Donald Trump Thinks Hulk Hogan/Gawker Jury Award Is Good For His Plans To 'Open Up' Libel Laws

from the we-live-in-bizarre-times dept

We've written about Donald Trump's announced plans to "open up libel laws" which was specifically directed at the Washington Post, which he argued was purposely writing bad articles about him. Despite the fact that, even as President, he can't really change such laws (there's a little First Amendment issue to deal with), we noted that he can create real problems for free expression. For example, by blocking a federal anti-SLAPP bill from becoming law. And Trump is no stranger to SLAPP suits that are used to threaten or filed solely to silence people. He's threatened or sued an awful lot of people over perceived slights, such as claiming it was defamation to post a picture of him next to a picture of South Carolina murderer Dylann Roof. And then, of course, there's the famous case where he sued reporter Tim O'Brien for writing a book about him (that was actually mostly positive), but which pointed out that he was probably "only" worth a few hundred million dollars, rather than $10 billion. Trump lost that suit big time, and was basically humiliated in the process, but still insists that he basically won the lawsuit:
Just a couple of weeks ago, in an article in the Washington Post, Trump flat out admitted that the lawsuit against O'Brien was a SLAPP suit, designed solely as a nuisance to O'Brien:
Trump said in an interview that he knew he couldn’t win the suit but brought it anyway to make a point. “I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more. I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.”
As Paul Levy noted in response, this blatant admission of filing the lawsuit for malicious reasons is exactly why we need a federal anti-SLAPP law to protect against the very nuisance lawsuits Trump has a history of filing (and apparently no shame in admitting).

Earlier this week, Trump then went to the very same Washington Post which he had threatened to take on after opening up libel laws ("If I become President, oh, are they going to have problems. They're going to have such problems," he said about the Washington Post), and met with the editorial board for an on-the-record meeting. The audio and transcript are... kind of incredible. Lots of people have had fun mimicking Trump's short-sentence, roundabout answers, but to see them all written out is pretty impressive. There's lots in the interview that is absolutely crazy, but we'll just focus on the defamation stuff here, and the fact that apparently, he's super excited about Hulk Hogan's win over Gawker, thinking (incorrectly) that it had something to do with libel and might be useful to him:
RYAN: Mr. Trump, you’ve mentioned many times during the campaign, in fact including this morning, instances you feel where the press has been biased or unfair or outright false in their reporting, and you’ve mentioned that you want to “open up” the libel laws. You’ve said that several times.

TRUMP: I might not have to, based on Gawker. Right?

[CROSSTALK]

TRUMP: That was an amazing—
Because of the Trumpian nature of the interview, this discussion actually goes on for a while and sometimes twists into totally unrelated areas of conversation. I want to cover the high points, while leaving in the full context, but in some areas it's difficult. However, just the fact that Trump is excited about not needing to "open up" libel laws because of the Gawker jury award is exactly the kind of point I was trying to make with my post about that decision. Giving people who like to sue or threaten to sue another "weapon" at their disposal, even if they know or should know that such lawsuits are frivolous, means they will be abused. Here we have a serial abuser of defamation laws, someone who has proudly admitted exactly that, now excited about a ruling that's not even a defamation ruling, but which opens up the press to more costly legal disputes.

Washington Post Publisher Frederick Ryan Jr. continues to push Trump on this issue:
RYAN: My question is not so much why you feel they should be open but how. What presidential powers and executive actions would you take to open up the libel laws?

TRUMP: Okay, look, I’ve had stories written about me – by your newspaper and by others – that are so false, that are written with such hatred – I’m not a bad person. I’m just doing my thing – I’m, you know, running, I want to do something that’s good. It’s not an easy thing to do. I had a nice life until I did this, you know. This is a very difficult thing to do. In fact I’ve always heard that if you’re a very successful person you can’t run for office. And I can understand that. You’ll do a hundred deals, and you’ll do one bad one or two bad ones — that’s all they read about are the bad ones. They don’t read about the one hundred and fifty great ones that you had. And even some of the ones they write that are good, they make them sound bad. You know, so I’ve always heard that. I’ve heard that if you’re successful – very successful – you just can’t run for—
Notice the meandering answer again. He seems to think that anything that makes him look like a "bad person" is defamatory. But that's not how defamation law works. And notice, of course, that he never actually answers the question of what he can actually do. So Ryan pushes on, and Trump goes back to the Gawker "example":
RYAN: But how would you fix that? You’ve said that you would open up the libel laws.

