'LAT' To Publish Book: 'Our Dishonest President'

Yes yes, Los Angeles Times – but how do you really feel about Donald Trump?

While most of the big scoops about the current administration have been delivered by The New York Times and The Washington Post, the West Coast’s biggest newspaper is clearly eager to get in a few licks of its own.

In fact, the Los Angeles Times has taken the extra step of publishing an entire book laying into Trump, titled “Our Dishonest President.”

Set to debut in both print and digital editions on July 4, the book will compile six editorials already published by the LAT over the last few months, penned by six different writers under the supervision editor-in-chief Davan Maharaj and editorial page director Nicholas Goldberg. It's  just over 100 pages.

The newspaper is partnering with Heyday, a non-profit published based in the liberal bastion of Berkeley, to produce the book.

Goldberg explained the motivation behind the book: “The United States is in the hands of a president whose character and temperament are dangerous, and our editorials lay out clearly why we took a stand on this. Given the turbulent pace of the news cycle, we welcomed the suggestion that we publish the Trump editorials in book form, so they can be read and reflected on as a whole.”



In a previous letter to readers, the authors also explained the decision to focus on Trump himself, rather than his policies.

“In the weeks after the election, we talked about doing a series of editorials on the changes Trump was proposing… It’s the man himself, his character and temperament, that set him apart from his predecessors. So we decided to write instead about how Trump’s erratic, impulsive, narcissistic personality manifests itself in his actions in ways that pose a threat to our democracy.”

However, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the LAT – like almost every other newspaper, news broadcaster and representative of the “establishment” media – is simply preaching to the choir.

Indeed, while "Our Dishonest President: will doubtless find a sympathetic audience among Trump’s rabid opponents, the events of the last year and a half have demonstrated that the president’s equally committed followers dismiss all journalism opinion, and analysis from the mainstream media, as hopelessly biased.

The Right claims any claim of objectivity is compromised by a combination of ideological blinders, intellectual arrogance and contempt for ordinary Americans (and that’s the nice version). The result is two symmetrical but diametrically opposed narratives: One based on facts, the other insistent that any anti-Trump report is fake news.

Or, their interpretations of the same event aren't just mutually exclusive — they are basically irreconcilable.

If any doubts remained on that score, the reaction to last week’s testimony by former FBI director Jim Comey should put them to rest.

As Trump opponents fixated on statements that seemed to leave the door open to charges Trump fired Comey in an attempt to obstruct justice, the president’s supporters noted that Comey also told the president he wasn’t personally under investigation on several occasions. That these are separate concerns -- an overall investigation vs. personal culpability -- was lost.  Comey said Trump wasn't under investigation at the time. He can not predict what Mueller may or may not discover -- or what any ongoing FBI investigation may uncover.

Still, the Right attacked the former director’s character and trustworthiness after he admitted to sharing his personal memos with a friend who sent them to the press. (Worth noting: Last October, the Republicans loved Comey and his handling of Clinton's emails.)

Both sides have also pointed to the possible existence of secret tapes as assurance their version of events will be vindicated.

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