NYT asks readers to send nice comments about Trump for a new feature

The tw**t below came from Steve Silberman, a well known science writer who currently works for Wired. At first I couldn’t believe that the New York Times would solicit nice comments about Trump to put in its weekly review, but, sure enough, I found Silberman’s NYT quotation at the bottom of a Sunday Review column by Michael Kinsley, to wit (click on screenshot to go to link):

 Silberman’s tweet:

For the life of me, I can’t understand why the New York Times is doing this. We’ve had lame, and even criminal, Presidents before—including G. W. Bush and Richard Nixon. Never has the Times solicited “praiseworthy” comments about any of them.

All I can imagine is that reporting the real news about Trump and his administration has already made the man look so bad that the Times is striving for some kind of nonexistent “balance” by getting readers to say something nice about him. Sadly, there is nothing nice to be said.

You have the email address: somethingnice@nytimes.com; I’ve already written one; here it is:

Why do you suppose the NYT is doing this? As Silberman said, it’s “pathetic, condescending, and insulting”—insulting to good journalists.


  1. Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Great comment! :0

  2. Andy
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Presidents are term limited.

  3. Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I would say Trump is far worse than a bad case of the flu. A bad case of the flu likely won’t kill me, the repeal of Obamacare alone likely will.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The body politic’s case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, is maybe more like it.

    • sensorrhea
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      He’s far worse than the flu.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Trump is the H1N1 virus.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Then, say Spanish flu. It killed a lot of people.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      When selecting a disease that reflects what Trump is like, may I suggest AIDS for obvious reasons or Zika also for obvious reasons?

  4. Sastra
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Why do I suppose the NYTimes is doing this?

    Sarcasm. It’s such a sweet and smarmy concept, everyone will note the irony but Trump. We all know that everyone is going to send in “praise” with double meanings. It’s high camp. This is like a portrait artist putting him on a horse with a sunset in the background, an angel placing a wreath on his head, and some kittens playing at his feet. They’re mocking him. And he’ll fall for it.

    If this is so, then it’s brilliant. Otherwise, then yeah, it’s just pathetic. Possibly not an attempt to curry favor, but cheer people up.

    • gluonspring
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      I had a similar thought, that it is a column dedicated to “damning with faint praise”, which is the only kind that a reasonable observer can offer of Trump.

      It just didn’t seem like Kinseley to me to actually want to praise Trump, and it does sound like him to want to do something clever (possibly too clever) to criticize him.

      • Dean Reimer
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        I think that’s exactly the point. By demonstrating how few, and how minimal, the virtues Trump possesses, the series will serve to highlight exactly how bad he is.

        I see a lot of folks upset about this, but I think it’s actually brilliantly subversive.

  5. Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Trump has enough coercive power that he can make a respected journalistic institution lie down and shamelessly grovel like a kicked dog.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      …without even realizing that it’s groveling and snapping at the dogs.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Trump’s elaborate comb over demonstrates a naive, rudimentary understanding of aerodynamics.

    Plus, for a fat man he doesn’t seem to sweat much.

    That’s about as deep as the milk of human kindness runs for me with Trump.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Salman Rushdie said in Midnight’s Children that you can tell a lot about a country’s economy by the hairstyle of its leader. He was thinking especially of Indira Gandhi’s hair reflecting half of the Indian economy being black. With Trump it’s true too — a tiny proportion being distributed over 90% of his head.

      (h/t Hitch)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Would that Trump might battle climate change half as staunchly as he fights the deforestation of his scalp!

  7. BobTerrace
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink


    His demise will be appreciated and celebrated by many.

    – Bob Terrace

  8. Joseph McClain
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Submitted: To my knowledge, Mr. Trump has never burned down an orphanage on purpose.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      So you’re suggesting by implication that he forecloses on widows after lashing their husbands to the railroad tracks?

  9. Paul Schoeckel
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    My entry to The Times.
    His appointment nominations have all been smarter than he is.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      He raises the average IQ every time he exits the cabinet room.

  10. Phil Rounds
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    My guess is that they’re looking for examples of what people think is “good” about Trump. Let’s face it, 63 million people voted for him. Why did they do that? Wouldn’t it be good to know?

    We all know what we hate about him and all of his lies, mistakes and failings. But what do his supporters think? Why vote for such a dysfunctional slob? I, personally, would like to know directly from the voters who think they did the right thing. Wouldn’t that help if we’re going to attempt to educate them?

    • Paul Schoeckel
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I have family members who voted for Trump and they all give the same reason, Hillary is a criminal. When pressed they cannot say anything good about Trump or give an example of what his policies are.

      • Pali
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 4:56 am | Permalink

        That is largely the response I got from Trump voters I personally know as well, with a smattering of wanting to keep Muslims from taking over the country, and general anti-immigrant sentiment.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      As objectively as I can, without cringing while I type:

      He is an outsider who can shake things up in Washington.

      He is a businessman, and so he should be able to reign in government spending.

      He will build a wall to keep out illegals from the South.

