vice-President Spence visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed. There is certainly nothing wrong with any of these events, and all have been reported by the mass media. They are also very typical of what any administration is expected to do. They are good things, but hardly exceptional.

As for her delight in Trump’s speech to police officers and ICE officials on Long Island, she’s correct that it was the president’s way of announcing his ongoing commitment to cracking down on gang violence, such as the perfectly righteous arrests of MS-13 members out in Nassau County. She doesn’t mention (as the mainstream media certainly has) that this particular speech was laced with Trump’s urging the gathered officers to “get rough” with suspects they arrest, which comments were met with cheers from many of the men and women in blue in his audience, and met with shock and even derision from police officers and union officials following the speech—a speech that might have been even worse than his address to the national Boy Scout Jamboree, except that this time he was addressing adults, who should have known better.

Kinda like Lara Trump.