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Zuma and Trump: A Tale Of Two Bullshitters

Trump likes high rise buildings; Zuma prefers a city of rondawels. Next to each other the two bullshitters could not be further apart.

10/02/2017 04:56 SAST | Updated 10/02/2017 04:56 SAST
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
South African President Jacob Zuma laughs ahead of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's medium term budget speech in Cape Town, South Africa October 26, 2016.

The Presidency reacted angrily this week to comments in the media comparing Trump To Zuma, claiming doing such a thing is like comparing apples with oranges where apples is a demagogue who rules in Africa and oranges is a demagogue who rules in the United States. Only, they used the words "democratically elected leader" when referring to Zuma.

As a moonlighting journalist with a tenuous grasp on how the media works, I side with the Presidency on this one. There is absolutely no comparison between the bullshitter Zuma (the words of the media) and the bullshitter Trump (also words used by the media) when it comes how they handle the media.

The first glaring difference is the initial knee-jerk reaction to bad news. The angry letter from the presidency lambasting the media and its proxies contained 1814 characters in total, including spaces. As a tweet, that would have put it over the limit by a mile, or rather, a kilometre should the presidency have opted to go with Twitter for their rant, something they never do. Trump, on the other hand, has a healthy respect for Twitter's guidelines and always uses the platform when he's upset. Chalk and cheese.

Infinity pools and fire pools are different and so the personal tastes of Trump and Zuma are different. I am yet to see Zuma in gold or Trump draped in a leopard skin.

Then there is the way the two men like to keep up with current events. The New Age and Fox News – the only two news authorities Zuma and Trump trust – are vastly different pointing to two individuals who get their facts on different continents. I like to watch Come Dine With Me South Africa because I like to see my country men make fools of themselves on home soil. That makes me different from a fan of Come Dine With Me America. Other than that, Fox News is owned by an Australian with a penchant for buying media corporations, whereas The New Age is owned by an Indian family with a penchant for buying governments. Day and night.

Infinity pools and fire pools are different and so the personal tastes of Trump and Zuma are different. I am yet to see Zuma in gold or Trump draped in a leopard skin. Trump likes high rise buildings; Zuma prefers a city of rondawels. Next to each other the two bullshitters could not be further apart.

The media went on to draw lines between Trump and Zuma as liars crossing those very lines saying both have repeatedly lied to us in the same way. A stretch to say the least – the ways they lie are worlds apart:

Zuma lies giggling while looking up at the ceiling. Trump faces the cameras. Zuma does his lying wearing his tie to his belly button. Trump prefers to go long. Zuma occasionally asks employees to lie on his behalf. Trump does his own lying. Zuma is a shy, Pinocchio-like liar often having to adjust his glasses sliding off an ever-growing nose. Trump lies brazenly happy to have his pants on fire if it will reset the news cycle. I can go on.

In light of the above, I truly don't know where the media gets off comparing two very different bullshitters as if they were one and the same.

The media today is clearly beyond the pale and way outside the conventions of responsible journalism, as the Presidency aptly put it. Sad.