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Media Double Standards – Exploiting Language for Partisan Points

During a recent White House meeting, as President Donald Trump hosted business leaders to highlight private sector investment in the United States, numerous media outlets and social media trolls picked up on something that further nourished their ravenous Trump Derangement Syndrome. They were not about to let it go without considerable fanfare. It was, supposedly, a verbal gaffe by the president: He got Apple CEO Tim Cook’s name wrong – or at least that was the claim.

This is big news, of course. It further demonstrates Trump’s incompetence or perhaps his mental instability. Surely that is why his haters on the left decided to make a big deal out of it. Why else would this even be a thing? A mistake like this indicates a serious mental deficiency – or something like that.

The left did the same with President George W. Bush, who was quite well known for mispronounciating words or even appearing to make up new ones. Yet, this apparent obsession with verbal slip-ups extends to only Republicans and therefore can be filed away in the secret 30,000-square-foot three-story warehouse at Area 51, where documented examples of media double standards are housed.

Tim Cook and Donald Trump

Was Trump’s Gaffe Fake News?

The first point to make about Trump’s horrendous blunder is that it did not happen. The president uses verbiage that is, if not unique, then certainly unusual. One might say it is idiosyncratic – although most left-wing journalists would never use such a word, since they can neither spell nor define it.

The president often repeats himself when he wishes to emphasize a point, but in other ways he pares down his speech to the essentials. He sometimes appears to ramble, but perhaps that is because he spends far less time than most politicians in recent memory speaking from either memorized or prepared notes. One thing he does often is use people’s names. That might sound like a trivial point, but it is a very effective communication tool. When directly speaking with someone or even speaking about that someone in his or her presence, using the person’s name has impact on many levels. Business people and other professionals know the power of saying people’s name when speaking with them or speaking about them in their presence.

Trump uses someone’s full name only once, when he first introduces or mentions the person. After that, he always uses only first names and does so deliberately to give the impression – real or not – of friendliness and familiarity. Review video footage of any Trump rally, speech, press conference, or official meeting, and one would be hard pressed to find examples of him using a person’s full name except at first mention.

At the meeting in question, Cook was sitting next to the president, and the latter spoke highly of Apple’s commitment to investing in the United States “[because] we have so many companies coming in,” Trump said, then turned to the Apple CEO:

“People like Tim. You’re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to do right from the beginning – I used to say, ‘Tim, you’ve got to start doing it over here,’ and you really have. I mean, you’ve really put a big investment in our country … “

At this point, Trump turned away from Cook and addressed the room: “We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.” It was obvious that the president was abbreviating – name/company – or that he was including Tim and Apple in his appreciation. Watching the video, one can see that Cook himself betrayed no sign that he thought Trump had misstated his name; when Trump said “Tim Apple,” Cook simply nodded to acknowledge the president’s appreciation.

To be fair, it would be less than honest to claim that Trump has never flubbed his words. In this case, he may have intended to say “Tim, from Apple” or “Tim, Apple CEO” but all that came out of his mouth was “Tim Apple.”

Remember That Obama Guy?

For argument’s sake, assume that the president did, in fact, get Cook’s name wrong. How much does that really matter? Does it prove somehow that Trump is not fit to be president? If so, how on earth did Barack Obama get elected? On the campaign trail in May 2008, Obama stated: “I’ve now been in fifty [pause, thinking hard] seven states, I think one more to go.” This was no slip of the tongue. Watch the video: The future president is thinking hard to accurately recall how many states he had visited.

The left-wing media cared not a hoot that Americans elected to the highest office in the land a man who – at least in that moment – was unable to recall how many states made up the country he was soon to run.


The 57-states remark is a favorite memory for conservatives, but it was not by any means Obama’s only verbal aneurysm. There are numerous documented instances of the former president addressing people by the wrong name, not remembering what state he was in, seeming very unfamiliar with basic U.S. geography, and even inventing new languages: He once told an audience in Austria: “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian.” Perhaps he did have a point, though – after all, Austrians speak German, so whatever he was trying to say, no Austrian would have known how to translate it into a nonexistent language, either.

If one paid no attention to Fox News or any other prominent conservative-leaning media outlet, one would never have been aware of any of Obama’s epic fails. The same media outlets that drooled over Trump saying “Tim Apple” simply refused to acknowledge the frequent failures of the previous president to successfully connect brain to mouth.

In truth, there were so many Obama gaffes that – if verbal misspeaks were grounds for declaring a president unfit for office – the 25th Amendment surely would have been evoked at some point during Obama’s eight years in the White House.

This entire non-story is really nothing more than a demonstration of how obsessed the president’s opponents are with divining some terrible flaw in everything he says or does. The fact that the same people never speak of the painfully hilarious foot-in-mouth statements from politicians on the left says everything about their pathological hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, sane Americans are left to wonder when the island of Guam will capsize, as Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) once warned. It is a marvel that unemployment is so low in the United States when Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – while promoting Obama’s economic stimulus package in 2009 – said, “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”

The list of examples of politicians making verbal errors or flat-out saying something utterly ridiculous goes on and on. Is Trump’s “Tim Apple” remark worthy of a chuckle on Twitter? Perhaps, for those who maintain it was a gaffe; the media – as usual – made it into a virtual constitutional crisis because, well, it was Trump. So, answer this, esteemed journalists of America: Are verbal gaffes by politicians important, and, if so, should you not give all of them equal attention?

It seems that everyone in the United States, except journalists themselves, recognizes that the legacy media have lost the trust of the people. The reasons are obvious: the media’s collective refusal to report the news from a balanced perspective and its obsession with petty criticisms of politicians and other individuals whose political view they dislike. These journalists need a wake-up call if they are ever to recover even a thin veneer of professionalism and integrity. Perhaps a trip to that warehouse in Area 51 is in order.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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