      He will protect us from Islamic terrorists who can infiltrate the US among the refugees from the wars in the Middle East.

      He is not Hillary.

      He is not Hillary.

      He is not Hillary.

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        “He is a businessman, and so he should be able to reign in government spending”.

        That is his big claim: that his supposed business acumen means that he will be able to solve every problem that has confounded each and every President before him. Why should we believe that business men will be so good at running the country? They are often not as good at running their businesses as they would have us believe (just look at the banking crisis) and even if they have successfully run a business – even a big one – why do people take it for granted that they can apply the same approach to running a country? And in the specific case of Trump is he really as hot a business man as he claims to be? How much money would he have made if he hadn’t started out with a fortune in the first place? It’s a damn sight easier to make money if you already have some… And, a better business man might not have visited the bankruptcy court as many times as Trump has; let’s hope he doesn’t put the US in Chapter 11!

        • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Indeed, not only are many businesses run as dictatorships, the original meaning of the term, “fascism,” was a pro-business government run by businessmen.




    • Rita
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      From time to time, I’ve seen articles where they talk to Trump voters who still approve of Trump, and their reasons are NEVER specific. Rather, they spout vague generalities such as, “he’s doing everything he said he would do” or “he’s shaking things up in Washington” and of course the old reliable, “But he’s not Hillary.”

    • Taz
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      At least he’s not a black, Kenyan, Muslim, atheist, homosexual, radical, communist, fascist like Obama.

      • SESE
        Posted May 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        …or poor, or female, or uninsured…

  11. Phil Rounds
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    …and it also might give some insight into what Democrats need to do to win in 2018.

  12. Joseph Stans
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    It is entirely likley taht no one will find anything nice to say aboutthis animated tumor unelss it origiantes tat the WH preess office.

  13. Hempenstein
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    During the 1960 campaign, Eisenhower was asked what Nixon’s contributions had been as VP. He replied, “If you give me a week I’m sure I can think of something.” (Scroll to Nixon para).

  14. Doug
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    David Letterman once did a Top 10 list “10 Good Things” about some politician (Ed Meese, maybe). One I remember was, “He exhales carbon dioxide, which helps plants grow.”

    If the NYT wants to find something “praiseworthy” Trump has said or done, isn’t it their job to find it, rather than asking readers to provide it?

  15. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious! Dr. Coyne’s response, along with those posted above by other readers, are examples of exactly what the NYT wants and expects to get. It’s ingenious!

    Here’s my response, which I think is a little more serious and realistic:

    One good thing that Trump is doing is demonstrating how easy it is for us to plunge our nation into a dystopian nightmare through careless and irrational voting. He’s also vividly highlighting the evil nature of conservatism and the fragile and vulnerable nature of what took so long to build. We can only hope we learn Trump’s lesson.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      I especially like that last bit, and to elaborate:

      He will make a lot of people vote Democrat in the next election.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      That seems to be the lesson our French amis took from the Trump presidency in spurning the Front National.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      As a non-american I just want to remind democrats that you lost the election because Hillary was a bad candidate.

      Trump is a symptom of a broken democratic system. Instead of focusing on Trump all the time, I suggest Americans should debate how to reform the electoral circus that produces so many mediocre candidates from both parties. Also for many Trump was a negative vote, is anyone on the left trying to understand why so many ex-Obama voters deserted the democrats?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        As another non-USian I agree that the electoral system there is the problem and badly needs reform.

        I bridle at the suggestion that Clinton was a bad candidate though. She wasn’t good at campaigning, but that’s not the same as being a bad candidate. To me, it’s another example of what’s wrong with the US system – that someone good at entertainment is more likely to be elected than someone who probably would have been a really good president.

        Also, saying Clinton was a bad candidate is actually, in this context, the equivalent of saying that Trump was more worthy of voting for. I know it’s not what you’re saying, but the suggestion that Trump was a better choice than Clinton using any measure is ridiculous.

        When a lot of people say, “he’s not Hillary” I suspect they really mean, “he’s not a Democrat.” People were prepared to overlook Trump’s obvious shortcomings to get power.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          Hi Heather,
          My opinion is of course subjective, but surely you must be pretty bad if you lose against Trump!
          I did not like her candidacy for several reasons, for example:
          a) I think it is a bad idea if family members of ex-presidents run (Bush, Kenedy etc)
          b) Her campaign was infected with SJW’s and filled with notions like it is the duty of women to vote for her (she did not distance herself from identity policics)
          c) She seems much more hawkish than Obama, and as far as I can tell partly responsible for the disasters in Lybia and Syria.
          d) Her staff seemed to use undemocratic and dirty tactics against Sanders
          e) I also found her previous campaign against Obama morally questionable.

          Surely there must be more capable and morally less corrupt candidates in the Democratic party.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          “Also, saying Clinton was a bad candidate is actually, in this context, the equivalent of saying that Trump was more worthy of voting for. ”
          Perhaps we can agree that Clinton was bad, Trump was terrible.

