Political writer Salena Zito may have been the first to summarize the idea that Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally in explaining how Trump could survive uttering a seemingly endless stream of verbal gaffes and outright falsehoods in the run up to the 2016 election. The idea was roundly mocked by the press’s pundits, analysts, and Trump-deranged detractors who failed to understand that something very not business-as-usual was happening, and the perpetual (and histrionic) parsing of every word he says and every sentence he tweets suggest that the literalists still don’t get his appeal, and still don’t get that their sky-is-falling reaction to every moment of this Presidency is ruining their profession.

The aftermath of the reports on the President’s recent physical examination illustrate the depths of absurdity the press are willing to stoop in their relentless desire to… prove they’re right? Unseat him? Make the news rather than report it? “Restore” the leadership of the country to “their” team, despite their team having been routed electorally in the past 3 election cycles?

For those that missed it, Trump’s doctor gave him a remarkably clean bill of health, given that he’s an overweight septuagenarian who subsists on junk food and doesn’t exercise. The fact that his cognitive tests seriously undermined the arguments of those who’ve been demanding he be removed via the 25th Amendment as mentally unfit is being superseded by the growing conspiracy theory that Trump’s reported weight of 239 lbs and reported BMI of 29.9 is a deliberate lie. Yes, indeedy, we have a “girther conspiracy” in the offing, with MSNBC, the BBC, Time, Vox, the Guardian, ABC News, CNN, the New York Post, and other mainstream organizations covering this allegation, one that has the sage ladies of The View chiming in. And, coverage is extending to a seize-the-moment by screenwriter James Gunn, who cast aspersions upon the White House physician by tweeting “I will give 100 thousand dollars to Trump’s favorite charity if he will step on an accurate scale with an impartial medical professional, okayed by both of us. For real. #Girther #GirtherMovement”

What’s going on? Apparently unaware (or deliberately ignoring) that muscle is denser than fat, and that athletes carry their weight very differently than the sedentary do, somebody on the Net showed a stark comparison of our paunchy Commander in Chief to a professional football player of the same height and about the same weight.

So, of COURSE, given a new angle by which to take potshots at the Untethered Orange Id, the press run with it.

Is it any wonder the notion of “fake news” has caught on so well with Trump’s supporters?

Many speak of the long-term damage that Trump’s presidency may inflict on the Republican Party and its brand. Thing is – no one expects politicians to live up to any sort of reputation, and few hold the past sins of “their” party against it in the heat of a political turf war. However, the press needs a good reputation to be taken seriously. When it fixates on such absurdities as a conspiracy to hide the President’s true weight from a nation where more than one in three qualify as “obese,” with BMI’s of 30 or higher (exceeding that of the President).

Meanwhile, those TDS front-runners at CNN trotted out a couple doctors who did not examine the President in order to add a veneer of credibility to their seemingly gleeful prediction that he’s going to have a heart attack in 3-5 years.

There are countless serious matters to discuss on the political front. Weighty matters in economics, foreign policy, domestic policy, surveillance and spycraft, government spending, immigration, health insurance, et al are more than enough grist for a 24 hour news mill. But, instead, we get “girther” conspiracies.

Is it any wonder that Trump’s supporters have reached the point of dismissing any criticism, no matter how valid? Have these people not read the story of Chicken Little? As they continue to destroy their reputation, watch for them to start stamping their feet harder and raising their voices higher, demanding to be taken seriously.

Hint to the press: if you want to be taken seriously, act seriously.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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