Those two good ole boys, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are having a real laugh riot at the G20 Summit in Osaka. Life and death is just a giggle to this vaudeville act, especially when the topic is the lives or deaths of journalists. Trump is apparently oblivious to the fact that twenty-six journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin became president and that today is the one year anniversary of the murder of five Capital Gazette employees, in Annapolis, Maryland. But what would you expect, when his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told him not to worry about the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Kushner BFF Mohammad bin Salmen? Kushner assured Trump, “It’ll blow over.” The Guardian:
As they sat for photographs at the start of their first formal meeting in nearly a year, the US president lightheartedly sought common ground with Putin at the expense of the journalists around them in Osaka.
“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do,” Trump said.
To which Putin responded, in English: “We also have. It’s the same.”
Twenty-six journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin first became president, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), many of them investigative reporters scrutinising governmental abuses.
Trump has frequently referred to the press as the “enemy of the people” and in February the CPJ expressed concern about the safety of journalists covering Trump rallies, where they have been the target of derision and abuse from the president and his supporters. It is a year to the day since five Capital Gazette employees were killed in their newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. The shooting led to the organisation Reporters Without Borders adding the US to its list of the five deadliest countries for journalism.
Mike Pompeo is part of the gaiety as well. He “smiled broadly” at Trump’s bon mot to Putin, “don’t meddle in the election.” Oh, my stomach hurts from all this belly laughing. Or maybe it’s because I have to go throw up. What Trump doesn’t realize is that Putin is indeed having a great time with Trump. He’s laughing at him, not with him. Putin is the cat and Trump the oblivious canary. But Trump is too stupid to know that.