Donald Trump may have started out in reality TV but now he’s crossed over into an alternate reality of his own devise, where he believes — apparently — that you can make unpleasant facts and figures vanish by sending a cease and desist letter to the purveyor of same. CNN received such a letter on Wednesday demanding that they retract, and apologize for, their recent poll, showing Trump trailing Joe Biden by 14 points. CNN’s reaction was what you would expect. CNN:

“We stand by our poll,” said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman.

The CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on Monday shows Trump trailing the former vice president by 14 points, 55%-41%, among registered voters. It also finds the President’s approval rating at 38% — his worst mark since January 2019, and roughly on par with approval ratings for one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at this point in their reelection years — and his disapproval rating at 57%.

Donald Trump does not like the handwriting on this wall, oh no siree.

“It’s a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President,” read the letter, signed by the Trump campaign’s senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis and chief operating officer Michael Glassner.
The campaign formally requested that CNN retract the poll and publish a “full, fair, and conspicuous retraction, apology, and clarification to correct its misleading conclusions.”
This is what drop dead desperation looks and sounds like. If you could have held the letter in your hand, you might have smelled the desperation, it’s that palpable. The poll came out Monday and by the same afternoon Trump was reportedly restructuring his campaign and he employed the services of a “highly respected” polling firm, McLaughlin and Associates. It’s unclear at this point exactly by whom they are highly respected, because it isn’t their peers.
McLaughlin ranks as one of the least accurate pollsters in the industry, as measured by FiveThirtyEight.
This is a big deal, that this pollster is labeled as least accurate. Peer review is important, whether you’re talking about academia, polling, or blogging. With respect to blogging, for example, a site called Media Bias does fact checks and credibility assessments of various blogs, including this one, and assigns a rating. PolitiZoom has the same Mixed rating, for news mixed in with commentary, as Daily Kos and PoliticusUSA. I can sleep nights being in the same ballpark as those two sites, as opposed to being classed with Breitbart and Daily Caller.
These considerations are important in the real world, not that Donald Trump would ever recognize them as such. In the fantasy world he lives in, a pollster becomes “respected” when Trump decides they are. I think it’s fair to assume at this point that McLaughlin is getting a nice paycheck to tell Trump what he wants to hear. This is how Trump operates. He will pay anybody to get in his corner and produce a result and these pollsters probably have reached the same conclusion as everybody else who works for him, which is that the Trump gravy train isn’t going to run forever, but until it derails, get while the gettin’ is good. McLaughlin is just the latest hire in Trump world, tasked with lying for him and hoping that voters buy the lie, like they did in 2016.
Trump has regularly chafed at polls that do not reflect favorably on him while promoting ones that do. Last month, Trump bashed Fox News, a network he often touts and gives interviews to, for a telephone-conducted poll that showed him behind Biden by 8 points, and instead pointed to a CNN poll released earlier in the month where he was leading Biden in battleground states. That CNN poll, however, showed Biden had a 5-point lead over Trump among registered voters nationwide.
“Why doesn’t @FoxNews put up the CNBC POLL or the (believe it or not!) @CNN Poll? Hope Roger A is looking down and watching what has happened to this once beautiful creation!” Trump tweeted at the time, referring to the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes.
Trump has also credited CNN’s polling when it has suited him, as he did in December 2015 when he thanked several on-air reporters for their “very professional reporting of the new CNN Poll” that showed him ahead in the Iowa caucuses.
There it is in a nutshell. If it favors Trump, it’s professional reporting. If the truth is something contrary, it’s fake news. It’s going to be a fun campaign with Trump’s private pollster chiming in on every poll that’s released and revealing why it’s corrupted.


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8 Comments on "Trump Lawyers Send Cease and Desist Letter to CNN, Demand Apology For Poll"

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Anger translation for CNN: “Eff you, Orange Crush. Your 15 minutes are nearly up and we both know it. But please…keep whining about it. We could use the ratings. And we’ll still be here long after NYC takes a wrecking ball to Trump Tower.”

Lil Blue Sock

I like that David Vigilante, CNN’s Executive VP and General Counsel basically calls McLaughlin & Associates a bunch of hacks and laughs in Jenna Ellis, Senior Legal Advisor’s face.

Lesson here….don’t mess with someone whose name is “Vigilante”.


Lil Blue Sock

Here is a link to David Vigilante’s letter to the Trump Campaign…..

dana fairfield

The thing about reality TV shows is that they are actually alternate realities posing as genuine realities, so Trump has been in his element. Too bad alternate reality doesn’t actually work in the authentic genuine reality. That why the “Earth 2” satire is effective.


Well, Karl Rove, in one of his more inane moments of hubris, set forth the whole “we create our realities” notion under W. So Trump fit right in with that crowd. As I heard it put, they got it backwards. Reality is immutable. The only thing that changes is your perspective of it. Wave your hand in front of the mirror all you want. All you’re doing is swallowing the mirror’s little speech.