TRUMP: What I would do, what I would do is I’d – well right now the libel laws, I mean I must tell you that the Hulk Hogan thing was a tremendous shock to me because – not only the amount and the fact that he had the victory — because for the most part I think libel laws almost don’t exist in this country, you know, based on, based on everything I’ve seen and watched and everything else, and I just think that if a paper writes something wrong — media, when I say paper I’m talking about media. I think that they can do a retraction if they’re wrong. They should at least try to get it right. And if they don’t do a retraction, they should, they should you know have a form of a trial. I don’t want to impede free press, by the way. The last thing I would want to do is that. But I mean I can only speak for – I probably get more – do I, I mean, you would know, do I get more publicity than any human being on the earth? Okay? I mean, [Editor’s note: Trump points at Ruth Marcus] she kills me, this one – that’s okay, nice woman.
Once again, he doesn't actually answer the question. He just says he'd like newspapers to do retractions when they're wrong. And that's a perfectly reasonable policy that many newspapers actually do try to follow. But it's got nothing to do with the law or what he could do as President. And it has nothing to do with if people write mean things about him that are truthful or are opinions that he doesn't like.

Thankfully, Ryan doesn't let up:
RYAN: Would you expand, for example, prior restraints against publications?

TRUMP: No, I would just say this. All I want is fairness. So unfair. I have stories and you have no recourse, you have no recourse whatsoever because the laws are really impotent.

MARCUS: So in a better world would you be able to sue me?

TRUMP: In a better world — no — in a better world I would be able to get a retraction or a correction. Not even a retraction, a correction.

RYAN: Well, now, you’ve been a plaintiff in libel suits so you know a little bit of the elements …

TRUMP: I had one basic big libel suit, it was a very bad system, it was New Jersey. I had a great judge, the first one, and I was going to win it. And then I had another good judge, the second one, and then they kept switching judges. And the third one was a bad judge. That’s what happened. But, uh…
So, again, he's never actually said what he would do as President to "open up" libel laws, and has supported Hulk Hogan's case against Gawker, which doesn't actually involve libel laws -- just punishing the press. And then he wants "fairness." And yet this is the same guy who just admitted to the very same newspaper that he once filed a defamation lawsuit because he knew it would force a reporter who had much less money than he did to outspend him in court. Fairness. Besides, what is he talking about saying that he has no recourse. He's got plenty of recourse. The press laps up and reposts everything he says. When people publish something he doesn't like, he almost always lashes out and gets plenty of press coverage for it. Or he tweets about it. He's got plenty of "recourse" in that he can respond and the court of public opinion can decide. And, yeah, it was a "bad judge" that actually followed the precedent of the Supreme Court on the First Amendment.

Ryan digs in some more at least trying to get Trump to commit to something about libel law.
RYAN: But there’s standards like malice is required. Would you weaken that? Would you require less than malice for news organizations?

TRUMP: I would make it so that when someone writes incorrectly, yeah, I think I would get a little bit away from malice without having to get too totally away. Look, I think many of the stories about me are written badly. I don’t know if it’s malice because the people don’t know me. When Charles writes about me or when Ruth writes about me, you know, we’ve never really met. And I get these stories and they’re so angry and I actually say, I actually say, “How could they write?” – and many stories I must tell you, many stories are written that with a brief phone call could be corrected before they’re written. Nobody calls me.

STEPHEN STROMBERG, EDITORIAL WRITER: How are you defining “incorrect?” It seems like you’re defining it as fairness or your view of fairness rather than accuracy.

