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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

Donald Trump Halloween

Halloween-costumed children of the White House media show mixed reactions as President Donald Trump toys with them in the Oval Office in Halloween, where he delivered messages about their parents.

Imagine the outrage in the White House if a schoolyard bully approached Barron Trump and taunted him with expressions of surprise that his father had been able to produce such a fine-looking lad.

Yet, that’s exactly what 45 did with several reporters’ children who had been ushered into the Oval Friday decked out in Halloween costumes as Darth Vader, Princess Leia, a purple-haired unicorn and other characters, real and mythical. (Not a Cheeto costume in the bunch.)

“I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children!” he declared to the group of 8- to 10-year-olds — all just a bit younger than 11-year-old Barron.

“How the media did this, I don’t know,” he exclaimed, couching a subliminal message that obviously mystified the children.

However, his toying with the children’s self-images no doubt thrilled his base, who still delight in his media-bashing at the continuing presidential pep rallies that echo his campaign chatter. Those self-love fests to this day strive successfully to stoke the flames of his support in the run-up to Election Day, which ended with that troublesome tally of 65,844,954 votes for Hillary Clinton to his own 62,979,879.

Consider the cacophony of criticism that presidential flak Sarah Chucklebee Sanders would spit out — with her eyebrow upturned like a character from “Hansel and Gretel” — if a media persona asked Barron whether he would grow up to be like his old man.

That’s what the president did to a little girl, saying, “Are you gonna grow up to be like your parents?”

Before she could answer, he motioned with his hands that emulating her folks would be a horrific idea.

Motioning toward a young girl that she could have a little box of White House candies, he teased, “You have no weight problems, so that’s the good thing.”

Huh? What’s the message the girl was supposed to take home and ponder? Maybe “Am I fat?” Will she obsess about the question, and develop the eating disorders like so many others have done after being ridiculed about weight issues in childhood?

What if somebody told Eric Trump his Dracula costume was realistic — when he wasn’t wearing one?

The children had mixed reactions, ranging from giggles to nervousness to fear. When one girl was crying, he asked why and motioned her still closer as someone mentioned that she is Japanese.

Almost as if he were surprised that a Japanese girl could be cute, the would-be leader of the free world made it all about him, telling her that he would be visiting Japan soon.

The 71-year-old grandfather motioned for the children to gather ’round his desk for a photo op. Pointing toward the media, he asked the youngsters whether they knew who the photographers and reporters were.

Answering the question himself, as he is wont to do, he said, “They are the friendly media” — as if they could divine the satire he aimed to convey.

Continuing to speak way above the kids’ heads with comments obviously directed at his base, he allowed as how the press treats them better than it does him.

His actions spoke louder than his words, echoing his vitriolic assessments of the media at rallies that media are “sick people” … ““truly bad people” who hate the United States … and are an “enemy of the people.”

Clearly, the president made what might have been an innocent, light-hearted photo op into another blatant message to his base. Truly, he bars no holds in his attacks of the media, channeling his hatred through children.

It was unclear whether the laughter in the background came from White House staffers, who should be ashamed if it did, or the media, who should be doubly ashamed for allowing their children to be used and abused for subliminal messages of scorn.

Oddly enough, the incident came just days after the first lady seemed to resurrect her campaign vow to fight bullying when she visited a school in a Detroit suburb to commemorate October as National Bullying Prevention Month.

Among other things, the first lady told a group of students — probably just a bit younger than Barron — at Orchard Lake Middle School. “I think it’s very important to choose kindness and compassion.”

In light of her husband’s demonic disdain for so many people, the statement is perplexing at the least, and hypocritical at the worst.

Again, read between the lines of the president’s comment: “Are you going to grow up and be like your parents? Mmm, don’t answer that. It can only get me in trouble. You have wonderful parents, right?”

In other words, and for the first time, he acknowledged that he is, indeed, a schoolyard bully — but he does it anyway, daily, to immigrants, to members of Congress, to Gold Star parents, to judges, to the media, to anyone he considers to be enemies.

You’re up to your old tricks, Mr. President. No treats for you.

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(18) comments

johnnybragatti

Anyone of those kids "d make a better President than Der Drumpfpt,
not to seem insulting, mind you,
but often times the truth is your best gig and the truth will set you free,
no know matter what them "angry old, conservative manchild, whiteboy, GOP Geezers"...,
tell you.