          Sometimes you must remind people that saying you are against something does not mean you support to polar opposite, like communism vs naked capitalism.
          As a “non-USian” I find it strange than any intelligent american would enthusiastically support either party. Everything seems superficial, hyperbolic and kitch, like a pepsi commercial.
          At least in the UK and Ireland people don’t get their panties moist when their candidate arrives on stage.

          • Zach
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            As a “non-USian” I find it strange than any intelligent american would enthusiastically support either party.

            Don’t let those rallies fool you. Most Americans are not-at-all enthusiastic about political participation. Hell, half of us don’t even vote.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Yeah – I find the worship or political figures a bit weird too.

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          I bridle at the suggestion that Clinton was a bad candidate though.

          I’m sorry if this upsets you…but, from my perspective, Clinton was the third-most-undesirable major-party candidate for President in my lifetime. Drumpf was far worse than Clinton, a true nightmare horror show. But Clinton just barely would have risen above W for me on a ranked choice ballot. Thinking back through history…I would have put both McCain and Kerry above Clinton. Reagan in an heartbeat — and I loathed that man. Even Nixon, of all people, would have gotten more approval from me than Clinton; his list of accomplishments, including Title IX and actually (if grudgingly) bringing the Vietnam war to a close and opening trade with China and the EPA and so on…no way would I have expected as productive and progressive a presidency from Clinton as we actually got from Nixon.

          Again, Drumpf is dead last in that list…but Clinton’s position only one or two above him is as damning an indictment as I can think to make of her personally, the Democratic party generally, and the American body politic institutionally.




          • Heather Hastie
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            You don’t have to worry about upsetting me! I don’t mind people disagreeing with me as long as they have obviously thought about the issues. It’s sheeple I have a problem with.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            “Nixon … actually (if grudgingly) bringing the Vietnam war to a close …

            Nixon spiked LBJ’s deal to end the Vietnam war in the Fall of 1968 in order to secure for himself the election against Humphrey. He then prolonged the war another four years, for no damn good reason at all, and ended it on terms worse than he could’ve had on his first day in office — all at the cost of the lives of another 21,000+ American GIs and the lives of untold millions of Southeast Asians.

            That alone is enough to jump Dick Nixon past Dubya to #2 on my all-time shit-list.

            • Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

              I’ll see your “Nixon prolonged the Vietnam war by four years” card and Trump you with “W started the Iraq war, fucked it up so badly we swapped Saddam for ISIS, and he started the war in Afghanistan which is still going strong after sixteen years with all signs pointing to escalation.

              Vietnam was horrible, no doubt. But it ended — and Nixon, however maliciously and / or ineptly, actually did end it.

              Afghanistan is a nightmare that just won’t fucking stop.

              Let’s see a show of hands — who here remembers Obama, in his first campaign, promising to end the war in Afghanistan by the summer after he was elected? Who here remembers that, during his entire eight years, the war in Afghanistan was always promised to be ended within several months, certainly less than a year?

              And who here thinks that the war will end with Der Drumpfenfurher as Resident?

              There’re many reasons Nixon is above W on my list of Presidents, and war, as awful as Nixon was in Vietnam, is one of those reasons.




  16. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “Bob was a great colleague. He always brought donuts on friday and kept his desk tidy” doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.

    I suspect that’s the joke. They know some pathetic examples will come in, and they will print these with delight. The NYT is making a great point, potentially.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      It sounds like they are talking about Bob after he became a serial murderer.

    • Draken
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Famous Dutch comedian Wim Sonneveld long ago explained how this works in a sketch about how his 14-year old daughter came home with an 18-year old guy. He didn’t like the bloke, but he knew that direct criticism wouldn’t help much. So when his daughter asked him, “Dad, what do you think about Harrie?”, he praised him. Praised him, dear gentlemen, straight into the grave. About what a kind, caring, helpful boy he was. Goodbye Harrie!

  17. Kevin
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Most Americans are generally nice. Despite being irrational, they would, for example, prefer to say something nice about religion rather than condemn it as poisonous. My guess is, this is an extension of accommodation through niceness.

  18. Craw
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the outrage. A guy who doesn’t like Trump in a paper that doesn’t like Trump asks readers to send things he might have missed where the reader thinks Trump did a good thing. Part of fighting confirmation bias is *trying* to fight it. That’s to be condemned now?
    He isn’t even promising to print all contributions, just (implicitly) to consider them and pass the convincing ones along.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Good point

  19. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve often had the impression that many in the media who should know better have fundamentally misunderstood Trump. This just confirms it.

    There could be some “good” results as a by-product of his actions (as long as one defines a time-frame very closely), but his actions are not those of someone attempting to fulfill the role of president. This kind of stupidity from the NYT simply reinforces the illusion that he is something other than a crooked businessman with a Tony Robbins sales pitch who is running his business from the Oval Office.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink


  20. Charles McCullough
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump is a human being with absolutely NO redeeming qualities, and that is the “nicest/kindest” way I can describe him.

  21. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Coming up next: “Say something nice about Hitler.”

    I’ll start: He was a vegetarian.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      He was a good role model for other genocidal maniacs: taking his own life.