TRUMP: Fairness, fairness is, you know, part of the word. But you know, I’ve had stories that are written that are absolutely incorrect. I’ll tell you now and the word “intent”, as you know, is an important word, as you know, in libel. I’ll give you an example....
So, yeah, he'd basically try to do away with Supreme Court precedent in NYT v. Sullivan on the "actual malice" standard. That's not something you get to do as President (separation of powers and all that), so that's interesting. And, also, Stromberg points out what everyone is thinking, which is that Trump seems unable to distinguish between factually incorrect and an opinion of me I don't like.

Oh, and then as for his "I'll give you an example" that I end on, he then goes on at fairly great length to not actually give any example. Rather he just starts talking about protesters at his events, and the questions then turn to violence by his supporters and whether he condones it or not. And this goes on for a while -- probably a good 10 minutes or so -- before suddenly Trump brings it all back around to defamation.
TRUMP: .... You can have 20,000 people and you can have like two people. Usually – it’s amazing – usually it’s one person. I mean, it’s like they stage it. It’s very professional. They have like one person here, one person here, one person.

Okay, we’re talking about the media. So, I’ve never seen the media cover it from that angle. It’s always, “Trump had a” — and here’s the big thing, I mean, honestly, essentially nobody has heard
So basically ten minutes of him talking about protesters and his campaign events and he concludes by basically saying he doesn't like "the angle" from which the press covers the situations at his events, and somehow that's an example of "incorrect" coverage that he'd like to open up the laws about. In other words, if the press is not fawning propaganda, it's defamatory. There are countries where the press is run that way, and we usually call them banana republics.

And now that he's brought it back around to defamation after a long tangent, Fred Hiatt, the Editorial Page Editor, finally points out the ruling in NYT v. Sullivan (though he flips the names) and Trump's answer is... well, it's an answer.
HIATT: But just – given the Supreme Court rulings on libel — Sullivan v. New York Times — how would you change the law?

TRUMP: I would just loosen them up.

RUTH MARCUS: What does that mean?

[Crosstalk]

TRUMP: I’d have to get my lawyers in to tell you, but I would loosen them up. I would loosen them up. If The Washington Post writes badly about me – and they do, they don’t write good – I mean, I don’t think I get – I read some of the stories coming up here, and I said to my staff, I said, “Why are we even wasting our time? The hatred is so enormous.” I don’t know why. I mean, I do a good job. I have thousands of employees. I work hard.

I’m not looking for bad for our country. I’m a very rational person, I’m a very sane person. I’m not looking for bad. But I read articles by you, and others. And, you know, we’ve never – we don’t know each other, and the level of hatred is so incredible, I actually said, “Why am I – why am I doing this? Why am I even here?” And I don’t expect anything to happen–
So again, it sounds like he considers that anything less than praise needs to be included in his newly "opened up" libel laws, despite the fact that the First Amendment would bar any such opening (and it would be unlikely that Congress would pass such a law in the first place). You'd think that someone running for President might at least consider the details of how the three branches of government work, but I guess that's too much to ask.
RYAN: Would that be the standard then? If there is an article that you feel has hatred, or is bad, would that be the basis for libel?

TRUMP: No, if it’s wrong. If it’s wrong.

RYAN: Wrong whether there’s malice or not?

TRUMP: I mean, The Washington Post never calls me. I never had a call, “Why – why did you do this?” or “Why did you do that?” It’s just, you know, like I’m this horrible human being. And I’m not. You know, the one thing we have in common I think we all love the country. Now, maybe we come at it from different sides, but nobody ever calls me. I mean, Bob Costa calls about a political story – he called because we’re meeting senators in a little while and congressmen, supporters – but nobody ever calls.
So now the standard is whether or not someone called? That's a new one. I mean, over in Europe, Max Mosley (who seems like the kind of guy Trump would get along with) once demanded that the press should be required to contact famous people before they write about them, but even in Europe, where press freedom isn't nearly as strong as in the US, such a proposal was rejected.
RYAN: The reason I keep asking this is because you’ve said three times you’ve said we are going to open up the libel laws and when you ask you what you mean you say hatred, or bad–

TRUMP: I want to make it more fair from the side where I am, because things are said that are libelous, things are said about me that are so egregious and so wrong, and right now according to the libel laws I can do almost nothing about it because I’m a well-known person you know, etc., etc.
But that's not what libel law says. What Trump is confusing is that the law says that as a public figure, which he undoubtedly is, the standard for defamation is false statements made with "malicious intent." It's not that he can't do anything about things that are "so egregious and so wrong," because he can. If they're clearly wrong, then it shouldn't be difficult to prove that and show that it was published with malicious intent. Instead, he seems to think that everything said that he doesn't like, or where the "angle" isn't flattering or where no one called him to get his version of things first is "defamation" and needs to be stopped. That's not how the First Amendment works. At all.

