Inquiring minds want to know…..

Ten questions journalists should ask

3 minute read
What did Karen see in Donald? (Photo by Glenn Francis, via Wikimedia Commons.)
What did Karen see in Donald? (Photo by Glenn Francis, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Questions I wish some journalist would ask:

  1. For Donald Trump: If the border wall is such a high priority to you, why didn’t you push for it when your party controlled both houses of Congress, as opposed to now, when you don’t?
  2. For Rudy Giuliani: Why are you representing Donald Trump gratis? Out of principle? Devotion to him? Love of the limelight? To drum up clients for your security-consulting business?
  3. For Donald Trump: Why did you fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions? This is a man who zealously supported every one of your policies save one: he recused himself from the special counsel investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. Everyone assumes that’s why you fired him. If that’s not the explanation, what is?
  4. For Bob Barr: Last year, well before President Trump nominated you to succeed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, you submitted a detailed 19-page memo to the Justice Department and the president’s lawyers arguing that Trump's publicly reported interactions with former FBI director James Comey could not constitute an obstruction of justice. Since you were only a private citizen at the time, what was your motive for crafting such an extensive document?
  5. For Donald Trump: Why have you refused to share your private conversations with Vladimir Putin with anyone — even your closest aides? If the answer is your fear of leaks, is there no one among your appointed aides you trust?
  6. For Karen McDougal: By your own account, you conducted a ten-month adulterous affair with Donald Trump from 2006 to 2007, shortly after his new wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron. Unlike Stormy Daniels, who seems to have used Trump every bit as much as he used her, you told Anderson Cooper of CNN that you refused to take money from Trump. “There was a real relationship there,” you said. “There were feelings between the two of us.” Even granting that the heart has a mind of its own, what on earth did you see in him? This is not merely a facetious question. Your ability to dig within yourself for an answer may go far to explaining why millions of Americans went belly-up for such a charlatan.
  7. For Donald Trump: When Paul Manafort offered his services gratis to your campaign in 2016, did you wonder about his motive for doing so? Did you perform any due diligence concerning his background before welcoming him to your team?
  8. For Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of fatally shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981: By all accounts, the shooting occurred at about 4am, when Faulkner tried to arrest your younger brother William Cook for driving the wrong way on 13th Street near Locust and you (then moonlighting as a cab driver) happened to drive by. Was that just a coincidence?
  9. To Mumia’s prosecutors and critics (most recently Michael Smerconish this month on CNN): Notwithstanding his past membership in the Black Panthers and his continued outspoken criticism of Philadelphia police brutality — for which he'd been subjected to FBI and police surveillance since his teens — Abu-Jamal had no criminal record prior to the Faulkner shooting. He had bought a gun for self-protection two and a half years earlier but had never used it. What do you suppose caused a previously nonviolent man like Abu-Jamal to shoot Faulkner?
  10. For Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney: How will you gauge the success of your tax on sugary beverages? Will you deem it successful if it discourages people from consuming unhealthy drinks? Or if it raises revenues for schools and libraries? Or do you expect it to accomplish both goals simultaneously?

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