Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Obama and Trump



The Choice by Frontline on PBS is well worth watching, as it provides interesting biographical backstories for both Trump and Hillary.

The movie is flawed, however, by a clear over-interpretation---a misinterpretation, really---of President Obama's roasting of Donald Trump during the 2011 White House Correspondents' dinner (starting at 2:47 above), which is the opening sequence in the documentary.

The narrative claims that Trump was so mad at being mocked by Obama at that event that it motivated him to eventually launch a serious campaign for president.

The talking heads claim that Trump, who was in the audience, was "steaming," "furious," and that it was "horrible for Trump" (David Remnick).

The camera was often on Trump as the president spoke, and he in fact seemed to take it well---smiling throughout, though the audience isn't lit well enough to see any more than that.

Besides, typical of narcissists and egomaniacs, Trump thinks there's no such thing as bad publicity. The main thing is to be the center of attention. I bet he was pleased to be singled out in an audience of media stars and bigshot executives and kidded by the President of the United States.

But it was a shocking instance of bad reporting and interpretation, since the actual film of the incident shows the opposite of both the quoted observers and the narrative line of the movie---that this was what motivated Trump to run for president.

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