That was it that was directly about defamation law... but I did find it interesting that just a little while later, the conversation turned to Trump's comments on the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, who had spoken out against Trump and had put money into an organization that ran anti-Trump ads. In a similar manner to Trump telling the Washington Post it was "going to have problems" if he became President, Trump lashed out at the Ricketts family, saying: "They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!"
The Washington Post Editorial Board asked Trump about this and he gave quite an interesting answer:
HIATT: I’d like to come back to the campaign. You said a few weeks ago after a family in Chicago gave some money to a PAC opposing you, you said, “They better watch out. They have a lot to hide.” What should they watch out for?

TRUMP: Look, they are spending vicious … I don’t even know these people. Those Ricketts. I actually said they ought to focus on the Chicago Cubs and, you know, stop playing around. They spent millions of dollars fighting me in Florida. And out of 68 counties, I won 66. I won by 20 points, almost 20 points. Against, everybody thought he was a popular sitting senator. I had $38 million dollars spent on me in Florida over a short period of time. $38 million. And, you know, the Ricketts, I don’t even know these people.

HIATT: So, what does it mean, “They better watch out”?

TRUMP: Well, it means that I’ll start spending on them. I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately.
Remember, this is the same guy, just minutes earlier, who was talking about the need to "open up libel laws" for people saying things about him that he thought was mean, and that he felt was unfair because they didn't present his side of the story. And he has such little self-awareness that he's then publicly advocating for a smear job against the Ricketts family, based on nothing more than his desire to attack them.

Ryan follows this up by asking if he planned to do this as President, and Trump basically says that, no, he'd let his revenge plan simmer until he was out of office. Because that's healthy.
RYAN: Would you do that while you are president?

TRUMP: No, not while I am president. No, not while I’m president. That is two phases. Right now, look, you know, I went to a great school, I was a good student and all. I am an intelligent person. My uncle, I would say my uncle was one of the brilliant people. He was at MIT for 35 years. As a great scientist and engineer, actually more than anything else. Dr. John Trump, a great guy. I’m an intelligent person. I understand what is going on. Right now, I had 17 people who started out. They are almost all gone. If I were going to do that in a different fashion I think I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. You would be interviewing somebody else. But it is hard to act presidential when you are being … I mean, actually I think it is presidential because it is winning. And winning is a pretty good thing for this country because we don’t win any more. And I say it all the time. We do not win any more. This country doesn’t win. We don’t win with trade. We don’t win with … We can’t even beat ISIS. And by the way, just to answer the rest of that question, I would knock the hell out of ISIS in some form. I would rather not do it with our troops, you understand that. Very important. Because I think saying that is very important because I was against the war in Iraq, although they found a clip talking to Howard Stern, I said, “Well…” It was very unenthusiastic. Before they want in, I was totally against the war. I was against it for years. I actually had a delegation sent from the White House to talk to me because I guess I get a disproportionate amount of publicity. I was just against the war. I thought it would destabilize the Middle East, and it did. But we have to knock out ISIS. We are living like in medieval times. Who ever heard of the heads chopped off?
Got it? Don't say mean things about Trump because that's libel and needs to be stopped, but also don't publicly disagree with him either, because then it's fair game to make up stuff about you... and that might not be Presidential, but that's okay because he's got a smart uncle and because winning is Presidential and it's about winning and ISIS chops people's heads off and ohmygod how much longer is this interview and when can we get out of here please?

