Lloyd Billingsley, Welcome to the cesspool of anonymously-sourced journalism.
“The story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism – It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation.”
That was First Lady Melania Trump, in response to Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic story, based on anonymous sources, that the president called American soldiers in France’s Aisne-Marne cemetery “losers” and “suckers.” Unlike Goldberg, the First Lady was actually there.
“First Lady Melania Trump traveled with her husband to Paris, France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice that ended World War I,” a November 11, 2018 White House press release explains. “Due to inclement weather, the First Lady and President were unable to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 American heroes, and inscribed on the walls of the Memorial Chapel are the names of 1,060 missing American Soldiers from the War.”
“We will never forget the sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy today,” Melania Trump said. “We remember and honor the heroic efforts made not only by our brave men in uniform at that time, but of all the American people who came together in this great time of need.”
President Trump called the Atlantic piece a “totally fake story,” and many who were there agreed. Jordan Karem, presidential aide at the time, said the story was “not even close to being factually accurate.” Stephen Miller, Johnny DeStefano, Sarah Sanders, Hogan Gridley, Dan Scavino and John Bolton are all on record that the Goldberg story is untrue. So is former acting White House Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney.
“So, just to be clear, these claims are simply outrageous,” Mulvaney told reporters. “I never heard the President disparage our war dead or wounded. In fact, the exact opposite is true. I was with him at the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy. As we flew over the beaches by helicopter he was outwardly in awe of the accomplishments of the Allied Forces, and the sacrifices they paid.”
The Goldberg piece is no surprise from a man who, as Daniel Greenfield explains, “spent the Obama administration serving as a reliable administration sycophant, conducting deep thought interviews with his political messiah.” The Atlantic is also home to fake conservative David Frum, who pretended the Obama administration was not radical when it was “crawling with Afro-Marxists and just plain Marxists,” as David Horowitz observed.
An indulger of “vulgar Marxism that is beyond insulting and beyond stupid,” Frum was destined to be the most slavish Never-Trumper of all. In fact, Frum is on record that “the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media.” Readers would never get that from Michael Kelly, the Atlantic editor who was killed while on assignment in Iraq in 2003. The “caustic conservative” Kelly drew praise as one of the nation’s most gifted writers and editors.
Before that, the Atlantic was the domain of Jack Beatty, and served up a liberal, Boston view of the world in fine style. On Beatty or Kelly’s watch, nothing quite like the Jeffrey Goldberg piece appeared. Melanie Trump was all over it, and there’s a First Lady back story here as well.
One might imagine the outrage had President Trump billed First Lady Melania as a kind of co-president and assigned her to oversee regulatory reform. By contrast, Bill Clinton put his wife Hillary, an acolyte of Saul Alinsky, in charge of health care reform. Hillary mercilessly attacked those women who accused her husband of sexual abuse, without regard to the facts.
Melania Trump did no such thing when the Democrat-media axis savaged her husband during the 2016 campaign, and after. For the most part, Melania has kept a low profile, but at the recent Republican National Convention, the multilingual First Lady – Slovenian, English, French, Serbian, and German – delivered a speech of more than 3,000 words.
“Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under Communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America — a land that stood for freedom and opportunity,” Melania told the RNC. “As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have.” The First Lady addressed children, mothers, those fighting addiction, and the pandemic.
“I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation,” the First Lady said. “It is in times like this that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that through kindness and compassion, strength and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future.”
The First Lady’s speech even managed to impress a CNN panel. “She acknowledged what people are feeling,” Dana Bash said, “whether it is from the COVID virus or the racial unrest.”
The First Lady also acknowledged that the Goldberg story, based on anonymous sources, is “not journalism” and “a disservice to the people of our great nation.” More fake news is doubtless in the works as the election approaches.