      • Doug
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Another good thing about Adolf: He liked dogs.

        I realize that this is probably the wrong website to bring THAT up . . ,

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      You’re missing the greatest thing Hitler ever did. Indeed, it’s something that countless millions have dreamed of doing — even served as the most common inspiration for building a time machine.

      You see, where everybody else failed…in the end, Hitler was the one to finally kill Hitler.

      As for our current Resident…something nice…well, for starters, he wears clothes. Now would be a particularly bad time for the American Emperor to be naked, and Drumpf isn’t — at least, not in public, not to date.

      He’s also especially generous, at least to the wealthiest Americans and to Russian agents.

      And, despite the fact that he controls the largest nuclear arsenal in history and that he’s already dropped a non-nuclear bomb as big as the nuclear bombs we attacked Japan with, he has yet to detonate any actual nuclear weapons. Over 100 days in office and he still hasn’t started Armageddon — that’s gotta count for something.



      • Stewedprune
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        “…he’s already dropped a non-nuclear bomb as big as the nuclear bombs we attacked Japan with …” That can’t go unquestioned. The Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombs were many hundreds of times bigger than MOAB, surely?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Compared with the two US WWII nuclear weapons that were used in anger…

          The MOAB is 3 times longer
          Has less than 1/1000th the explosive energy
          But has a similar [hand wavy – depends on altitude above ground of explosions etc] destructive radius of around a mile

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Sorry — you’re correct. I just checked. Wikipedia says the MOAB had a yield of 11 tons of TNT / 46 GJ, but “Little Boy” was 15 kilotons / 63 TJ.

          The “Davy Crockett” (M-388) is probably what I was confusing things with. It’s a nuclear-tipped rocket not that much bigger than a bazooka with a yield in the same range as the MOAB. Many hundreds of similar-yield nuclear bombs have been made. See Wikipedia for the W54, for example.




  22. Randy schenck
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I have to think this is the part of the paper that is not “news”. Also, it makes no sense however you look at it. How about – as a leader the guy is as useless as a screen door in a submarine. He is doing great things for conflict of interest, it’s huge.

  23. bric
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Well reading his obituary will give millions of people great pleasure

  24. steve oberski
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    With apologies to Monty Python

    To: somethingnice@nytimes.com
    Subject:seriously ?
    Tue, May 09, 2017 11:14 AM
    Shaw: Right. (to Trump) Your Majesty is like a dose of clap.

    Trump: What?!?

    Shaw: Before you arrive is pleasure, but after is a pain in the dong.

    • Peter N
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      The president is like a stream of bat piss…

      • Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Yes, he shines out, when all around is dark.

        Sorry, reflex.

  25. Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Trump is no worse than herpes–there are times when he’s relatively harmless, but it’s just a matter of time before an ugly outbreak.

  26. Eric Grobler
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Prof Coyne,
    Your viceral reaction is understandable but perhaps you are overreacting.

    I am not an American but I think it is obvious that society is so polarized and emotionally charged that objective journalism is nearly impossible psychologically and if the Trump admin did something positive either by accident or design it might not be reported.

    “As Silberman said, it’s “pathetic, condescending, and insulting”—insulting to good journalists”
    Do you think good journalists are immune to subjectivity and hyperbole in this atmosphere? (The Guardian for example does a great job to skew reality, not by bad reporting, but by omitting uncomfortable facts)
    B.t.w have you seen the clash between Pierce Morgan and Mark Singer?

    I find the emotional and condescending tone by Singer worrisome (not his arguments).

    Perhaps an alternative is a weekly page with positive/negative columns where the aim is to rate the actions of the administration in a reasonable manner.
    If the positive column is generally empty, then so be it.

  27. Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I suspect the NYT is doing this either because they have caved under Trump’s pressure to vaporize them or that they think they are holding the banner of viewpoint diversity by emphasizing aslects of Trump most of us would rather not prioritize.

  28. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    If all are not familiar with Michael Kinsley, you might want to check it. At best this is the editorial side of the news business. The NYTs is not just Journalism (hard objective News) as you know. Kinsley is not a Journalist, at least of the Jim Lehrer type. If you found a positive story on Trump in the food section would you throw away the whole paper?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I like Michael Kinsley — liked him since his days at The New Republic, since his days as William F. Buckley, Jr.’s liberal counterweight on Firing Line.

      • gluonspring
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        I’d watch the whole show thinking, “Blink, dammit, blink!”

  29. cbranch
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    How about this,..

    Trump is a selfish, irrational, bullying clown, but since there’s no such thing as free will, at least it’s not his fault.

  30. Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I am in the US right now visiting my family, some of whom are Trump supporters. I looked for something nice to say about Trump, and after much thought I finally found it: Unlike most politicians, he hasn’t changed his colors now that he is in office. He is still exactly the same ignorant jerk that we saw on the campaign trail.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Hasn’t “changed his colors,” alright — still the same ungodly hues of tangerine and yellow.

