Magnetic ego

The many ironies in Trump’s whining about news reports on Melania Trump’s long absence from public view…

President Trump engaged in characteristic hyperbole when he tweeted Wednesday that the media “reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse” — as if reputable journalists had presented various conspiracy theories as fact.

Moreover, the president ignored or failed to see the multiple ironies in his grievance.

For starters, the president’s tweets amount to a complaint about conspiracy theories from the man who spent years promoting the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and who touted the “amazing” reputation of Infowars founder Alex Jones, a 9/11 “truther” who has suggested the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., was a “false flag.” Trump’s standing to police rumor and conjecture is diminished, to say the least.

“Irony” isn’t the right word for that, actually. It needs a much harsher word. What is the word for treating people like shit yourself but also pitching a huge fit when other people are mildly critical or questioning toward you? What’s the name of that cognitive distortion that thinks “I can abuse people as much as I like but people may not so much as look askance at me”? That bloated regard for the self and hostile contempt for everyone else? Is there a name for it?

Then there is President Trump’s rich objection to the notion that the first lady could have had a facelift; he hurled the same charge at MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski last year. Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough tweeted reminders on Wednesday.

I don’t know of an exact word for it, but I do know it’s not as benign as mere “irony.”

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