With a “shock poll” out showing Donald Trump is back up in the polls and inside the margin of error, we see this weekend pervasive signs that the liberal attack dogs have been set lose. They are desperate trying to find some way – hell any way – to hold on to the Gravy Train that is Washington’s top office and their access to power.
Since I’ve been a reporter since age 20 – which gives me 47-years of experience explaining things to people – allow me to remind you of some key items that slide in below your attention threshold.
#1: Make Something Legal Sound Really Bad
For this lesson, head over to the NY Times piece here which is carefully worded: “Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties.”
Almost sounds like Trump did something “sketchy” doesn’t it? A quote for the class:
Especially when it asserts this: “But an investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Mr. Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House.”
Sound bad for Trump?
No, not if you understand how incomplete reporting works. You see, the report craftily said “…companies he owns…”
Now let me take you to business school for a minute.
Suppose Ures truly is in a limited partnership or an LLc and I am not the sole owner. (See where this is going?)
I could have the $345 million in debt reported because other participants in the ventures (kids, relatives, investment firms, other LLc’s and so on) could have the balance.
It’s not what I’d call a “balanced piece” because this little detail of business journalism isn’t fgeel adequately explained in the story for those who skipped the MBA classes.
Similarly, the story charges this:
“Beyond finding that companies owned by Mr. Trump had debts of at least $650 million, The Times discovered that a substantial portion of his wealth is tied up in three passive partnerships that owe an additional $2 billion to a string of lenders, including those that hold the loan on the Avenue of the Americas building….”
Again, the report seems a little, uh, you know…incomplete.
More schooling: Let’s you and me set up a passive partnership and sell a building. We line up a bunch of money from banks – say $500 million. And then we sell the underlying property/assets for $600 million.
True enough, that’s a debt, alright…but if you have a $500 million debt and you carry the paper for $600 million, you’re doing what real estate developers all over the world do…namely, make money. Oh, and since I’m the developer and you’re the junior partner, I may have a senior position that gives me more money and less exposure to the banks…which is how the world really works.
That doesn’t come across in the story.
#2: False Parity Use in “News” Stories.
Then comes this:
“Among the lenders: the Bank of China, one of the largest banks in a country that Mr. Trump has railed against as an economic foe of the United States, and Goldman Sachs, a financial institution he has said controls Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, after it paid her $675,000 in speaking fees.”
Hold it: You mean a long term loan (to buy an apartment house for mortals like us) and a payoff to grease US policy is the same thing? Not where I grew up reporting…but that wasn’t Washington or New York.
Fine, my point is that the story seems to skip another key business lesson.
In the business world, there is a hell of a big difference between cutting a real estate loan, which a) gets paid back and b) which the originating banks make money on compared with c) Hillary Clinton’s Foundation which seems to do things live develop Russian high tech centers..thanks loads for that.
To my line of thinking – remember, I’ve only been reporting off and on for 47-years – that smacks of modestly incomplete journalism.
#3 Under-Report (or spike) the Felonious Allegations
But, it isn’t like the NY Times story is the only ginned up anti-Trump piece out there.
Take for example the Government Accountability Institute’s report that has been out for almost three weeks now, that details how Hillary has been way into making money off Russia…far beyond what the innuendo crowd has found on Trump.
In fact, the Executive Summary of the report “From Russia With Money” alleges this short “Executive Summary:”
- A major technology transfer component of the Russian reset overseen by Hillary Clinton substantially enhanced the Russian military’s technological capabilities according to both the FBI and the U.S. Army.
- Russian government officials and American corporations participated in the technology transfer project overseen by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation
- A Putin?connected Russian government fund transferred $35-million to a small company with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta on its executive board,which included senior Russian officials.
- John Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures,his membership on the board of this offshore company
- Podesta also headed up a think tank which wrote favorably about the Russian reset while apparently receiving millions from Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs via an offshore LLC.
Sort of makes Trumps complex financial holdings look pretty reasonable, doesn’t it?
Yet the attack dogs try to make it sound like this was a report from a group Trumnp set up yesterday. In fact, it’s been around since 2012.
But as I said in the headline, this is attack dog weekend. And when Trump shows strength ev everything looks like a T-bone to the dogs.
The detailed questions about the Clinton Foundation somehow aren’t national news.
And how much do you want to bet that Judicial Watch won’t get its questions of Hillary answered until after the election – if ever?
Yet the Amazon Post (which is what we call the Washington Post now owned by Jeff Bezos) assures the flock today how Hillary is already planning her agenda for when she takes over White House.
And so to Recap for the class:
Here’s how attack dogs are run:
1. Incomplete reporting. Make something normal sound really bad.
2. Use false equivalencies (comparing your home or business loan to a payoff from the mob is one way to think about it).
3. Ignore the serious allegations about the Clinton Foundation’s profits from Hillary’s time at State.
4. Use of gratuitous titles such as “Madam Secretary Clinton” – which she hasn’t been for three years but it’s done to ensure the sheep will think she still has relevance. (She doesn’t – John Kerry is still cleaning up the messes.)
5. Promote what we call in sales engineering “the assumptive close” that shows in the WaPo agenda story. Make it seem like Hillary won and a certain number of the flock won’t know the difference. The mere voting is a triviality – she’s in and working already….ahem.
This dear reader is how sheep get sheared and why Hillary will win.
It ain’t on merit – it’s on something else: Money
Big City Media live and die on leaks and breaks. The big guys are already in for Hil so they will continue to have creds and breaks on stories once her “transaction of office” is complete.,
\We now return you to our regularly scheduled weekend.