Lower Than the World

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We are all Jonathan Swan

Gotta Laugh Or Cry Dept: If you haven't heard, the latest grim proof of "the soul-shattering ignorance of our country's leader" is his deeply deranged interview with The Axios' Jonathan Swan, who offered up a master class in the kind of actual, unsparing, nuts-and-bolts-journalism - Look! Follow-up questions! Reality checks! Brazen disbelief! - U.S. mainstream media has largely, disastrously avoided lo these long, long four years. An Australian journalist, Swan was assured and assertive, with an open, mobile face and only his fast-tapping right foot expressing what one observer deemed were his, and all our, "silent screams." In contrast, the lumpish Trump did his weird sitting-on-the toilet thing, his eyes pin-points, his hair wisp-thin as Swan repeatedly, often incredulously exposed his "staggering idiocy." Later, the White House bafflingly released several short, v-e-r-y  c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y edited clips, evidently aimed at exhibiting Trump's coherence; in truth, noted Twitter, "Finding any 38 consecutive seconds where he doesn't come across as a complete lunatic would be kind of impressive." The widespread, horrified consensus of his performance: "It’s definitely not a train wreck for Trump. It’s more a train wreck crashing into another train wreck in the middle of a tsunami as the earth spins off its axis and flies directly into Satan’s gaping asshole."

The highlights, or OMG-we're-doomed low points, were many. There was Trump fumbling with bright-colored, kindergarten-level graphs akin to "profit charts for an 8-year-old's lemonade stand," like your aged uncle wrestling with CVS receipts, to wildly claim on COVID, "We're last...Meaning we're first...The U.S. is lower than the world," to which Swan, brow furrowed, retorted, "What does that mean?!" On MSNBC later, Swan said he found that now-viral moment "as a matter of history, stunning ...In contravention of all available evidence, (you) have the President of the United States denying what is in front of him." Confirming there's no middle-school girl in the country more insecure than Trump, there was his petty, narcissistic take on the esteemed John Lewis: “He chose not to come to my inauguration.” And his COVID claim, "There are those that say you can test too much." Swan: "Who says that?" "Manuals," he said. "Books." Finally, there was his vile, vapid response to America's 4.85 million COVID cases and deaths inching up to 160,000, 1,000-plus a day: "It is what it is." The plentiful horrors put the meme industry into overdrive: Trump is "like someone trying to argue a refund out of a vending machine,” he's demon semen, he's "Michael Scott with none of the charm or remorse." "This is just absolute madness," wrote one observer. "He’s got the donkey brains." Outrage followed - "Many donkeys are saying their intelligence is well proven" - sparking yet one more group of resisters: #DonkeysAgainstTrump."

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