Over the weekend, Donald Trump made a speech at the CIA headquarters to reiterate his war on the media, whom he refers to as “the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” while standing in front of a memorial to CIA agents who lost their lives in actual wars. He then continued to lie about everything from the amount of people attending his inauguration to the weather, and affirmed that he “loves” the intelligence community and respects them more than anyone. An intelligence official told CBS News that the visit from the president was “uncomfortable” and made his relationship with the intelligence community worse. If you read the transcript of Trump’s speech, “uncomfortable” seems a bit sugar-glazed. So if it went so badly, why were people constantly cheering and laughing? The answer probably won’t surprise you. CBS News reports the following:
Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign. An official with knowledge of the makeup of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams … Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks.
Surprise! Once again, Trump used his powers of conjuring a live laugh track to continue to gaslight the American people. It wasn’t the CIA laughing and cheering (in the video, you can actually see them turn their heads to the left to try and see who the hell was making all that noise), it was Trump supporters planted to give the illusion of a Trump-supportive intelligence agency. This isn’t the first time Trump has done this, as many remember from his first press conference. To say that image and illusion is important to our president is a grave understatement. Image is everything to him.
Let’s talk about the power of laughter for a second. A laugh track not only gives you the illusion that something is funny (or, at least, intended to be funny), but also tries to prompt you into laughing, too. If you’re not laughing, you’re wrong. If you were to listen to Trump’s practically incoherent and troubling speech, and then hear CIA agents laughing and cheering, you might start to question yourself—maybe there’s something wrong with you, not them. Maybe you’re the crazy one. Maybe you should start laughing right now.
And so, another day, another chance for Trump to chip away at reality and impose his own. We don’t know about you, but we’re already exhausted by this Orwellian novel, and we’re not even through the first few pages.
Anyways, here’s a trailer for 1984.