Trump Has the Whole Country Talking About Terrorist Attacks Tonight

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Today President Trump told a military audience that terrorist attacks were so common that the press barely even reports them anymore. “In many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

Asked about these mystery attacks, Sean Spicer said at a press briefing, “We’ll provide a list later.” And he did! But it was plainly ridiculous, including lots of attacks that were not just covered, but massively covered. The complete list is below. In order to provide a metric that Trump can appreciate, I’ve highlighted seven of the best-known attacks and provided their Google search scores as a percentage of the Google score for Trump’s inauguration:

And now for the $64 question: WTF? Why would Spicer release such an obviously laughable list? I’m not one for 11-dimensional chess, but the answer seems pretty obvious to me.

Just think for a second. What are we all talking about tonight? A great big list of terrorist attacks. Would we be talking about terrorists if Spicer had released this list merely as evidence that there are lots of terrorist attacks in the world? Of course not. That would be a yawn. We’re talking about it solely because it’s so stupid. That’s what got it a lot of attention.

Is this deliberate? Or just an instinctive animal cunning on Trump’s part? Beats me. But unlike most of us, Trump doesn’t care if lots of people think he’s an idiot. He just doesn’t have the instinct for shame. What he cares about is getting everybody talking about a big list of terrorist attacks, and he knows that to do that he has to give us all a reason to talk about them. If the price of that is some mockery, that’s a trade he’s willing to make. Mission accomplished.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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