Over the past decade or two, there’s been plenty of hand-wringing about the state of the legacy media.
Whither The New York Times and its subscription numbers? Where will the next Woodward and Bernstein come from if The Washington Post shuts down?
Well, worry not, dear reader. Thanks to a subscription boost during the Trump administration, democracy shall not die in darkness.
Some publications haven’t done quite as well as others, however, and one of the laggards is Newsweek. The venerable magazine was in such dire straits in late 2017 and early 2018 that they were about to get kicked out of their offices for not paying rent.
Why could that be, you may wonder? Newsweek is suitably anti-Donald Trump. They have the gravitas and imprimatur of age.
They pedal that mushy sort of liberalism that gets a nod of approval from Poynter Institute types.
Why, then, is the publication in trouble?
Well, I suppose there’s that.
Yes, in an age where the establishment media positions itself as a defender of all that’s Good, Pure and Objective about news coverage, Newsweek picked up a story out of Scotland in which a “distant cousin” of Trump on his mother’s side said he had “stolen a handful of flat cakes while on vacation at his late mother’s former home in Scotland.”
At this very moment, I can guarantee you, Jerrold Nadler is desperately searching through constitutional law journals to see if flapjack thievery constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Alice Mackay “said the commander-in-chief is an unpleasant man who has never used any of his wealth to help his mother’s local community,” Newsweek reported.
“The 79-year-old spoke in glowing terms about Trump’s late mother — Mary Anne MacLeod, who died in 2000 — and his older sister — Maryanne Trump Barry, 82 — saying they were both generous people who made many contributions to the Isle of Lewis, an island located in Scotland’s far northern Outer Hebrides archipelago,” Newsweek added.
Mary Anne came to the United States at the age of 17 in 1930, and Mackay remembers her fondly. Not so much for The Donald, though.
“I don’t like the man at all, he’s so unlike his mother and father,” Mackay said, adding that Mary Anne and Fred were “lovely parents, I don’t know what went wrong with him. My mum and dad were second cousins. Every time they were over here they came to ours for dinner.”
And then boom went the dynamite: “He was here one morning I was busy making pancakes and he had forgotten my husband had died,” Mackay said. “He put a few pancakes in [his] pocket and never said ‘cheerio’ or anything.”
It’s no-cheerio-gate! Stop those presses! And he stole floury breakfast staples at the same time he forgot a distant relative had died, too? Why wasn’t this included in the Mueller report?
This cringeworthy case study of Trump Derangement Syndrome goes on (and on), believe it or not. For instance, do you know when Trump visited his mom’s ancestral home, he barely stayed for a minute and a half?
“Trump visited his mother’s former home in the village of Tong in the northeast of the Isle of Lewis in 2008,” Newsweek reported, claiming “the president has only visited once, and spent just 97 seconds in the home where his mother was raised alongside nine siblings.”
Trump told reporters during the visit that he was “very busy — I am building jobs all over the world — and it’s very, very tough to find the time to come back. But this just seemed an appropriate time, because I have the plane … I’m very glad I did, and I will be back again.”
It’s unclear whether he stole the pancakes on this visit — or if not, whether he stole pancakes on this visit, too. #ResistBreakfastTheft.
The only thing that can be said for this pathetic waste of ones and zeroes is that Newsweek didn’t dispatch its reporters to the far northern Outer Hebrides to get this flimsy, uncorroborated story. It was originally published by The National in Scotland, albeit in somewhat more sober form.
The original article seemed somewhat more concerned with whether or not Trump had given enough money to the community of his mother’s birth, because apparently they’re entitled to it or something.
Instead, Newsweek focused on the fact he allegedly took their pancakes and forgot a relative’s death, something that apparently didn’t arouse as much Caledonian ire.
Newsweek felt compelled to ask the White House for comment on this. They declined to offer any, which comes as a surprise to no one.
What were they going to say? “Oh no, it was a waffle. You guys are fake news.”
Thankfully, once my headache from this story dimmed and my eyes were able to focus again, I found plenty of other sound journalism regarding the Trump family on Newsweek’s website — the kind of reporting that gladdens the heart with the knowledge someone is out there, diligently collecting important facts and relaying them to you, the reader at home:
Well, that settles it. Prosecute them all.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.