Seriously, America, what the hell is going on with the electorate right now? I realize all the candidates are basically terrible, but really?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 10:40am

    The Donald is an ass clown.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 10:59am

    And this guy is in the running for president, America how far you have fallen .

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:01am

    I promise to do everything I promise to do without promising anything, I promise!

    One thing is apparent. Donald Trump has learned to be a politician. Asked question A) then answers question 43892, with sufficient obfuscation to make it appear that a tornado is eminent. Get a request for more clarity on question A) and rhetoric is spewed disparaging the requester. Back to question A) begets a discussion of question 202893 with a reference to one of the words contained in question A), but not actually addressing it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 1:28pm

      Re: I promise to do everything I promise to do without promising anything, I promise!

      But it is not even that. As Masnick himself mentioned: It is extremely hard to cover Trump in a fair way. His ramblings and digressions are so difficult to find answers in that he will either look terrible, the journalist will look terrible or both. To some degree I think that part of Trumps problem with bad press is selfinflicted.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: I promise to do everything I promise to do without promising anything, I promise!

        It's more then just "to some degree."

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2016 @ 8:26am

      Re: I promise to do everything I promise to do without promising anything, I promise!

      Donald Trump has learned to be a politician.

      Trump doesn't sound like a politician. He sounds like he's just rambling. Politicians when they're dodging sound like they know exactly what is being asked, and exactly what pitfalls they need to avoid when (not) answering the question. Trump sounds like he has little understanding of what is being asked, and no concern about whether what he's saying addresses the question or not. He just starts moving his mouth, and whatever goes through his brain comes out. I heard that he exhibits the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder more or less to a T, and I think this fits right in with that. He doesn't care what he's being asked, because he doesn't care about the person asking or the people listening or reading. He just wants to talk about things he likes talking about, so he does that instead of answering the question.

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  • identicon
    psiuuuuuu, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:05am

    chicken scratches on the ballot

    Scribbles furiously onto ballot:

    Masnick - Weird Al 2016

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:35am

      Re: chicken scratches on the ballot

      Edward Snowden for Secretary of State. That would give him diplomatic immunity...everywhere.

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:09am

    I'm sure this makes him SLAPP happy. =/

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  • identicon
    Aaron Von Gauss, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:11am

    The Example

    While I agree with the principal of SLAPP, I don't know that using the Washington Post is a good example. They still have a few individuals that believe in journalism, but most of the articles I've read over the last year or two I wouldn't call journalism and more than a few are just downright offensive.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2016 @ 8:27am

      Re: The Example

      most of the articles I've read over the last year or two I wouldn't call journalism and more than a few are just downright offensive.

      And the 1st amendment protects things that are not journalism, and thing that are offensive.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:17am

    I realize all the candidates are basically terrible, but really?

    Tanks for admitting that much. But even one terrible can be worse than another. Trump seems to be near the bottom line o terrible. But the fact that he has such tremendous support show that terrible is not limited to the candidates alone.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:18am

    ...what the hell is going on with the electorate right now? I realize all the candidates are basically terrible, but really?...

    It's been this way for years. McCain was the last presidential candidate with any honor and conviction, and he f'd it up by selecting Palin to be his VP candidate.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:19am

    I get the impression that if a person feels the need to announce his sanity or intelligence, one or both are lacking.

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  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 22 Mar 2016 @ 11:29am

    Every time I listen to what he says

    Every time I listen to what he says, I am struck that there is no greater example of the truism that all bullies are insecure and weak.

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  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 22 Mar 2016 @ 12:45pm

    More ignorant than George W.?

    To think I used to be embarrassed for my country when I heard the stupid things that Bush said! Compared to this dunce he was a genius. Do you really want this clown to ever have access to the launch codes? The other option is Hillary? I think it is time to get a passport and deciding what country I will emigrate to. Dear God, please let there be some dark horse candidate arise who is qualified to be our leader!

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 22 Mar 2016 @ 1:08pm

      Re: More ignorant than George W.?

      We'll be stuck here when Canada builds a wall.

      "Hey you hosers. You stay on that side, eh?"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2016 @ 1:51pm

    Trump is not anti-establishment because the very same establishment allowed him and his family (before him) to become rich.

