Email #214: “Disgraceful!”?

Why do you continue to accept the White House’s campaign of misinformation? The President’s tweets, regarded as “official statements,” include verifiably and egregiously false statements. The President tweeted on Friday from Germany:

“Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”

Setting aside the obvious and irrelevant exaggeration that “everyone”—or even more than one other individual—was talking about this topic from last fall, the President’s statement is bizarrely false. Hilary Clinton’s campaign manager did not refuse to give the Democratic National Committee’s server to the FBI and CIA. The FBI and CIA never asked him for it because the FBI and CIA, unlike the President, know he didn’t have it. But Podesta did turn over his own hacked emails. And while the DNC didn’t turn over its server—because of the FBI’s inquiry into Clinton’s private emails—they did turn over evidence that led the FBI to conclude that Russia had interfered in the election. So I’m not sure what exactly the President finds “Disgraceful!”

Homeland security adviser Thomas Bossert commented yesterday about President Trump’s tweeting: “I’m pretty proud of the president for developing a Twitter and a social-media platform where he can talk directly to the American people.”

Are you also proud of the President? You haven’t rebutted any of his Twitter statements. I understand that you have said to individual constituents in private meetings that you wished the President would stop tweeting. While I agree with you, that is not a sufficient response. The President’s tweets are undermining himself, the office of the President, and respect for government generally. If that doesn’t motivate you, then understand that the President is also undermining the Republican party and that your silence–and the implicit agreement it communicates–is aiding him.

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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