Friday, February 1, 2019

FLOTUS Friday: “Your Honor My Client Pleads Not Guilty By Reason of Cultural Relativism”

Someday, although I doubt I’ll be alive long enough to see it, history will note all the lies that have been made up, told and perpetrated against Donald J. Trump and his family. By then all of the intended damage will have  been inflicted and few will be left to care. And that is why we take great pleasure when somebody, like The Telegraph, is held accountable in the here-and-now for their libelous spreading of flagrant lies. So I’ve chosen to print The Telegraph’s retraction and apology to America’s First Lady, Melania Trump, in full:

Melania Trump news: Pictures of Instagram post

Following last Saturday’s (Jan 19) Telegraph magazine cover story “The mystery of Melania”, we have been asked to make clear that the article contained a number of false statements which we accept should not have been published. Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family.  Mrs Trump did not leave her Design and Architecture course at University relating to the completion of an exam, as alleged in the article, but rather because she wanted to pursue a successful career as a professional model. Mrs Trump was not struggling in her modelling career before she met Mr Trump, and she did not advance in her career due to the assistance of Mr Trump.

We accept that Mrs Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance. Mrs Trump met Mr Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as stated in the article. The article also wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump.  They did not. The claim that Mrs Trump cried on election night is also false.

We apologise unreservedly to The First Lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by our publication of these allegations.  As a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.

Most of the embarrassment caused by The Telegraph’s publication of false allegations is their own. Why anyone would print an article based on the “work” of an acknowledged liar like Nina Burleigh – who writes for Newsweek as a National Politics Correspondent specializing in Trump bashing – is beyond me. Especially when  Burleigh acknowledged that she never actually spoke with the First Lady for the book she based the article on. She claims Melania Trump’s people wouldn’t grant her an interview – a fact that in retrospect is not so surprising.

But Nina isn’t going to let truth lay in the way of her journalistic deception and dishonesty. No indeed, she’s fighting back:  “They defamed me by calling my work ‘false,’” Burleigh complained. I presume she subscribes to the belief that such behavior is only inappropriate when directed at a “journalist” not a public figure.

In a letter to the Telegraph Nina’s lawyer threatened a defamation lawsuit over the apology it issued to Melania Trump:

“Your Apology traduces [ed. when you’ve got nothing else use 2-bit words] Ms Burleigh’s reputation as a competent journalist by asserting that many of the statements in the Article and by extension in the Book from which the Article was derived, both authored by her, are false.”

I’m going to predict that Nina’s threat will never see the light of a courtroom on either side of the Atlantic. The letter is a lame attempt to salvage what little reputation the “journalist” - who once infamously offered Bill Clinton BJs for his role in in keeping abortion legal - had left.

Indeed, Ms. Burleigh’s defense seems to consist mostly of her own flawed work… 

Burleigh also told the Washington Post her book “has been widely excerpted and reported on in American publications.” [ed. “repeat a lie frequently enough and it will be true”]

and the work of others who libeled Melania first:

“Furthermore, the points they objected to include facts that have been previously reported by other writers."

Apparently the new rigorous standard for journalist “facts” is “I read it somewhere.” 

Image result for dilbert circular argument in logic

Outside the insular world of partisan journalism circular reasoning is considered a logic fallacy and excluded from serious deliberation. But in the very dense world of modern journalism, where the prime objective is advancing the narrative, a thing is not false if it’s your truth…whether it’s false or not.

Image result for “my truth" relativism“Your Honor, my client pleads not guilty by reason of cultural relativism.”