Bottom Stories of the Day

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on October 18, 2016

Bottom Stories of the Day


The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at The Wall Street Journal written by the editor, James Taranto.

Bottom Stories of the Day
“Norway Will Not Give Halti Mount Summit to Finland”—headline, BBC website, Oct. 14

Fact Chess
Donald Trump speaks, and PolitiFact pounces:

Trump was in the midst of criticizing international trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He said he supports the idea of bilateral agreements, saying that such deals would make it possible for the United States to threaten to withdraw, then renegotiate on more favorable terms before the agreement expired.

Trump went on to say that with multilateral pacts like the TPP, “you can’t terminate—there’s too many people, you go crazy. It’s like you have to be a grand chess master. And we don’t have any of them.”

Do you see where this is going?

Trump’s statement sounded wrong to us. The Trump campaign did not respond to an inquiry, but as it turns out, it is wrong. In fact, the comment provoked anger and ridicule within the chess community, which knows that the United States is currently on a roll in international competition.

It’s literally wrong that “we don’t have any” chess grandmasters. That’s the correct term, by the way, not “grand chess masters.”

PolitiFact goes on to note that the U.S. does have 90 mass grand chesters. (Whatever.) But apparently they missed the word “like.” An ordinary idiot can take a metaphor literally, but it takes a special kind of idiot to take a simile literally.

For more “Best of the Web” from The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto click here.