Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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Trump’s legion of the damned

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IN reaction to the events at the Capitol on January 6, Randall Lane (no relation to the author), chief content officer of the global media company Forbes, issued a warning to the business world: 

‘Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.’

Lane begins his article by going after Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary. Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration drew the largest crowd in the history of the event. According to Lane, this is ‘the worst kind of whopper ever’. To each his own, but I think falsely stating that anyone who liked his health-care plan would be able to keep it (as Obama did regarding his revamping of the American health system) is much worse than fibbing about an event’s crowd size. The former has the potential to kill people, while the latter only helps liberal comedians figuratively ‘kill’ on stage.   

Lane then targets Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s second press secretary, for ‘smearing those who accused Trump of sexual harassment’. Sanders simply said the women accusing Trump were lying. Hardly a smear, especially when compared with what Clinton political strategist James Carville said regarding Paula Jones during her sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton: ‘Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer camp and there’s no telling what you’ll find.’ 

If we’re being consistent, we should take a look at Obama’s three press secretaries’ track records of truth.

Robert Gibbs, Obama’s first press secretary, admitted having been told by the administration to lie about the Middle East drone programme. It is amusing that this comes from a president who promised to be the most transparent. Gibbs is now working for BPI Media and is an NBC/MSNBC analyst.

Jay Carney, Obama’s second press secretary, lied to the people about the 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, by falsely blaming it on a Coptic Christian’s video about Islam, which led to the imprisonment of the video’s creator, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Carney is now working for Amazon.

Obama’s last press secretary, Josh Earnest, lied about the administration’s success in preventing Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. At the time this statement was made, Iran was known not only to have nukes, but also enough enriched uranium to make more. Earnest is now working for United Airlines.

Lane states that his new policy of monitoring business hires will not be political. We can test his honesty by seeing how Forbes treats BPI Media, Amazon, United Airlines, and NBC/MSNBC, given that these organisations are currently employing Obama’s fellow fabulists.

Lane concludes by saying this isn’t cancel culture. No, it’s not – it’s worse. For a thing to be cancelled, it must first exist. Lane is proposing to prevent ex-Trump employees from ever starting a new job. He doesn’t want their careers to exist.

Welcome to non-existent culture.

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Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane is a writer who lives and works in New York City.

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