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        During the NOT Whitehouse Correspondent Dinner, Will Ferrell (returning as W.) called the color “Mar a Lago”. I couldn’t find the clip quickly, but it’s hilarious.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Trump looks like an inverted kernel of candy corn.

          • darrelle
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            Candy corn is gorgeous compared to Trump. And I despise candy corn, though admittedly not for its looks.

  31. Frank Bath
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Here’s what I sent.
    What I like about Trump is his ability to talk out of his arse, ass if you prefer American-English. What a talent!

  32. Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve long disapproved of warmongering and plutocracy from the NYT and other large papers, particularly US ones which do have a great deal of freedom.

    However, this takes the cake for other reasons – what is this, People magazine??

  33. Ashutosh Jogalekar
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s funny. The very fact that they have to go out of their way to solicit something – anything – nice about him says how unfathomably bad he is. I would actually like to see the section filled with highly trivial observations about him (“Trump had strawberry ice cream at Mama’s Creamery in Portland, ME): that would make him an even bigger laughing stock.

  34. Mark R.
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing this out PCC(E).

    My submission:

    He’s the greatest plutocrat and dictator-want-to-be the United States has ever been blessed with. So much winning. Believe me.

  35. Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what I sent them:

    Here’s something nice about Trump:

    Darn, I thought I had something, but just couldn’t come up with anything.

    How about a new column: Something nice about Corruption, or perhaps Something nice about Climate Change.

    Yours truly,

    David Drucker

  36. nicky
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Some nice things about Trump? Lots of them!
    1 – He wears these nice big red ties.
    2 – He has nice small hands, which he likes to stick into pussies: he might have made a great career as a gynaecologist.
    3 – He fired Flynn and side-lined Bannon, and is left with a reasonable National Security team.
    4 – He doesn’t like gassing, he cruise-missiled an Assad airfield because of that (very effective).
    5 – He keeps living, so we are spared a Pence presidency.
    6 – His press secretary, Spicer, is very funny, causes lots of mirth, regularly makes my day.
    7 – He is not a regressive leftist, intersectional feminist snowflake (need I expand here?).
    8 – He has beautiful daughters.
    9 – He is not above eating tacos.
    10 – He might restore good relations with Putin.
    11 – He gave the deplorables, a neglected minority, a voice.
    12 – I’m exhausted now, can’t reach the dozen. I realise there may be one or two points (eg. 3) that aren’t even sarcastic.

  37. harrync
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    He remains loyal to his family and his fellow plutocrats, even though it will probably mean the end of the world as we know it.

  38. Posted May 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    “Why do you suppose the NYT is doing this?”

    I saw the piece when it originally appeared and was actually glad to see it. I think your guess is exactly right: Trump-bashing is so prevalent in the NY Times that, genuinely unable to think of anything nice to say, they’re worried about maintaining a semblance of objectivity. There’s no precedent for this level of obsessive vitriol: even in the book review section of the Sunday Times every single review, regardless of the topic, includes some swipe, direct or indirect, at the Donald. It gets tiresome.

    That said, I can’t think a single nice thing to say about Trump except that he managed to get the Clintons out of our faces, for which I’m personally grateful.

  39. Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    His epidermis, though too thin, still manages to keep his copious offal from spilling out.

    He had enough sense to provide for but not actively parent his offspring. That was left to his baby mommas.

  40. Steve Pollard
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Trump has already done some dreadful things (his evisceration of the EPA is just the latest example). Isn’t it possible, however, to acknowledge that he is capable of learning on the job? – witness his changed attitude to overseas military intervention, NATO, China, etc. Not that his actual policies are any better as a result: just that he is not necessarily stuck in his campaign groove for ever.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      There’s a difference between learning on the job and vacillating wildly because you have no core principles.

      I’ve seen no evidence of the former with Trump.

      • Posted May 11, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. A wise person recently said that the trouble is Trump is both uninformed and unformed.

  41. Randy schenck
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    News Flash…Trump just did something good. He fired Comey. Probably had no choice after he testified yesterday but must give him credit for dumping this guy.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Trump’s dumping Comey the way Nixon dumped Archibald Cox. And he’s trying to play the American public for dupes, coming up with this preposterous excuse that it relates to the debacle of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

      Comey recently testified in a closed session before Congress regarding the Trump-Russia investigation. He must have disclosed he’s hot on Trump’s heels.

      The wheels are coming off for Trump.

      • Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        During Comey’s testimony, the Democrats focussed on Russia; the Republicans, on the fact that the public learned about Russian escapades.

        That right there should tell you that the Republicans are very happy to be in bed with Drumpf, and will stay happy to stay in bed with him even when he starts, as he promised, shooting people on live TV in Times Square.

        The wheels aren’t coming off this bus any time soon. Even a sex tape of Drumpf giving Putin a blow job wouldn’t be enough to do the trick — and you think garden-variety spy-vs-spy games are going to do him in?

        If you want the wheels to come off the bus, first you’ve got to get the Republicans under the bus. And how, exactly, do you propose to do that…?




        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          This is a bridge too far, Ben.

