Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons commenting on President Trump's tweets from the White House or Cuckoo's Nest.
In another Fitzsimmons cartoon, middle-class taxpayers are again holding their collective breath for the GOP-promised "trickle down" from the massive tax cuts for the rich enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.
-- HACKENSACK, N.J.
Editor's note: This post has been revised so the paragraphs on how the Russia probe began are easier to read on smartphones, and I've added links to previous commentary on President Trump.
In a classic case of one-upmanship, The New York Times ran with a scoop, an exclusive golf-club interview of President Trump -- only to have The Washington Post label most of his claims "false or misleading."
Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt was so excited over landing the impromptu 30-minute interview on Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., he called his editors to tell them "I had just spent a half-hour alone with the president."
After the interview was published, Schmidt immediately came under fire from other news media.
They noted his minimal pushback as Trump made one preposterous claim after another, many of them lies or completely fabricated, especially about the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Esquire.com called the interview "the portrait of a man in cognitive decline," referring to Trump.
Schmidt said Trump "did not demand an end to the Russia investigations swirling around his administration, but insisted 16 times that there has been 'no collusion' discovered by the inquiry."
On Friday, The Washington Post's Fact Checker pored over the transcript of The Times interview, and highlighted Trump's many false claims, including this one:
"I think it's been proven that there is no collusion," the president said.
"Trump is entitled to his own opinion," The Post said, "but he sidesteps that the investigation has revealed that members of the Trump campaign interacted with Russians at least 31 times...."
"There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats;" "I won because ... [Hillary Clinton] campaigned for the popular vote [and] I campaigned for the electoral vote;" "I'm the one that saved coal;" "we see drugs pouring into the country [so] we need the wall."
The bottom line
Although The Post's fact-checking was published only one day after The Times' interview, the damage already was done.
The pushback has to come from the very same reporter or reporters interviewing Trump, but few journalists are willing to risk being barred from news conferences or hearing the president's impromptu comments.
And few of their bosses have the balls to stand up to the illegitimate president, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and his other lying mouthpieces.
Or, the reporters can simply shut the president down instead of chasing exclusives; and the news media are under no compulsion to publish every idiotic tweet from the Liar-In-Chief.
How probe began
On Saturday, The Times reported for the first time how the Russia probe began:
"At an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy advisor the the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia's top diplomat in Britain:
"Russia had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to damage her campaign.
"Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night is unclear. But two months later, when leaked emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials."
The front page of The Record, my local daily newspaper, is too busy recapping highlights of 2017 to pay much attention to Trump's chaotic presidency.
Today, a Page 1 headline asks, "How did our 17 newsmakers fare?"
One of them is Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was interviewed by Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi for another front-page story today.
Despite TV ads filled with lies and distortions -- and slanted reporting by Racioppi, who covers Governor Christie -- Guadagno lost the Nov. 7 election for governor to Democrat Phil Murphy.
Saturday's front page was dominated by another look back at 2017:
And in a shameless bow to an advertiser, Maag's third paragraph said:
"And who could forget northern New Jersey finally got a pair of Wegmans grocery stores."
On Friday's front page, Columnist Michael Kelly and other newsroom staffers shared "a behind-the-scenes look at stories that were most popular with our readers."
Kelly thumped his chest over his interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who helped Trump lie his way into the White House.