Man who has never done this before knows better than everybody

The working man

Now that the White House has ejected the Times from its press conferences, I must turn to New York’s second best newspaper for coverage of our confident and dynamic president. What will that serial monogamer get up to next? It turns out he’s going to keep spreading factual inaccuracies on Twitter, but it all seems more fun and crazy now, because switching from the Times to the Post is like scoring a movie with the Benny Hill Theme instead of Clair de Lune. Here’s the President of the United States:

So this may shock you, but President Trump’s claim is factually inaccurate. Although the New York Times did recently release a prominent new advertisement, it’s not the first time. Anyone who watched Comedy Central in the nineties remembers this commercial:

I forgot how much I hated that guy with the suspenders, but as soon as I saw him it all came rushing back. He’s a Chris Parnell character 20 years too soon. Anyway, the Times advertises pretty often, and President Trump seems to be speaking without regard for the truth. His main point is that the Times is bad, due to a shortage of fairness and accuracy.

That is, of course, the slogan of another news organization. “Reebok sucks,” he might have tweeted. “Try just doing it!” Such command of the language might send the delicate hands of New York Times readers clutching toward their pearls, but in the Post it reads pretty sweet:

The president also singled out the the [New York Times] in a tweet about fake news on Friday, saying “FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn’t tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!,” he said.

His tweet came hours after Trump addressed a conservative conference where he wailed on the media about reporting fake news and the use of unnamed sources in stories.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Post is the newspaper for people who hate newspapers. I, for one, am heartened to read that the president has been wailing on the media, and it gives me hope that he might bring back jobs and convince chicks to loosen up. Anyway, I gotta go. I spent all day making money instead of writing Combat! blog, which I give away for free. Reader, it is worth every penny.

Friday links! Dogged determination edition

Every American schoolchild knows they should never give up on anything no matter what. Like confidence, honesty, or patriotism, persistence is one of those good qualities that can never go wrong. The trick is to ignore failure. If some setback tempts you to reevaluate what you’ve been doing, put it out of your mind and soldier on. That’s how you guarantee that you enjoy a long, happy life, like a soldier. Today is Friday, and when all else fails us, we will still have our determination to succeed. Won’t you push deeper into the fishbowl with me?

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Breaking: Columnist allowed to make Pinkerton joke


One of my favorite things about writing for the local newspaper is how often strangers stop me on the street. “Do you know who fast you were going?” they ask. “Why are you drunk at 3pm?” Because I don’t need to contend with the red lights and flashing strollers of the eight or even the five hour workday. I write a column for the local newspaper! The plebes fall away like waves and then dock materials breaking across the prow of a ship.

Sometimes, though, they also ask me where I get my ideas. I say you don’t get ideas; you have to take them. They do not come from the touch of some temperamental muse, nor from some fanciful ethic of “hard work,” but rather from my psychotic determination to make Pinkerton jokes. I direct you to this week’s column in the Missoula Independent, which argues that a bill to grant liquor licenses to retirement homes is “great news for anyone who got 86’ed from Red’s after the Grizzlies won the conference championship against the Nevada Pinkertons in 1922.”

It’s the little things that make it worthwhile. No one could like this historical reference awkwardly crammed into a joke as much as I do, but Brad is a kind editor and lets me use the Indy’s ink to amuse myself. He also let me mansplain regulatory capture and use the word “dicks.” The whole Indy staff is pretty great. Why don’t you go to their website and read my column while absently clicking on all the ads? I’ll wait here until tomorrow, when we’ll be back with Friday links!

What is Borowitz up to?

A tweet from the New Yorker

I would describe The Borowitz Report as very gentle satire. While The Onion and its imitators have pushed satire toward surrealism with farfetched premises, Andy Borowitz has staked out territory closer to real life. His satire is dry. Often, his premises are not exaggerations of popular values but expressions of them, as in Stephen Hawking Angers Trump Supporters With Baffling Array of Long Words. Where The Onion’s premises are audacious, Borowitz’s are so plausible that they were routinely mistaken for actual news, before The New Yorker began labeling them “satire from Andy Borowitz.” But today’s report takes dry to a new level. With Americans Overwhelmingly Say Lives Have Improved Since Kellyanne Conway Went Away, the hygrometer is bottoming out. My throat may become too parched to laugh.

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Close Reading: Trump’s “not” joke

Remember a few months ago when we said Combat! blog wasn’t going to be about politics anymore? That was before a cartoon character got elected president. Not the good kind of cartoon character, either—Donald Trump is like a character in one of those nineties cartoons where everyone is bored and sarcastic. He’s the guy who doesn’t move the plot forward but says what we’re all thinking, i.e. what a marketing team thinks children are thinking. In that vein, the President of the United States executed a “not” joke on Twitter yesterday:


Although he does not play the “not” joke strictly according to Hoyle, this tweet is a significant achievement. He manages to make “not!” into a Trumpian exclamation. But there’s a lot of other stuff going on, too, and that’s why this tweet is the subject of today’s Close Reading.

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