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  • identicon
    L. Kohan, 22 Mar 2016 @ 5:16pm

    Wow, just wow. Trump doesn't like the same media that has lied about and misrepresented both him and his supporters? Sorry Mike, but you're not going to convince a single Trump supporter with this stuff. Trump's core voters are the disenfranchised losers of globalisation and outsourcing, and do you think they care a single bit about Trump being mean to the same media which has insulted and denigrated those people for years? Among 18-49 year-olds trust in the mainstream media is sitting at historic lows - 36 percent last I checked. When the universally distrusted and widely hated media talk about how bad Trump is and he talks about what he's going to do with them, HIS NUMBERS GO UP. The majority of people completely agree with Trump when it comes to going after the media, and they haven't forgotten the countless lies that sucked the country into the Iraq quagmire.

    If you want to stop Trump, attack him where he's weak - scams like Trump University which paint him as yet another member of the billionaire class trying to fleece the rubes. Pointing out that he wants to shut down the same media which has been cheer-leading the disenfranchisement of his blue-collar base makes his campaign stronger, not weaker. Trump supporters by their very nature would be selected from those already predisposed to distrusting the mainstream media, which would mean that something like 70-80 percent of his base see articles like this as a sign that he's doing something right.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2016 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      Trump supporters by their very nature would be selected from those already predisposed to distrusting the mainstream media, which would mean that something like 70-80 percent of his base see articles like this as a sign that he's doing something right.

      Trump supporters see everything as a sign that he's right. They have been asked what he could do that would make them stop supporting him, and at least some of them answer that there is nothing. Trump himself said that he could murder someone in broad daylight and his supporters wouldn't care.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2016 @ 10:56am

      Re:

      As I see it Trump has become a religious leader for the disenfranchised. Trump is completely train-of-thought. Incoherent, politically incorrect and a representative that almost every republican politician hates and fears far more than Hillary. He is as anti-establishment as they come!

      I don't see any attack on his past as a viable way to erode his support: The stories will be seen as the mainstream media desperately slandering Trump.

      The only way to really hurt Trump is to be thorough in the analysis of his words and not to be attackable for being biased against him. Eventually, the only way to beat religion is to be thorough and objective in your research and analysis. In that way Trump will dig his own grave.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2016 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re:

        The only way to really hurt Trump is to be thorough in the analysis of his words and not to be attackable for being biased against him.

        I assume you mean to prevent undecided voters from picking him. I haven't seen any evidence that thorough debunking of his ridiculous claims has any effect on his dedicated supporters.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2016 @ 1:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That would be the primary goal. You cannot kill the reputation of a martyr in days.

          It will take a long time. But the broader a coverage making these exposees, the faster the fall from grace.

          There is no chance he can be effectively stopped before the republican convention. I just hope that the general election will wear this guruisation of Trump down.

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  • identicon
    Crufty Clown, 22 Mar 2016 @ 6:46pm

    Changed My Mind

    And here I was thinking of Trump as the twenty-first-century version of P. T. Barnum (There's a sucker born every minute) until I saw that transcript. It reads like he's having an ADD conversation with himself. No snark intended (I also suffer from adult attention-deficit disorder), but there are treatments for that.

    Read another way, the transcript sounds like a parody of Virginia Wolff's writing style. If that's by intent then Mr. Trump should direct his considerable energy towards a career in literature.

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    • icon
      OldGeezer (profile), 22 Mar 2016 @ 10:50pm

      Re: Changed My Mind

      You could be right. A lot of other conditions could cause rambling and disconnected thought. Bipolar, Asperger's maybe, also treatable. You may be qualified for a leadership position since you recognize your disorder and got help. If he has ever been diagnosed it sure looks he if off his meds! Might be an asset for a nutty reality show host but not for the leader of our nation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2016 @ 7:23am

      Re: Changed My Mind

      he did its called the art of the deal pretty sure he did ok as an author.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 22 Mar 2016 @ 10:22pm

    Donald Trump's Wall

    I'm all for building a 35 to 50 foot wall..... AROUND DONALD DRUMPF!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2016 @ 2:37am

    If he does get voted in he'll be impeached on his first day in office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Brother, 23 Mar 2016 @ 3:59am

    I know he asked Hulk to smash her, but who wouldn't?

