Donald Trump may technically be in the White House. But he's little more than a basement-dwelling angry right-wing blogger in spirit.
Donald Trump's fixation on anything that boosts his ego and the reputation he'd like to believe he has is well-known, particularly when it comes to the issue of crowd sizes.
From literally the first day of his presidency, Trump's attitude toward the bland reporting of crowd numbers has been of the "Who are you going to believe — me or your lying eyes" variety.
After his inauguration was so sparsely attended, he famously refused to accept either the crowd statistics from the National Park Service or the photo evidence backing them up.
And nearly 11 months later, he's still obsessed with crowd sizes — even during visits to hurricane-ravaged areas.
Far more disturbingly, though, he's also intent on attacking anyone who dares to challenge his worldview in that insignificant area.
Friday night, Trump held a rally that was supposedly totally not about stumping for Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, despite being a stone's throw away from Moore's base and imploring the audience to vote for the accused child molester in order to avoid a Democrat winning the seat.
The next day, some photos began circulating on Twitter that purportedly showed a decidedly meager crowd at the event. One reporter who tweeted the images was David Weigel of the Washington Post.
When Weigel realized that some of the images were misleading and did not imply what he thought they did, he quickly deleted them and explained his mistake. Yet Trump couldn't restrain himself and lashed out at Weigel, tagging him in a tweet and yelling about "FAKE NEWS."
After some serious blowback, instead of backing down from attacking a private citizen, Trump doubled down on Sunday in a despotic meltdown in which he smeared the free press as a "stain on America."
This is not how a president ought to behave.
Indeed, as Shareblue Media Senior Writer Eric Boehlert noted on MSNBC's "AMJoy" Sunday morning, this kind of petty and vindictive attack on a private citizen over an innocent mistake is more like the behavior of a right-wing blogger.
JOY REID: It is sort of delicious irony in a lot of ways, Eric, that the call by Donald Trump — again, the president of the United States calling for an individual journalist to be fired and also calling for people to sue members of the media — but on the Dave Weigel front, Dave Weigel tweeted a picture that was early on in the Pensacola rally, so it wasn't full, and Donald Trump is of course obsessed with crowd size for himself. And so he's called on him to be fired even though Dave Weigel corrected himself. You know, this is both an obsession he has with his crowd size and himself, but also I think something — is it dangerous, is it wrong to say it's dangerous for him to be punching so far down to an individual reporter?
BOEHLERT: Yeah, I mean, you know — he's become sort of like this right-wing blogger. I mean, nitpicking over photos and things like that. I mean, this is supposed to be the president of the United States. Look, there were some factual errors, mistakes, and we've noted they were all corrected. I think the press has been incredibly accurate for the last ten months for the most part. You look at all the fires that are burning, all the fires that Trump has set in all the different places, all the amazing stories that reporters have to cover while the administration lies to them every single day. Imagine being a reporter covering this administration, knowing you essentially cannot trust a single person who you get on the phone, if they ever call you back.
So these are incredible hurdles the press is facing, and I think by and large they've done an amazing job. I think it should be more aggressive, I think there's too much tepid coverage, but this idea that if you get a story wrong, everything disappears? Go watch "All the President's Men" — the best scene is when Woodward and Bernstein, Woodstein, get called into the office becausse they screwed up a story. And Republicans thought that was the end of Watergate. It was not the end of Watergate, and it's not going to be the end of the Russia investigation.
Unfortunately, Trump cares not a whit for the norms and expected decorum of the office he occupies, especially when his ego may be at risk.
His impetuous actions and tweets seem nearly impossible to rein in, aside from one brief moment of reprieve thanks to a rogue Twitter employee.
Wholly and dangerously influenced by his cable news addiction, and his inability to apply even a modicum of critical thinking to what he hears from his favorite propaganda network, Trump has become little more than a far-right ideologue, screaming at the world through screens and social media sites.