Redwall

Oh my gosh, I watched the video...the reality of what is shown in the video is nothing like what the author described in the article.

Fake news or Trump Derangement Syndrome?

Redwall

Impressive article (sarcasm).


LesTrafik

The underlying irony here is the (un)parallels between beneficiary Trump-- gained wealth through inheritance-- and his 'average' joe base, with his utter failure to connect with 'normal' kids.

Overweight president lacking self-awareness, insinuates about weight problems to kids, is a painted face president calling the pumpkin orange

Only1Green

"Sarah Chucklebee Sanders" and yet it is perfectly fine to make fun of them. Huh, strange, seems like that would be hypocritical. Have to consider the source I guess

Necktye

Not hypocritical at all, but rather, checking reactions of Trump fans when others use his same tactic of negative nicknames, like his Little Marco, Crooked Hillary, Liddle Bob Corker, "Rocket Man," Crazy Bernie, Pocahontas, etc. Those tactics should be below a president, but you appear to be fine with that — until somebody flips it.

Only1Green

If it is wrong for him it is wrong for anyone. It's like telling your child not to hit and then hitting them if they do. By the way, thanks for automatically assuming because of my response I'm fine with Trump's habit of name calling. I'm not. Never have been. Hated it on the playground, hate it as an adult. Signed a Deplorable

Redwall

ok, you dont like Trump's personality, we get it.
Moving along, can you now attempt to write something of substance?
Afraid you'll lose your liberal Fibune audience?

Clarification

Instead of "playing to his base," shouldn't it be be "playing to his debased?'

250000 New Jobs

I'm sure "the ratings" where good.

Buggs Raplin

Did Trump make a mistake here with the kids? I don't know. It not something I'm interested in. But I do care that Hillary looked the families of the Benghazi tragedy in the eye and lied to them about why their loved ones died. You cannot compare the two situations in terms of their egregiousness.

Buggs Raplin

Trump's criticism of the fake news mainstream media does not go far enough. They are essentially a propaganda operation hiding behind a perception by gullibles that they are 'journalists' concerned with the truth. What BS. Their biggest sin is their obfuscation of American foreign policy as a benign entity only wanting to spread democracy. As Martin Luther King said in 1967-"The US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world." So true, but so unknown because of the fake news mainstream media. Another sin is the covering up of the established link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Their is no honest reporting on this-just a claim that it's been debunked when it hasn't been. You cannot debunk the William Thompson situation at the CDC, where he and his colleagues deleted data from a study that showed the link. Please see the documentary, "Vaxxed" which drums home the 'healthy baby-vaccination-autistic baby causation. I could go on, but, again, Trump is absolutely right in his criticisms. He just doesn't go far enough.

(Edited by staff.)

kingman10

[offtopic][offtopic]

Buggs Raplin

Well, Tighe is criticizing Trump for being critical of the fake news media. I tried to present a couple examples of the propaganda aspect of that fake news media, examples that have caused human misery from our wars, our bombings, our overthrow of legitimate governments (foreign policy), and the heartache of parents having their children become brain damaged from the MMR vaccine. RFK Jr. has a recent column today posted at InfoWars. You won't see it on the editorial page of any mainstream newspaper. It's the preservative mercury in vaccines that is damaging our children with autism and other afflictions like ADHD. But, hey, kingman, I know this means nothing to you for an acknowledgement would wreak havoc with your worldview, and your trust in a media that lies to you on just about everything that matters.

kingman10

just can't wait for another off the wall conspiracy theory from you buggs. Let me guess, this time in New York it was the CIA carrying out the tragedy and the driver was just a plant while the remote controlled pick up was piloted by an agent on the grassy knoll. On second thought I don't need to hear any more nonsense from the alt media which does no investigative journalism, just surfing the net while concocting another bogus story. And you keep falling for it.

Buggs Raplin

It was radical Islam again.

kingman10

oh its got to be more than radical islam! There has to be a wider conspiracy involving some government agencies and the Clintons and foreign governments. Come on now buggs, you can do better than that. What about the Colorado shooting killing three people. Did it really happen or is it like Sandy Hook and the moon landing, it never really happened?

kingman10

A bunch of kids come up to Trump in costumes for trick or treat and he makes the moment all about himself, spewing hate for the press and whoever doesn't support him. What a great example for our young! Too bad none of the kids had a Trump costume on, it would of been special to see his reaction.

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