“It’s been a very tough week for President Trump. The Los Angeles Times ran a piercing investigation into the construmption of the Trumpstone resort at Yellowstone National Park, suggesting undue influence on the part of the president. That was followed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine two days after the President assured the country that he had spoken to Putin personally. Then, this morning, it was revealed that senior advisor Mike Fortner defected to Russia, bringing new questions about Mr Trump’s muted response to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. Today on The Press Decides, we will be talking whether or not Trump can recover. Here’s a clip.”
MATT: Well obviously, the most important thing about the Fortner defection is whether this will prevent Trump from getting his approval rating back above 40%.
ANNE: Exactly. It’s obvious that he’s going to need to do something to demonstrate that he is back in charge. He can’t continue to let this news cycle get away from him…
HEADLINE: US LAUNCHES NUCLEAR ATTACK IN MONGOLIA; ULAN BATOR LEVELED
CLARK: Welcome to The Press Decides. Today we will be talking about how last night’s nuclear attack of Ulan Bator is leaving a lot of people troubled. We’re also not sure what to make of President Trump’s tweet, which seemed aimed at the President of Russia.
MATT: I’m afraid that Trump has really stepped into it this time, Clark. Our government has recognized the capital of Mongolia as being spelled Ulaanbaatar. It’s really quite disrespectful to the Mongolian culture to denigrate it like this with western spelling. Which, of course, he still managed to spell wrong.
ANNE: I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you, Matt. Nobody is going to care about the tweet. What people are going to care about is that Trump took action and took control of the news cycle. The press had been pretty tough on the president up until now, but who’s going to be talking about Mike Fortner now?
JEFF: Who’s Mike Fortner?
HEADLINE: RUSSIA SENDS TROOPS INTO LATVIA
MATT: All I’m saying is that President Trump’s comments all week long have suggested that he thinks it’s in Russia and not Mongolia. This type of world ignorance is not well suited to the presidency at all.
JEFF: Look, I’m sure that the President knows where Ulan Bator is. This is all really silly.
ANNE: I would go a step further, Jeff. He knows where Ulan Bator is and is merely trying to bait the press on this. And as usual, it’s working.
JEFF: Exactly, Anne. The more the press acts like it’s smarter than Trump, the better he does. The media gets fixated on trivia like whether Trump knows where Ulan Bator is rather than things that matter like leadership and patriotism.
MATT: I’m sorry, but are you guys suggesting that he bombed some tertiary country on the basis that it would get us talking about the fact that he may not know where cities actually are?
ANNE: Even if Ulan Bator isn’t in Russia, there must have been some strategic reason why he would choose that city…
HEADLINE: TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN: ULON BATER IS IN RUSSIA!
Subhead: Also, Russian troops amassing along Lithuanian border.
CLARK: So the question here is whether knowing world geography is elitist. Jeff?
JEFF: Well, clearly it is. Every day Americans have no reason to care where Ulan Bator is. John Kerry’s criticisms of the President are deeply out of touch with the American people, which have deeper concerns like leadership and patriotism.
ANNE: That’s exactly right, Jeff.
MATT: I would just like to reiterate: Ulaanbaatar.
JEFF: He knows where America is, Matt. That’s what’s really important here.
Webster College Journalism Review: “New organizations are still in conflict over how precisely to portray the geography in the Russian conflict. With Ulan Bator allegedly in Russian hands, is Mongolia as a whole considered a Russian province now? Or just the portion of Mongolia that includes its (former?) capital city? CNN has redrawn its map with the Russian border extending southward to include Ulan Bator but leaves southern Mongolia as an independent nation. MSNBC has not changed its borders at all, and continues to reference Ulan Bator as the capital of Mongolia. Fox News is using a map provided by CIA Director Corey Lewandowski, which relocates Ulan Bator into what has previously been considered Irkutsk Oblast. As of right now, they are providing an informal sketch that appears to be on a napkin, though a Fox News spokesperson assures us that the CIA World Factbook is being updated.”
CHINA DECLARES WAR, INDIA ANNOUNCES NEW ALLIANCE WITH RUSSIA
CLARK: I’m sorry, but we have a war breaking out in Asia and we don’t even know what maps to use. This reflects really negatively on the Trump Administration.
JEFF: We have a map, Clark. The CIA released it yesterday. Our editorial overlords just won’t let us use it.
ANNE: I’m afraid I am with Clark on this one, Jeff. We know where Ulan Bator is geographically and it… really doesn’t seem to be where the Trump Administration is saying it is. Our allies are saying that it’s not where the map puts it.
JEFF: Well, that’s fair, Anne. So right now we do have something of a debate. To cover both sides, perhaps we should use the old map which puts Ulon Bater in the place that we have always called Mongolia, but also the one which suggests it’s off Lake Baikal. Let our viewers decide.
CLARK: They are, after all, the ultimate authority, aren’t they?
JEFF: Yes, and with Trump’s approval ratings creeping up above 50%, they are rallying around their leader. It’s hard not to argue that the Ulan Bator bombing wasn’t a complete success.
HEADLINE: RUSSIAN TROOPS AMASSING ALONG CHINESE BORDER
Subhead: Eric Trump to host reality TV show for new 49-star US Flag
ANNE: I want to support our president, but his mocking impersonation of the Chinese General Secretary was over the top and I’m just not sure why he did it.
JEFF: Enough about that. We need to talk about the new Republican Senate Majority.
CLARK: That’s a good point. Big changes in the electoral landscape. Democrats lose two Senator seats and two House seats.
ANNE: It was already an uphill climb to win in 2020, now they’re down four electoral votes.
MATT: I’d like to think that the Democrats may be able to make headway on the insanity of it all.
CLARK: What do you mean?
MATT: Russia invades Latvia. We respond by bombing Mongolia…
JEFF: Or Russia.
MATT: Well that’s just it. If we bombed Russia then how is it that while we’ve left Eastern Europe to rot we’re suddenly on the side of Russia in Asia?
JEFF: Nobody likes you, Matt. Stop being so butthurt about the senate seats. We’re at war. Remember Hawaii.
HEADLINE: RUSSIA INVADES NORTHEASTERN CHINA
CLARK: With Russia invading China, our allies are getting impatient with Donald Trump’s sluggish response.
JEFF: You’re missing the story, Clark. Russia is now in control of Inner Mongolia. Remember when everyone was saying that the Ulon Bater bombing was a mistake because it was in “Mongolia”? Well, Mongolia is now in Russian hands
MATT: That’s a different Mongolia! Inner Mongolia is a province in China. Mongolia is, or was, or we think anyway, its own country. As far as we know, he hasn’t put any troops in Mongolia at all. Why would he when its primary city is a nuclear wasteland? Also, it’s Ulaanbaatar.
JEFF: Inner Mongolia sounds like it’s inside Mongolia to me, Matt.
CLARK: He has a point there.
ANNE: He really does. For all of the grief that Trump took about where Ulon Bater is, his initial remarks are seeming quite prescient.
“Former Secretary of State John Kerry announced his candidacy for president today. His campaign themes are reported to include implementing a college tax credit, climate change, and improving diplomacy by using regional names such as España and Ulanbaatar. He faces an uphill climb to get to 268 electoral votes as President Trump’s approval rating hit 55%.”
JEFF: Here’s what everyone is missing. When Trump first ran, it was Nazi this and Nazi that. Yet here he was last week taunting the German Chancellor on losing Berlin. Last I checked, Hitler didn’t like the Russians.
CLARK: This is a good point. It seems we have been misunderstanding him this entire time.
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