National Security expert and former editor-at-large of Foreign Policy Magazine David Rothkoph has taken to the pages of The Daily Beast to urge the nation’s press to not use the shorthand phrase “documents case”when reporting on drumpf’s indictments that are saturating the airways today and, presumably for some time to one, as this is exactly the framing that drumpf and his lawyers would prefer, as if Trump’s theft of thousands of sensitive national security documents was simply a case of a government official accidentally possessing a few documents he perhaps should not, and not an existential threat to our national security that it is.
“With the hammer of the U.S. justice system seemingly poised to come down at any moment on our already disgraced, twice impeached former President Donald Trump, it is vital we frame the case or cases filed against the president the right way.
Failure to do so misrepresents the crimes that he is alleged to have committed and understates the threat Trump continues to represent.
This means that my brothers and sisters in the media and the D.C. commentariat need to stop referring to the former president’s theft of classified documents vital to our national security as merely “the documents case.”
Even as short-hand, it makes it sound as though Trump were being charged with a bureaucratic slip-up, a mistake in shifting a few pieces of paper he moved from the White House to his southern temple of excess in West Palm Beach. It is a framing that serves the former president’s defenders, and allows them to equate it to other instances in which government documents ended up in the homes of former officials—but were quickly returned as soon as the mistake was discovered.“
To bolster his case for not reporting this as some sort of bureaucratic slip up, Rothkoph sites numerous instances when Trumps behavior threatened our vital national interests such as turning over sensitive information about Israeli defense to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador in the actual Oval Office and the blackmail he tried to consummate against Ukraine to obtain electoral advantage, which, of course you are all aware of…
But Rothkoph also supplies a framing of the issue which he prefers, and will serve the nation’s interests better than the “sloppy paperwork” construct that the press, and drumpf himself, seem to prefer:
“Donald Trump is not simply a clown, a fraud, an incompetent, a former game show host, or a sloppy, vulgar, golf-and-fast-food-loving doofus. Yes, he is all those things. But they are not the aspects of his character—or his behavior—that are important here.
He is, above all, a threat. He is a danger. He is tied to our worst international enemies and a threat the FBI director calls the greatest we face (domestic terror).
His trials should not be seen as political spectacles or some new twisted Trumpian reality show. They should be seen as an effort by our system to protect us, to take a dangerous man off the streets, to reduce the threat to our nation, our children, our allies, our values, and our institutions that this one malevolent, profoundly corrupt man poses.“
Hear, hear, David.
If “shorthand” is needed to created headlines for these indictments let them reflect the threat drumpf constitutes better than merely continuing to frame this as a mere “mishandling” of documents.