          American statesmen will come forward; Trump will not get away with this bullshit.

          • Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

            Drumpf’s entire political career is a bridge too far.

            He bragged about sexually assaulting women, and nobody disputes that he sexually harassed teenaged girls in his employ — yet that bridge was not far enough.

            He bragged that he could shoot somebody in Times square and get away with it — and crossed the bridge with ease.

            He displayed unprecedented incompetence and ignorance in the debates — but that bridge didn’t trip him up.

            Since the start of his Residency, he can’t stop lying about the popular vote count, hasn’t been able to fill essential jobs, has put open Russian sympathizers and suspected agents in many of the few jobs he’s filled, cost the Senate its filibuster, and has failed utterly at every legislative attempt — and even those bridges he’s breezed past.

            If it’s not clear by now that the old rules of politics simply aren’t even remotely applicable any more…well, what the hell more do you want?

            The system is so broken that the party of Ronald “Tear Down That Wall!” Reagan is being led by man with an exposed erection for the Russian President and whose passionate obsession is to build the biggest Wall ever — and the party is cheering loudly. Never mind mere institutional integrity; this is the old rules of political identity being shat on with glee.

            I’ve no idea what sort of political system we have in America right now, but I’m certain it’s got absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with the one we had when I was growing up.

            And I still stand by my repeated prophecy: Drumpf will rule America for the rest of his life, however long or short that may be.




      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Trump is trying to run this nation like the strong-man from a third-world banana republic.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        • darrelle
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          It isn’t so much that he is trying to run it that way as that that is all he’s got. It’s just what he does naturally, without premeditation.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            This has come to the point where no one with a patriot bone in his or her body will defend Trump.

            This will lead to the appointment of an independent prosecutor, who will subpoena Trump’s tax records, and to the discovery of how deep the Russian oligarchs have their hooks into Donald Trump.

            This move was profoundly un-American.

            • Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

              Do you honestly think Drumpf’s Russian connections come as anything of a surprise to anybody in Congress?

              By the time he won the nomination, all the news outlets had been reporting on it — even FOX. We know for certain that Obama had been briefed before the election, and it’s pretty much for certain that those briefings made it to Congress as well. Obama even personally warned Drumpf that Flynn was compromised.

              One can speculate until the cows come home as to why the Republicans are so happily in bed with somebody whom they clearly know is in bed with Putin. Maybe they think they can still control Drumpf well enough to get their legislative goals through and don’t believe that Putin has enough leverage to do any real damage. Maybe they were in bed with Putin first.

              Doesn’t matter.

              However he managed it, Putin got himself control not only of the White House, but Congress as well…and by now his agents are all in key political and military and diplomatic positions, as well.

              And there’s not a damned thing anybody can or will do about it.

              Sorry, but we’re fucked, basically.

              I’ve no clue how this ends. Mostly, I’m hoping that an American oligarchy under the thumb of a Russian oligarchy isn’t any worse than the independent American oligarchy we had before. Chances are actually pretty good for that — why roast the goose that lays the golden eggs, eh?




  42. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    OT, but Trump just fired FBI director James Comey!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Hey, I already said that. But you are correct, this is a big step in getting rid of the orange one. Just watch CNN tonight and the next couple. Even PBS was going nuts trying to figure this out. My un-named sources says that Trump Inc. was and is in big time with Russian money. Golf courses, buildings, you name it.
      Anyway, independent prosecutor must be next. They cannot let Trump pick the next FBI director to lead the investigation against him. My next question is, will he take the helicopter ride on one of his or go like Nixon on the Marines.

      • Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        I’ll bet you a tall shot of Russian vodka that Republicans show as much interest in appointing a special prosecutor as they did in asking Comey about the Russia investigation last week.

        And if you think this will lead to Drumpf’s exit, I’ve got a YUGE tower in New York to sell you for cheap — and I’ll even throw in a luxury golf resort in Florida for free.




        • Randall Schenck
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Well, all I can say is stay tuned. I’ll take a little Gin and Canadian, maybe skip the vodka. Trump has no idea of the swamp he is in and he is purely a dry land animal. It’s not lets make a deal and it’s not real estate.

          • Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Trump has no idea of the swamp he is in

            That actually makes my point pretty clearly.

            Nobody, to the best of my knowledge, has ever accused Drumpf of competence.

            And if his complete lack of competence has failed to keep him away from the launch codes, then it’s pretty obvious that no lack of competence is going to get them taken away from him. Whatever might be going on, Drumpf is not in control of anything — not even his own thumbs, as evidenced by his Twits.

            So who, exactly, do you expect to do what, exactly?

            Congress is the obvious choice — but they’ve long since had more-than-ample evidence of Drumpf’s treason, and haven’t done anything, despite more-than-ample opportunity to do so. There’s nothing in the Comey situation we haven’t been through before. It’s not like he’s the first person at the head of a law enforcement agency that he’s fired, and the broad outlines of the facts of Comey’s testimony had been reported in the mainstream press before the election.

            So, not Congress. But who does that leave?

            The press, with their distinct lack of weaponry more powerful than a ballpoint pen?

