News & Politics

Guaranteed: You Have Never Read a Major Newspaper Editorial Quite Like This One About Donald Trump

In the first installment of a four-part series, the LA Times challenges the president in language so strong it takes your breath away.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Los Angeles Times skewered President Donald Trump, the "Dishonest President," in an extraordinary, brilliantly written editorial on Sunday, calling him "untethered to reality."

The editors described Trump as "a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation." The editorial added: "nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck." Though there are many who expected a Trump disaster presidency, his actions so far would score quite high on the political Richter scale. 

The paper lambasted Trump for just about everything he has done (or failed to do), but especially for peeling back President Obama's regulations aimed at reducing climate change, his crackdown on immigration and his revenge aimed at "sanctuary cities," and his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have had disastrous effects on millions.   

The editorial expressed concern about fake news, lies and propaganda, asserting: "Whether it is the easily disprovable boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd or his unsubstantiated assertion that Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower, the new president regularly muddies the waters of fact and fiction." The paper added that Trump urges his supporters to ignore fact-based evidence, science and what they read in the established media. The message from Trump is to reject long-term institutions like the press and the courts, in favor of ideology and conspiracy theory. This is a "recipe for a divided country," the newspaper asserted.

Trump has often expressed his distaste for the New York Times and the Washington Post. Now he has another major media enemy, this one in California, on the left coast, where Trump was crushed by Hillary Clinton. And the LA Times just got started on Sunday. There will be three more editorials in this series to be published under the heading, "The Problem with Trump."   

The hard-edged editorial in the most prominent California newspaper highlights the vast chasm between people who live on the two coasts, where voters went for Hillary Clinton in huge majorities, and the South, Southwest and Midwest where voters decided that Trump best represented their interests.

As the New York Times reported, "Hillary Clinton... won California’s 55 electoral votes with 4,269,978 more votes than Donald J. Trump." Hillary Clinton won California by 30 points. Those pro-Trump voters believed Trump's promise about bringing back a romanticized past, where conservative Christians would regain their power, where the coal industry would return to its long-ago glory days as part of a large scale denial of climate change.

The Los Angeles Times, the largest newspaper in a city with large numbers of immigrants, a couple of hours away from the border with Mexico, showed its concern with Trump's immigration crackdown: "Trump’s cockamamie border wall, his impracticable campaign promise to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally and his blithe disregard for the effect of such proposals on the U.S. relationship with Mexico turn a very bad policy into an appalling one."

The Times published a series of letters to the editor by irate Trump supporters, complaining that the newspaper has lost its objectivity—though this was an editorial, not an article. Other writers want the Times to give Donald Trump a chance, saying the editorial was hateful and disrespectful and claiming Trump is no more dishonest than his predecessor. 

Read the full editorial at the LA Times.

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.

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