A reporter’s moral compass usually involves a desire to tell the truth.
Some journalists are pointedly skimpy in this department.
Take Oliver Willis, a senior reporter for ShareBlue, a liberal news site, and formerly a research fellow for the Democratic Party arm’s Media Matters For America.
On Tuesday morning, he suggested that writing a book on President Trump and making up the details is a conceivable idea.
i should just do a book like im a trump insider. i mean, the most ludicrous things i could think of have probably happened anyway, right?
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 19, 2019
He offers a humorless sampling of what this might look like:
“On Tuesdays we would drive the Trump-branded jeep to the Commerce Department to pick up Wilbur Ross, then we would head to the DeVos family mountain lair where we would each pick out a poor to drop into the forest and hunt.”
He even wrote that he’d be willing to go on a book tour.
I sent a request for comment to Willis. So far he has not replied.
Sure, he’s probably joking.
But a so-called journalist contemplating making up stories? Is he trying to libel himself? With all the chatter about fake news and Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway‘s talk of “alternative facts,” why feed this beast?
To give you a sense of who he is, he posts quotes about himself on his personal website.
This is his me-wall of sorts.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “The great Olivier Willis.” (From his records, he notes she said this twice.)
The NRA: “Straight-up monster.”
Fox News’s Neil Cavuto: “Schmuck.”
And this boaster: “Nationally prominent blogger Oliver Willis” — Louisville Courier.
Willis obviously despises Trump and desperately misses former President Obama.
“There’s lazy and there’s Trump lazy,” he tweeted Tuesday morning. “New side quest: making the idea of “Trump lazy” as ubiquitous as the lie about black people being lazy.”
He posted a picture of Obama smiling ear to ear. His caption: “Good old days.”
Earlier Tuesday morning, Willis seemed to care about reporters publishing incomplete, purposefully confusing quotes from the campaign trail. Which implies he cares about the truth — at least a little bit.
“Heres a thing thats going to be a thing: reporters tweeting out half of a politician’s response to a question on the campaign trail in Iowa/New Hampshire,” he wrote. “How about we nip it in the bud?”
Willis has an example he’d like to share.
“Tweet: ‘candidate y said ‘I don’t like those people’ in a diner in Iowa.'”
“Reality: Asked about ISIS and Al Qaeda in an Iowa diner, candidate y said, ‘I don’t like those people.'”
Willis appears to hate a lot of media outlets, including CNN. He also recently wrote a piece on why society is better off without The Weekly Standard, how it was “created to push lies.” He sloppily called the magazine “racist” without offering a single example.
He recently made a shockingly public vulgar masturbatory hand gesture to NBC. He was responding to a NBC News report on a BBC cameraman getting attacked at a Trump rally in El Paso. Is this supposed to be funny too?
The truth is the truth. Let’s hope this guy sticks to it.