            Obama’s shadow government that the right wing conspiracy nutjobs are so paranoid about?

            Hitherto-unknown militias whose sympathies lie not with Republicans and / or Nazis but with Democrats and / or liberals?

            Upset people typing furiously on blogs?





        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          I cannot share your cynicism, Ben. We are still a nation of laws. This is a constitutional crisis, and patriots will rally to the cause. Trump’s risible pretext that this firing was done because Comey was unfair to Hillary is an insult to the intelligence of all Americans.

          Also, congressional Republicans have been playing footsie with Trump solely because they believe he will sign their legislation, and because they know that a full-fledged investigation, and possible impeachment proceedings, will bog things down until the 2018 mid-terms.

          But there’s no real support for Trump on Capitol Hill. No one now in the Senate, and few in the House, endorsed him during the Republican primaries. He’s caused great embarrassment to the Republican party. He lost the popular vote during the general election by 11 million votes. He now has an approval rating mired below 40% And he’s proved himself completely ineffectual at administering the executive branch or moving legislation through congress. When the time comes, Republicans on the Hill will drop Trump like a hot spud.

          • Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            …and, yet, Republicans, including Intelligence Committee Chair Grassley, are cheerily supportive of Comey’s firing and equally dismissive of the need for a special prosecutor.

            As for a nation of laws?


            Bush v Gore established that we’re a nation of men…and Citizens United established that we’re a nation of money.

            Remember, the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper. W himself said so, and it didn’t cost him anything — so what on Earth makes you think anything has changed for the better since then?

            I mean, if we really were a nation of laws, Drumpf’s proud pedophilia would have not merely made him politically unelectable, it would have landed him behind bars. But look where he actually landed….




            • Randall Schenck
              Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

              You have it backwards Ben. Because this screwed up nation is what it is, that allows a low life like Trump in. But, in the end, it will also take him out.

              • Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

                It’s the compromised immune system that allowed the infection to take hold in the first place. But, in the end, it’s the compromised immune system that will kill the infection…presumably by killing the host, too…?



  43. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Please, stop asking the who and what or the why. Do I look as if I run the government. All I say is look at the facts, look at reality and figure it out for yourself. I can only look at history and see what this idiot is doing. Whether it is what is left of the news media, the few in congress with the guts to act or whatever. Look at how Nixon went down – couple of reporters who would not quit and finally some republicans, yes, within his own party who said, you gotta go.

    • Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Remember, the break-in of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel was a story that went from literally perfectly obscure to, slowly, an undeniable reality. Nobody who voted for Nixon or who worked with or stood by him had any clue that he was the secret mastermind behind a second-rate burglary until Woodward and Bernstein broke the news.

      In stark contrast, everybody knows that Drumpf is a violent sexual predator with close ties to Russia — and knew it before he was elected.

      Anybody who would have been turned off by him, who would have had too much of what we’re going through, already would have been turned off and told him to go to Hell.

      That’s my point. With Nixon, there was an entire nation who was honestly surprised and shocked by what they learned about the man after he was in office. But with Drumpf, everybody knew full well what we were getting long before he won the election.

      It’s the difference, by analogy, between the guy who has an one-night stand with his wife’s sister a few years after they got married, and the pimp who marries his favorite whore but keeps her working in the brothel. What, you think she’s going to divorce him because she discovers him in bed alone with the girl they used to do threesomes with, even though she hates her?




      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        But still, where is the protection when the bad stuff hits everyone in the face. No one even has seen this guys taxes yet. No one has tried to uncover his connections to the Russians. The dance has just started and eventually they will pull the covers off and get this guy. You are perfectly welcome to think otherwise.

        He praised this Comey when he went public with all the email crap. He practically married the guy and now fires him. Comey is a joke, there is all the evidence to show that. And guess who put him in the position, not Trump.

        • Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          As Sam Harris keeps pointing out, there are secrets but no mysteries.

          We don’t need his tax returns to know that the public façade of his financial empire is a joke nor that he’s had extensive dealings with Russian oligarchs.

          We don’t need Congressional investigations to know that his Secretary of State has more allegiance to Russian oil companies than to the American public, or to list everybody on his campaign or in his administration with close ties to Russia — or, for that matter, to know that he’s repeatedly publicly praised Putin and taken the most-advantageous-to-Russia position in every foreign policy move he’s made.

          Nor do we need a special prosecutor to know that he’s sexually assaulted women and sexually preyed upon children.

          Are there details we don’t know? Sure. But what possible details could even hypothetically be relevant? The names of the beauty pageant girls he “accidentally” barged in on? The underwear sizes of the women whose pussies he’s grabbed?

          Remember, none of this is a revelation. None of it is surprising. It’s all old news.

          And new “news” of the same ol’, same ol’ isn’t going to change anything.

          Until you come to grips with the fact that his supporters aren’t shocked by any of this, you’re just going yourself to keep getting shocked by the fact that they’re not shocked.

