By Washington bureau chief Zoe Daniel
Democracy Dies in Darkness.
That’s the new Washington Post masthead.
See Exhibit A if you haven’t already.
It’s so dark it’s already led to a number of parodies online – none better than Slate’s list of 15 heavy metal albums with titles less dire.
It’s the latest barb in an increasingly combative relationship between the Trump administration and the press.
So far this week, the President has said the following:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
And his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, denounced the “corporatist, globalist media”, again branded the media the “opposition party” and said the relationship is “going to get worse.”
Meanwhile, in a highly unusual move, the New York Times has launched a new ad campaign called “Truth is hard.”
It’s month two, week one of the Trump Presidency folks!
“HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” – the President tweeted Monday on a public holiday that celebrates him and the 44 men before him. IN CAPS.
An increasingly active Hillary Clinton is using social media to speak out – this the first time that she’s tweeted at her former opponent directly:
JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 21, 2017
With Congress in recess this week, congressmen and women and senators around the country are returning home to face their constituents.
The broad mood in these town halls around the country?
Some of the grievances? The plan to repeal Obamacare:
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2017
Well this has gone off the rails pic.twitter.com/iDxom8y6uR
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) February 23, 2017
The lack of investigation into Donald Trump and his administration’s links to Russia:
Crowd asks Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) to investigate Trump/Russia.
Wait for it… pic.twitter.com/4siV7A0cOR
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 22, 2017
The accusation that people attending are paid protesters:
— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2017
Credit to Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, who told the crowd he doesn’t care if they’re paid or not and “this is part of what our country is all about”.
You know what democracy also looks like (at least in California)?
— Alan (@GammaCounter) February 21, 2017
The President reckons at least some of the angst is concocted:
The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2017
Here’s Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s White House Press Secretary during his first term, making the same case:
WH press secretaries Robert Gibbs and Sean Spicer both decried “manufactured” anger at town halls over health care, in August 2009 and today pic.twitter.com/B8b3uSgeFr
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 22, 2017
Meanwhile, regular Americans – like this guy – are stuck in the middle:
And then there’s this guy pic.twitter.com/c1W93Xnavd
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) February 21, 2017
By the numbers
25 Hours – that’s how much golf the new President has played in his first month in office, according to The Washington Post. How does that compare to other activities?
Well, it’s more than he’s spent on foreign relations (21 hours) although maybe he was doing both at the same time?
The Post also estimates the President has spent about 13 hours tweeting. (Is he reading his mentions, pray tell?)
Things you missed out on at CPAC:
CPAC? “What is it?” you ask.
Well, it’s the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — which is probably about as exciting as it sounds unless you’re a passionate conservative.
Think Comic Con but with conservative politicians and sometimes controversial mouthpieces for the right (See: Milo Yiannopoulos who had his invitation to CPAC rescinded earlier this week).
Another notable far-right personality, Richard Spencer (infamous for when he was punched in the head while we interviewed him), was kicked out of the event.
There are sessions like this:
We found it. Peak CPAC. Everybody can go home now. pic.twitter.com/1MkQazOMtt
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) February 21, 2017
CPAC panel: Is John 3:16 ‘extreme vetting’? pic.twitter.com/3wK8uycdTy
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) February 21, 2017
CPAC has also been a chance for Ken Bone.
Join me in D.C! https://t.co/a3YAi9WyhM
— Ken Bone (@kenbone18) February 21, 2017
Oh, and branded chap stick:
Choose your CPAC chapstick pic.twitter.com/UPskxgXqk6
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) February 23, 2017
Getting grilled by education secretary Betsy DeVos at CPAC:
DeVos at CPAC: I’m “the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch” https://t.co/0QeBGQG2kp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 23, 2017
But the senator from Vermont isn’t taking it lying down.
In Los Angeles on Sunday during a book tour, Senator Sanders dubbed Donald Trump “a pathological liar.” He continues to be one of the strongest Democratic voices as the party grapples with appointing a new chair.
What’s the First Lady up to?
However, a Miami-based model is making big bucks impersonating the first lady, according to The Miami Herald.
For just $3,000 USD (plus expenses) you could have the Faux-FLOTUS appear at your event.
This, is "big league". Can the discovery of seven earth-size planets be credited to the President? It is a government agency after all...
Under Obama, we lost planets (RIP Pluto).
In Trump's first month, we've found SEVENhttps://t.co/ue38vCiimx
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) February 22, 2017
This is probably the last thing you thought you needed to see.
The "Tiny Trump" meme took off this week, with a little version of the President replacing himself while the rest of the picture remains unchanged.
— Sad & Useless Humor (@sadanduseless) February 18, 2017
So CUTE! And now here's the video version of "Tiny Trump".
You can bet the President doesn't like that much, or bigly.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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