Don’t Worry, The Trump Administration Judges Articles By Only Their Headlines Too


What happens when the Trump administration does exactly what the rest of us do — judge an article by the headline? They prove that they maybe can’t read.

In what is probably some intern’s job at the White House, along with physically typing up Donald Trump’s tweets as he reads them and misspelling words on official documents, The White House provides a really fun list of “News Reports” on their website daily, along with the President’s schedule for the day. And conveniently they mostly like to list positive articles there — of which apparently, there were only two yesterday.

Except that one of the two articles was not an article praising Trump at all. The article by fabulous Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri, comically titled “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why,” was, in fact, a pretty funny piece describing why every department of the government should be unfunded. There’s literally a line that says:

"We don’t need to fund historic sites. Those parks have sassed the administration enough and they must get what is coming to them."

But I guess the headline was enough to go on at the White House. Who needs to read anything longer than 140 characters anyway?! Not I, said Trump. The White House added it to the list of articles they thought portrayed them in a good light on the official website. Don’t believe it? WE HAVE RECEIPTS.

Credit: screenshot of 1600 daily via C. Wassenaar

The original article was published on the evening of March 16 and by mid-afternoon on March 17, a follow-up piece titled “How the White House made me Real News” was up and pretty much a perfect assessment of what is terrifying about this whole thing:

"The White House believes in me, and the White House is not full of careless people who skim headlines looking for the ones that sound sort of positive and then send them out in their daily briefing newsletter hoping for the best haaa ha ha nope ha ha these are the minds who control war and peace and the budget and things ha ha ha it’s fine ha ha oh god help."

Let’s assume the *best* scenario … Oh my gosh, I can’t even figure out a best scenario from this because it’s just that terrible. The Trump administration wants to promote articles from the mainstream media as a sign of legitimacy on one hand while simultaneously declaring them “Fake News” via the President’s Twitter. Then they take an obviously comedic piece and promote it as “Real News.” I’m starting to wonder if they even know the difference between “real” and “fake” here.

By the evening of March 17, the original article had been removed from the list. Leaving a single sad-looking Politico article.

Credit: screenshot of 1600 daily via H. Mason

I have no idea how to even untangle this web from my mind. There is no scenario where this makes sense and isn’t terrifying.

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If we’ve learned anything from this soap opera it’s that the number of people who read more than just a headline probably doesn’t even include the President himself. But hey, maybe it’s one of those “man, the people who control our destiny and the nuclear launch codes, they’re JUST LIKE US!” moments. And yay, isn’t that reassuring?!