It's a kerfuffle barely visible in the rearview mirror.
Bernie Sanders is on CNN. He's with Erin Burnett, when Ms. Burnett asks him something about General Flynn. Maybe you've seen this. Ms. Burnett claims the President seems in the dark about what happened, at least that's how he acted when he asked aboard Air Force 1 on his way to his Florida retreat.
Senator Sanders says, "Maybe he was listening to CNN, Fake News."
It's a joke, and he tells Ms. Burnett that much; but then technical difficulties break in, Sanders disappears and the network takes us to a commercial. After the ads, Erin Burnett returns, apologizes, repeats the "fake news" line, and the two of them continue their discussion.
Not long after, our Commander-in-chief gets on his Twitter account and announces to the world that even Bernie Sanders, something of an enemy of his, to say the least, gets dusted off for criticizing CNN.
Now our President is either truly mean-spirited, a bald-faced liar, or some zesty marriage of the two. Some conservative news outlets picked up his version of the story and trumpeted it abroad as if what Mr. President said was gospel truth. An outfit named "The Free-Thought Project" summarized what happened this way: "At this point, the ugliness of using ‘technical difficulties’ as a weapon to silence interviewees not in direct alignment with CNN is plain to see — Sanders dared deem the vanilla media behemoth Fake News, albeit perhaps in jest."
A flat-out lie.
I'm sure the technical difficulties were greatly regretted by both Ms. Burnett and CNN, but to say Bernie Sanders was booted off the network for saying what he did--clearly in jest, clearly a reference to Trump himself--is just plain nuts. It's dead wrong. It's not one bit true.
No matter. You're reading this now--if you're still with it--because Trump fills the air with tweeted flack every day. He's not "in" the news, he IS the news. He steals all the oxygen, period. He destroyed 17 Republican challengers by refusing to allow them ink. He keeps the entire bottle himself, constantly making news, often by lying.
Hard as it may be to believe, a new Quinnipiac Poll, released just yesterday, says Americans now, finally, have come to believe the news media more than they do the President. The man's approval rating has now fallen, by Quinnipiac's measure, to just 38 percent. Really, that's disastrous because we face judgments that have to be made. Just this week, Sergei A. Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said there were contacts between Trump's staff all during the election, even though Trump's staff says there were not. “I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said.
So, pray tell, who do we believe? Donald Trump falsehoods litter the landscape, making judgments impossible because both parties sport ridiculously long noses.
How on earth will we get through this? "It is likely that no living person in history has ever been as famous as Mr. Trump is right now," says Farhad Manjoo in this morning's New York Times. And the man, our President, fabricates the truth almost daily.
Even though this country is split open like a ripe watermelon, in a perilous way he keeps us together, conjuring up equally white-hot quantities of hate and love. He rages against a media that gives him galaxies of space because we can't stop staring. He's a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon filling our skies. "Here a Trump, there a Trump, everywhere a Trump, Trump." But there's no Old McDonald-had-a-farm; there's only the Donald who right now has a whole lot than a farm. He's got an entire country.
Maybe he'll deflate. Maybe leave. Maybe he'll just settle down and learn to be President.
Maybe real life will reset. Keep hoping.