Believe in ghosts? How ’bout Shadow Presidents?


Fake news, misinformation, and lies is a major problem. But perhaps the most damaging habit of leftist journalists is not the lies and the bad reporting but rather the irrational and baseless preconceived notions through which they perceive the facts. The prism through which they view current events leads them come up with bizarre ideas and basically make things up.

A perfect example of this is the stories of “shadow presidents” and “Trump whisperers.” The left has this baseless and immature notion that President Trump is a big baby, a child who cannot think for himself and is easily manipulated with compliments and praise. When Trump listens to one adviser over another it’s not because Trump agrees with their analysis, Trump is just a puppet and that adviser is the “puppetmaster.”

This was the consensus among journalists even before Trump was inaugurated. In December, The Week magazine had an article called “The Shadow President”. “In the immediate aftermath of last month’s stunning election,” goes the article, “there was talk across the media, both social and mass, that Vice President-elect Mike Pence might be shaping up to be something of a shadow president.” And “Pence already appears to be putting an enormous stamp on the incoming administration.” She concludes with “With Vice-President Mike Pence on deck, however, America had better start paying much closer attention — his shadow is likely to loom very large indeed.”

Almost a year later, there is absolutely nothing to support this claim.

There was BBC’s article “Jared Kushner: Who is the Trump whisperer?” Saying about Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner “He is still in the backroom, not in front of the crowds, portrayed by Saturday Night Live as a preppy mute. He may not speak in public – but when he whispers, President Trump takes notice. Watch him closely to learn what the president will do next.”

More recently, there was Axios’s How Rand Paul became the Trump Whisperer” referring to Senator Rand Paul. According to the article, Paulhas found the way to Trump’s heart.” It goes on, “Here’s how he does it:

  1. He spends a lot of time on the phone with him, listening patiently as Trump rattles on about his latest rounds of golf and, per one administration official, “all kinds of random stuff.”
  2. He never asks for anything. Unlike other senators, who asked for tons of money for their states in return for their health care votes, Paul never asked Trump for anything. And he never suggested he would back the final health care bill.
  3. He plays nice. On TV, he never attacks the president personally or questions his moral center as others do. Instead, Paul couches his opposition in principled terms — bringing it back to deficits or the Constitution.
  4. He backed the travel ban. And Trump remembers.

And then there was Politico’s “Nikki Haley was Trump’s Iran whisperer” referring to UN ambassador Nikki Haley and her influence on Trump’s decision to de-certify the Iran deal. According to  the article “Haley’s role was described by a half-dozen administration officials who took part in the Iran policy review. While many of the president’s Cabinet members, aides and advisers work to restrain his impulses, when it came to the Iran deal Haley did the opposite — channeling what many Democrats and even some Republicans consider the president’s destructive instincts into policy.”

Most well know, was the myth of President Bannon. The New York Times had an article called “President Bannon?” referring to Trump’s former chief strategist and campaign CEO Steve Bannon. The article goes on to say “We’ve never witnessed a political aide move as brazenly to consolidate power as Stephen Bannon” and referring to Trump’s policies says “Mr. Bannon, whose fingerprints were on each of those initiatives…” and “Mr. Bannon is positioning himself… as the de facto president.” This and many articles like this inspired memes and jokes about baby Donald and Bannon the Puppet master. In February Time Magazine put Bannon on the cover with the subtitle “The Great Manipulator.”

Of course, Steve Bannon ended up leaving the White House. After Bannon’s departure, media types predicted that everything would change, that Trump’s presidency would be steered to the center by Trump’s other aids. That never happened of course, but let’s not confuse journalists with the facts.

It seems there was yet another “shadow president.” has an article titled “Donald Trump’s ‘shadow president’ in Silicon Valley” with the subtitle “Billionaire iconoclast Peter Thiel’s fingerprints are all over the administration.” This Politico reporter thought Silicon Valley mogul Peter Thiel was the “puppet master.” The article goes “Thiel is a contrarian by nature, and his support for Trump was a signature long-shot bet that is paying big dividends in terms of access to and influence on the new administration.” and “Campaign aides also say that Thiel’s 200-page treatise on startups, “Zero to One,” served as something of a bible among Trump campaign staffers.” that during the transition “Blake Masters, one of his [Thiel’s] students who became his co-author, was at his side during the transition, conducting interviews with candidates for various administration posts.”


Can a puppet really have so many puppetmasters? at what point does this become ridicules?

I do not believe that reporter deliberately and maliciously try to invent the myth of a White House being led by an incompetent fool, I think that’s what these reporters truly believe. Nobody reads and watches the news as much as journalists, and so they feed off each other’s delusions in a vicious cycle. They assume based on their own feelings from watching Trump and reports in the media that Trump is a fool without a mind of his own, so in an attempt to do what they think is good journalism, they look for the puppet master, they never stop to consider the possibility that they are inventing one

What’s clear after all the staff changes and no change in policy is that Trump does think for himself. When anybody blames Trump’s decisions on advisers it is an insult to the President of the United States of America.

About Y.Friedman

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