Jeff Pearlman

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Michigan’s Man of the Year

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In case you missed this one, tonight in a speech in New Hampshire Donald Trump told the attendees that he was once named Michigan’s Man of the Year.

An award that does not exist.

It’s not the first time he’s made such a claim. Back in 2016, according to various outlets, he boasted of being named Michigan’s Man of the Year, and even discussed the accompanying acceptance speech. This, from CNN’s Daniel Dale, is part of what the then-candidate said when recapping his Thank You address to the people of Michigan …

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This.

Never.

Happened.

The 45th president does so many illogical, dishonest things that it’s hard to keep track. He’s said he helped with the recovery after 9.11. Lie. He’s said a Boy Scouts leader called to praise a batshit insane speech to a jamboree. Lie. He cites growth numbers that aren’t real, takes credit for achievements he didn’t achieve. But what gets me with this one—the Michigan award—is he’s just (poof!) making something up that isn’t even slightly real. Like, does he actually think he won Michigan’s Man of the Year and delivered an acceptance speech? Is this merely an extended version of the pretend Time Magazine covers he had hanging in his golf clubs? Is there a difference between a lie and a fact to him?

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One of the things that bothers me most is the double standard we apply to this creature. We teach our children not to bully—then have them attend #MAGA rallies where the president mocks overweight people, disabled people, liberal people. We praise sharing and compassion—then elect the greediest crumb on the globe. We focus on truth—then digest his lies.

Imagine were one of the #MAGA loyalists to apply for a job and place MICHIGAN’S MAN OF THE YEAR beneath the Accomplishments section of a resume. Like, oh, this …

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He would be laughed out of the room. He’d be deemed insane. The people doing the hiring would be telling the story for years. “Remember that crazy dude who said he was Michigan’s Man of the Year. Now that was fucked up …”

  • Paul C

    Let us not forget his increasingly distressing habit of claiming credit for actions that occurred BEFORE HIS PRESIDENCY, on Obama’s watch. Like the Shell plant near Pittsburgh (first announced in 2012; final decision made in June 2016). But his best whopper is his claim that “we” passed the VA choice veterans health care bill, which in fact was signed into law by Barack Obama IN 2014! Twofer here: The bill was co-sponsored and spearheaded by John McCain, whom the Draft Dodger In Chief hated. So he gets to (try to) erase achievements of two of his biggest bugbears. Truly, we are in Alice Through the Looking Glass territory.

  • Paul C

    Oh, yeah, turns out Trump DID give a speech at a Lincoln Day dinner in 2013, to which he had been invited by GOP then-Congressman Dave Trott, who says the speech was well-received but there was NO AWARD. Trott further says that Trump thanked him for the alleged award at a 2017 roundtable with auto CEOs. Trott “wasn’t about to correct Trump in front of CEOs while in Congress,” but now he’s out of office and doesn’t care, so he can say Trump made it up. Ah, the cowardice of our elected officials. They apparently place their manhoods in escrow while serving, and only reclaim them later, if at all.

    Little icing on the cake: Trott also says Trump insisted he had to tell the press that it was the largest Oakland County Lincoln Day Dinner crowd ever, even though Trott told him he had no idea if that was true. He says Trump claimed CBS said it was. Is this not vintage Trump — use another lie to sell the current lie?

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life