“I’m hearing Trump is running the country like an organized crime person,” a friend told me the other night at dinner.
This friend is an independent voter-type who was clearly parroting what he has been hearing on networks like CNN and MSNBC.
Many conservatives don’t listen to these networks, so they miss the “narratives” being pushed on the public.
Millions are brainwashed with such claims, a key reason the country is so divided.
In the past, the media have pressed narratives like “Trump is crazy” or “Trump is racist.”
During this year a new narrative emerged: Trump is an organized crime figure, Don Corleone in the flesh.
The media echo chamber drums it on a daily basis.
Having known Donald Trump for a long time, the idea is laughable to me.
Here, for example, is just one CNN headline: “Comey Is Exactly Right About Trump Being Like a Mob Boss.”
And top-rated CNN host Chris Cuomo says the president has a “mob boss mentality.”
Washington Post commentator Jonathan Capehart, usually fair-minded, started one column: “My rule of thumb for months now has been to not think of the Trump White House as a presidency, but to think of it as a crime family like ‘The Godfather’ and President Trump as a mob boss.”
His evidence? He cites another Washington Post column making the same claim.
The Washington Post apparently likes the narrative. (A Bezos friend asked me recently why the president hates him so much. I told him that Bezos should read his newspaper.)
Here’s another Post opinion piece published in November: “Trump Borrows His Rhetoric — and His View of Power — from the Mob.”
So what’s evidence for this hysteria?
The Post columnist tells us: “Trump also admires mobsters’ no-nonsense language and bias for action; he cites ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Goodfellas’ among his favorite movies.”
I deplore the mafia, but like millions of Americans I think these were great movies too.
Over many years of speaking privately with the president, in the most unguarded of moments, I don’t recall him ever referencing either movie.
In fact, I don’t remember him making a positive reference about the mafia, identifying himself in any way with mafiosos, or showing any admiration for them.
If he emulates guys in movies, I think he sees himself as more John Wayne in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” or George C. Scott in “Patton.”
Trump does value strength. And loyalty.
But I don’t see the president’s view here as too different than other business and political figures I have known that value the same.
The president does like to vent against critics and old enemies.
Much of it can be over-the-top. He would rise higher in the polls if he kept such resentments to himself.
But that’s not Trump. He likes the shtick.
Remember that more than half of the senior staff in the White House and the Cabinet have, at one time or another, said critical things about the president.
Is this the government of a mafia don?
While creating fiction, the media, in their blind hatred, don’t share the real Donald Trump.
For instance, when U.S. college student Amanda Knox was jailed in Italy on trumped-up murder charges, citizen Donald Trump made her case a cause, taking to the airwaves calling for her release.
I know because he talked to me often about the case and urged me to cover it on questsin.
I sensed he really felt the injustice of it.
Hardly behavior of a mafia don.
Or what about after 9/11?
When most folks in New York were evacuating the city, Trump raced down to the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attacks.
He asked Trump Organization staff to join him and help first responders.
As others fled to safety, Trump ran to danger. I talked to people that were at Ground Zero and saw him up close.
Is this mobster behavior?
In New York City, often when a police officer was shot or killed, Donald Trump was on the phone to NYPD officials, offering to send checks to the families. Big money, too.
And he always insisted on no publicity. (I was told this by former New York Police officials.)
Somehow I can’t see Don Corleone or Henry Hill doing the same for fallen cops.
OK, so I give you permission big media. Accuse Trump of many things, but admit he isn’t a mafia man.
Because if he really was, you wouldn’t be talking.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO of questsin Media, Inc., one of the country's leading conservative news outlets. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.