    How is a bad story anything like posting a video of Hulk fucking his best friends wife?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2016 @ 9:21am

    T-Shirt Idea

    or a poster ...

    Just a meme-worthy photo of Trump, with "They Don't Write Good".

    I could sit and laugh at it for hours ^-^

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 23 Mar 2016 @ 10:33am

    Early in presidential campaigns candidates somehow implode by some scandal or saying something really stupid and lose support. Trump has a pretty checkered past and is a proven constant liar. Every time he opens his mouth he says something stupid. His supporters still view him as some genius businessman. The truth is his net worth is probably little more than he inherited. He has earned billions and then turned around and lost them. Ross Perot was a genius businessman who I thought had some pretty good ideas. Donald Drumpf is a fraud and an idiot. Nothing he does seems to faze his backers. He could probably get caught sending dick pics to a teenager and still win primaries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2016 @ 11:15pm

    i just find it funny that the trump hate seems to over rule all i have read many articles on the corrupt press on this site, the phone hacking scandal in britain comes immeadiatly to mind. personally i dont read or watch mainstream press because i know its crap. any real news is buried. I weigh that against trump seeing the problem in a different light from a pedestal. but i still weigh it. I also see him talking about trade deals, deals that tech-dirt constantly post editorial on how horrible they are. these trade deals were over seen by bill when he was president and hillary when she was secretary of state. the president has power over immigration and trade they do not have the power to create laws about the press somethign that i also weigh. I view this rampant trump hate as very strange i cant really find a reason for it that makes sense. the fact that we now have laws inplace that prohibit legal recourse because we recognize the cost of litigation is a deterant to freedom of speech to me points more to a broken legal system. if someone publishes lies about me I would want a retraction as well. i would want it at the same level of placement as the original article as well. I see shows like nancy grace and watch all these news orgs after major events and know that 90% of the things they report right after will be proven to be completely false after the fact. It seems like we used to have a media that was worthy of our trust that was worthy to be the forth arm of the government I no longer consider that to be the case. I dont see any other politician denegrating the media especially on the deomcrat side. obama won because of hollywood support the woman who got him hollywood got to be the ambassador to the bahamas as a reward.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldGeezer (profile), 24 Mar 2016 @ 1:11am

      Re:

      If you want to hear a lot of conflicting statements just listen to Trump himself. Some good examples:
      https://youtu.be/DnpO_RTSNmQ
      https://youtu.be/vU8dCYocuyI
      I challenge you to watch them but you probably won't. John has an easy time with the jokes about him. A lot of the time all he has to do play a series of clips where Trump makes the same statements several times and in each one he contradicts himself. Don't reply to this unless you watch them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2016 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re:

        i watch them as they come out. I usually like last week tonight it brings things to the attention of the masses that need it. I think the trump bashing is more due to the fact that hbo is a political supporter of hilary clinton. The trump bashing to me just seems to be out of line with the normal good commentary of the show.

        now you watch this and get the other side of the debate.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf3vW0e_Wgc

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2016 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          now you watch this and get the other side of the debate.

          I was going to watch it, but it's AN HOUR AND A HALF LONG! Ain't nobody got time for that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          OldGeezer (profile), 24 Mar 2016 @ 5:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't think you watched the videos. It's not bashing when you are telling the truth even if John does it in a humorous format. Trump is lying about paying the costs of his campaign. He is channeling millions as "loans" which he can recoup from donations any time before he becomes the official candidate. He is lying about his success as a businessman. Many of his projects failed or never got built and his investors lost millions. He does not own many of the buildings that have his name on them. He is licensing his name as a trademark. He started a real estate company just before one of the biggest bubble bursts in history. He is a fraud and when he speaks he rambles like someone in a manic state. Hopefully at some point his party will recognize that millions of people view him as a bad joke. Comedians are praying that he wins for the enormous amount of material his buffoonery will provide.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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