          If it helps…all this nasty stuff about Drumpf is typically met with the response, “But at least he’s not Hilary, and she’s even worse.” Whether or not she actually is or isn’t worse is irrelevant. Nor, more poignantly, is whether or not the fact that she’s godawaful in any way relevant to how bad Drumpf is.

          The actual reality is that everybody knows just how miserable a goddamned motherfucking sonofabitch Drumpf is, his supporters included, and they support him despite knowing just how miserable a goddamned motherfucking sonofabitch Drumpf is.

          Confirming how bad he is won’t move them. Convincing him he’s even worse than they think he is isn’t going to make a difference.

          Really, at this point, there likely isn’t anything that’s going to make a difference.

          Remember? He himself bragged about how he could shoot people on live TV in Times Square and get away with it? He wasn’t exaggerating.

          So what makes you think a mere yet-another-Russia-headline is going to finally open people’s eyes to that which they’re beyond bored with already because it’s so old?




          • Randy schenck
            Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            When you say We, as you do many times in this revelation of we don’t know or we know – who are you talking about. Us, here on the web site or on Sam Harris’s pod cast? All that means nothing. What may be apparent to the people paying attention does not feed the bulldog.

            What counts will be the official investigations into Trump and the whole group. Today he has fired the guy in the FBI who was investigating his and his buddies actions with the Russians. These investigations will continue and the connections will be made and the “evidence” will come in. We have no part in this and we can type away because it makes us feel good. But it has nothing to do with what will finish this president. Violations of the law is what did Nixon in and it will be the same this time.

            • Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

              When you say We, as you do many times in this revelation of we don’t know or we know – who are you talking about.

              Let’s consider the set of people eligible to vote in national elections in all countries today that hold national elections.

              What percentage of all those people worldwide do you suppose are ignorant of Drumpf’s “grab ’em by the pussy” bragging?

              Of that same set, how many know that Bill Clinton was impeached for getting a blow job in the Oval Office?

              As for the Russian imbroglio…you do know that Drumpf himself tweeted incessantly about how it was totally fake news? Because, if you don’t, then you’re even farther behind on current affairs than the people you think are finally learning about this for the first time.

              Again, if you think the fact that Drumpf is in bed with Vladimir “SNL’s Pooty-Poot” Putin is news to anybody, I’ll be delighted to sell you Trump Tower for pennies on the dollar.




              • Randall Schenck
                Posted May 10, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

                You act as if before each criminal or law breaker goes to jail, we take a vote. Voting is only for election and has nothing to do with removing someone from office. We can add pressure of course but as I already said, the facts, the evidence, will determine the action. The investigations into Trump and his people during the campaign and his specific dealings with Russia during this time will tell the story one way or the other. You take the polls and get the opinions all you want, I don’t care.

              • Posted May 10, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

                This is probably the place to leave the discussion.

                You still think that this is revelation, that the people who are in a position to do something are ignorant of the stench that Drumpf exudes…and this despite the fact that, as I noted, the entire adult population of the planet already knows full well the crimes he openly brags about.

                I mean, really? Obscure spy-on-spy stuff is a bridge too far, but everybody knowing he’s a literal child sexual predator isn’t?




  44. Posted May 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    What hair he has is a nice fake orange
    He has very nice small hands
    Rather than reading books, he watches Fox News,
    communicates in nice sound bites and tweets
    Surrounds himself with nice rich bankers,
    businessmen, oil and coal barons
    or nice cabinet people of little or no expertise
    which may reflect the nice range of his brain
    He’s a nice Alpha Male misogynist
    In these regards and more, he’s probably
    the nicest President we’ve ever had

  45. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Trump is a disgrace.

    But, haven’t many of us wondered for a long time why anyone would want to be president? Some congenital disease or brain damage or… In modern times, they are primarily scapegoats that can’t do anything right according to most people.

    I don’t have time right now to do a research job on all the former presidents, but many, most (if not all) had deficiencies, misbehaviors and outright illegalities. But, I have read a lot over my lifetime about the imperfections of our presidents who mostly have been portrayed as paragons of virtue. Not! Amazing how much improved a president looks and acts in the rear-view mirror.

    Even George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln weren’t perfect (except in retrospect and depending on who’s doing the biography and what sources they’re using.)

  46. Posted May 10, 2017 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the NYT wants to inject some irony into the conversation. Surely the list will be incredibly lame and fatuous?


  47. somer
    Posted May 10, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Trump is the greatest, biggest best ever promoter, leader, example, and Ruler of the Self Esteem movement.

    Every day he reminds us how he champions the people of the True Heartland, and of how grateful we should be for his Presidency. None are born so superior to others as the Great man himself and to a lesser extent those he admires as equals or as worthy to strike a deal with such as Putin, Kim Jong Un, Rodrigo Duterte, and a gallery of despotic “strong men” forged with the steel of arrogance, ignorant impatience and contempt for democracy or law.

  48. Posted May 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    My response:

    At least Trump hasn’t called for people to send emails saying something about himself. Maybe he has too much self-respect. Unlike the NYT.

  49. Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Well he isn’t as bad as Hitler, yet.

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