Brian Stelter and CNN Strike Again
Editor's Note: This is a free column, open to all. Let me know what you think.
Just when you think CNN can’t come up with anything new they don’t like about Donald Trump, they surprise you and come up with something new they don’t like about Donald Trump.
Last week, Brian Stelter, who hosts a Sunday show called Reliable Sources, (which ostensibly is about the media but is really about bashing the president as often as possible) exposed another reason the folks at CNN think Donald Trump is a dunce: He can’t spell.
Citing expert researchers, Stelter solemnly informed us that since he took office President Trump has made a whopping 188 spelling errors when he takes to Twitter.
Oh, the horror!
Some of the president’s “absurd errors,” as Stelter described them, include “shoebiz,” “hamberders,” “leightweight,” “Rupublicans,” and ‘Infair.”
The president even tweeted about a “smocking gun” and the “Marine core.”
“English teachers are horrified,” and “others are embarrassed by it too,” Stelter told his audience.
And get this: President Trump often confuses “it’s” with “its.”
I mean if that alone doesn’t constitute grounds for impeachment I don’t know what does.
"Everybody makes spelling mistakes," Stelter graciously acknowledged, before adding, but "Trump makes a lot more of them than most people."
And “most people” includes his Democratic rivals who make far fewer errors because, “They’re careful,” while “Trump makes constant mistakes.” Thank you Brian Stelter.
What about Barack Obama? How does Donald Trump compare to him. If you said not well, give yourself a gold star.
Donald Trump started tweeting in 2009 and since then has made 350 spelling errors. Barack Obama took to Twitter in 2012 and he made – wait for it– only four.
If that doesn’t prove that Barack Obama was a better president than Donald Trump, what does, right?
Why does any of this matter? Because, Stelter says, “If you can’t get the small stuff right people worry about the big stuff.”
What people – besides the journalists who despise Donald Trump and work at CNN?
How about the people who despise Donald Trump and work at the New York Times?
As I pointed out in this space several months ago, The Times ran a page one story that took on the president because of his … grammar.
Times reporter Sarah Lyall told us that in late May President Trump tweeted about Democratic senator Mark Warner.
“… their is nothing bipartisan about him,” Mr. Trump wrote.
Get it? President Trump wrote the word … “their” … when he should have written … “there.”
The Times quotes Bryan A. Garner, the author of “Garner’s Modern English Usage,” who, when he read the president’s tweet, “could feel his blood pressure steadily rising,” as the Times describes it.
Did I mention that this story appeared on page one of the New York Times, on Sunday, no less, when liberals all over Upper Manhattan and Malibu sip their cappuccino lattes and search the newspaper of record for the latest crimes against humanity committed by the president.
And then there’s the dreaded dangling modifier offense. No fooling!
In one tweet, Ms. Lyall, tells us that the president “successfully managed to both dangle a modifier and misspell a four-letter word in the course of a single sentence.”
Another language expert, who acknowledges she doesn’t like Mr. Trump, accuses him of another capital offense: putting a comma where a period should go.
Someone call Adam Schiff!
There’s a word to describe all this concern over spelling and random capitalization and dangling modifiers and commas where periods should go. The word is “pedantic,” which my dictionary defines as a “narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously insistence that we follow the rules exactly” – the kind of thing that only annoying hall monitors of the English language demand, the same kind of people who made us diagram sentences in school for reasons I still can’t figure out.
Mr. Trump has many faults. That’s hardly breaking news. But so does CNN and the New York Times have faults -- something they seem blissfully unaware of, introspection being a quality in short supply in too many American newsrooms.
Editor's Note: Coming up Wednesday, my Off the Cuff audio take on the latest New York Times poll of key battleground states -- and it looks good for the president.