News, Politics

Update On Trump

Donald Trump. Image: Gage Skidmore
Donald Trump. Image: Gage Skidmore

So much is happening in US politics–and specifically, about the new president-elect, Donald Trump–that it’s hard to keep up.

He hasn’t even officially taken the job yet, but already Trump has been involved in a series of bizarre incidents unlike any other president.

For instance, he has been using Twitter (a social media service) to share his opinion about people and situations he doesn’t like. He often ends his angry tweets with words like “Sad!”

Trump will be “inaugurated” (officially given the job) on January 20. Normally, a presidential inauguration is a big celebration with lots of celebrities and high-profile musical acts performing. For instance, when US President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder were among the performers.

But very few very popular celebrities have agreed to perform at Trump’s inauguration. There has also been a lot of controversy. For instance, the managers of the Rockettes (a high-kicking dance troupe) agreed to have the dancers perform at the inauguration, but some of the women in the Rockettes say they don’t want to. However, they say they’re worried that if they don’t, they might be fired.

But Trump is in the middle of a much bigger situation. Months ago, a document was written that had some serious accusations about president-elect Trump. The documents said that the Russian government may know some bad things about Trump–information which it might be able to use to “blackmail” Trump into doing whatever it wants. Those documents were never made public, because the news organizations couldn’t be sure if the accusations were true or not. The news organizations didn’t want to print rumours.

However, a very large news organization called Buzzfeed decided to make the document public.

Now, there is a big argument about whether Trump and Russia are doing something together that’s bad, or whether it’s just a rumour and is completely untrue.

Trump denies any wrong-doing. He tweeted on Jan. 13 that the document contains “totally made up facts… FAKE NEWS!” (That is a direct quote from his tweet. The use of capital letters in tweets, which means “shouting,” is something Trump does often.)

Communicating with the public through angry tweets, often lying or exaggerating, making fun of people–these are behaviours that in the past would have been unthinkable for a US president.

However, Donald Trump will clearly be a very different type of president than the United States has ever had before.

A note on TKN’s bias: It’s important to know that the people who publish and write for Teaching Kids News have a “bias” against Donald Trump. They don’t like him or agree with many of the things he does. TKN is “biased” against Trump. Most news organizations don’t tell you their bias (they assume you will know it). 

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The relationship between Canada and the United States is a very important one. Many companies do business in both countries and sell their products to Americans and Canadians. How might the unusual presidency of Donald Trump affect the relationship between the two countries?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
At the end of the article is a special note from TKN about “bias.” Why is it there? Why don’t all newspapers tell their readers about their bias?

Find three places in today’s article where you believe the reporter shows bias.

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives  (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Language Feature:
Today’s article explains that Donald Trump uses Twitter quite often to communicate with the world. Make a list of the 5 pros and 5 cons for communicating this way. Once you’ve made your list, pretend you are Trump’s presidential advisor and imagine you were giving him advice about twitter. Would you recommend that he continue using it? If so, what types of “tweets” would you advise him to create? If not, what type of communication would you suggest in its place?