President Donald Trump, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speak at a joint news conference at the Akasaka Palace, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Tokyo. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

Sometimes you really wonder about the intelligence of the people who lay claim to having a constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on the news. This morning we were greeted by a sleazy, dishonest and quickly discredited story about President Trump committing some kind of heinous faux pas while feeding goldfish in a pond on the grounds of a Tokyo palace. CNN was front and center on that, cropping a video to eliminate the image of the Japanese prime minister taking the lead in showering the koi with food.

By midday, they were at it again.

This is what they are talking about:

“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so,” Trump told executives from local automakers during a trip to Japan.

But Japan’s big three car companies have huge factories in the U.S., and their production in the country is at a record high. Japanese automakers have been increasing their investment in the U.S. for decades.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association estimates that its members built nearly 4 million vehicles in the U.S. last year. Exports from Japan to the U.S. have fallen from 3.5 million cars a year in 1986 to just over 1.5 million in 2016.

It said that three out of four Japanese cars sold in the U.S. last year were built in North America, including Mexico and Canada.

Just as the storyline this morning was Trump is a buffoon. The storyline at midday was Trump doesn’t know anything. What really happened? Let’s go to the transcript.

I also want to recognize the business leaders in the room whose confidence in the United States — they’ve been creating jobs — you have such confidence in the United States, and you’ve been creating jobs for our country for a long, long time. Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job. And we love it when you build cars — if you’re a Japanese firm, we love it — try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so. (Laughter.) If you could build them. But I must say, Toyota and Mazda — where are you? Are you here, anybody? Toyota? Mazda? I thought so. Oh, I thought that was you. That’s big stuff. Congratulations. Come on, let me shake your hand. (Applause.) They’re going to invest $1.6 billion in building a new manufacturing plant, which will create as many as 4,000 new jobs in the United States. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. (Applause.)

The only way you can take from that statement that Trump is unaware of the investment the Japanese auto industry has made in the United States is to by simply lying about it. Unfortunately, lying about Trump has become a legitimate news gathering technique by CNN, in particular, and the major media in general.