Brad Parscale isn't just some Trump supporter. Or merely some low-level member of the Trump administration, like, oh, another of those "I don't know him" coffee boys. Or just the former digital media director for Trump in the 2016 race with a history of deception overlapping with Russian collusion. No, Brad Parscale is the actual campaign manager for Trump 2020 re-election. You know, the job that convicted felon Paul Manafort had.
It is not enough for Brad Parscale to delete his sweet. What is required is him addressing -- as campaign manager for the reelection of Trump 2020 -- that he posted something he himself recognizes was, at best, wrong, and at worst intentionally deceptive.
But that's not enough either.
Honestly, I have no idea if this was just a totally, understandable "oops" moment where Brad Parscale saw a great photo of Air Force One at the Daytona 500 race where Trump was on Sunday, or something he knew perfectly well wasn't remotely from the event he oversaw but didn't care if it was true or not. What I do know is that it doesn't matter.
To be clear, it would matter for most administrations. ("Most" being every other administration in U.S. history since the invention of photography.) It would matter for most people, as well. However, it does not matter for this administration, the Trump administration which is headed by someone with 16,241 documented lies since taking office only three years ago.
Lies are the fuel of this administration. This isn't the first photo they've gotten wrong. Further, they have a history of using other doctored photos and videos. And Trump himself has personally sent them out. Then, you add in those 16,241 Trump lies. And all the other actual, knowing lies from Trump spokespeople. Not to mention that this is an administration based on a foundation of "Alternative facts." And a president represented by a personal lawyer who has said, bluntly, agressively, with no shame, that "Truth is not truth."
For the record, just to be clear about it up front -- truth is truth.
Also, facts are, in fact, facts.
And perhaps above all, this false photograph is from an administration that has been desperately trying to make the public distrust the news, desperately trying to make the public think the news is fake. While itself has been built on a foundation of fake. Such as this now-deleted fake photo.
All of which addresses the reality that this is an administration with zero credibility. Which is why it doesn't matter whether Brad Parscale -- the campaign manager for Trump 2020 -- knew the photo was false or just made an oopsy mistake this one time. The point is that nothing that comes from the Trump administration should be believed at this point. Nothing. Zero. Nada.
That doesn't mean that nothing the Trump administration says is true. Of course some of it is. But they have lost any and all consideration of credibility to the extent that nothing from their mouths or pens or tweets or ads should be trusted anymore at face value, unquestioned. Absolutely nothing.
So, while Brad Parscale -- Trump 2020 campaign manager -- should be required by every member of the news media who deals with him to address this false photo, not a single word he says -- quite literally none -- should be taken at face value. Because as All Things Trump have repeatedly, relentlessly shown, the foundation of this administration and its effort to stay in office is to lie and deceive and make the public distrust the truth. So, by their own standards, they must be required to defend their own words and prove them. Every one of them.
Maybe this photo was an innocent error. Or maybe it was yet another attempt to lie and they got caught. It doesn't matter. They want you to distrust the news. It's a very fascist thing, after all. Page one of the table of contents. So, if they want everyone to distrust the news, then the press -- and we all -- must do so with them, because that's the rules of the game they've set up. To not believe them.
By the way, I'm okay with people being aware that all news can possibly be incorrect, but by the same token, we make that judgement on what we trust but the track record and standards an organization lives by. After all, if a news company is repeatedly wrong about what they report and can't be trusted for correcting their mistakes, they go out of business. So, we know it's essential for an actual news organization to succeed that they operate at the highest standards. And we factor that reality into our judgement.
But when an administration relentlessly lies and falsifies documents and hides evidence and says not to trust the truth, because the truth isn't truth and there are alternative facts and Remember the Massacre of Bowling Green that never existed -- you have only two options: to not trust them or to trust their word when they say not to trust them.
I'm fine either way. I don't trust them. I require verification of everything from the Trump administration. Everything. Everything. Everything.
And it my fond hope that, at this point, so too will the press require verification, as well. About everything from the administration and re-election campaign.
If someone from the Trump administration says, "Good morning," at this point -- check it out. Because they haven't earned the right to believe them that it's really the morning or is good.. Nor, as they themselves have said, do they want you to.
And the elected members of the Republican Party are okay with that. So, fine, don't believe them either. Because they enable it all and are complicit.
So, Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump 2020, deleted his glaringly-false tweet. Gee, that's swell. But when you're the campaign manager for the president of the United States, that's not taking responsibility for your actions, that's hiding them. And that's Standard Operating Procedure for this administration. That's blocking witnesses, that's not allowing evidence, that's locking away the actual transcript of a phone call as code-level security. On and on, over and over. Year after year, day after day. And that's why far more is required by him and from the press.
And the Republican Party is okay with it.