NPR's Steve Inskeep worked for six years to land a 15-minute interview with the XPOTUS, and yet no one felt any shock or surprise when it ended abruptly:
Trump and his team have repeatedly declined interviews with NPR until Tuesday, when he called in from his home in Florida. It was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted just over nine.
After being pressed about his repeated lies about the 2020 presidential election, Trump abruptly ended the interview.
When pressed, it was excuse after excuse — it was "too early" to claim fraud, his attorney was no good, things just seem suspicious.
But it all comes back to the same place: He has no evidence of widespread fraud that caused him to lose the election.
The tone of the interview changed. Trump then hurried off the phone as he was starting to be asked about the attack on the Capitol, inspired by election lies.
Philip Bump rolls his eyes at "the eternal lure of reasoning with the irrational:"
Many or most of us like to consider ourselves rational, considering the evidence before us and reaching reasoned conclusions based on what we see. Presented with a refutation of a belief, we like to think, we would change our minds and acknowledge our errors. Ergo: Present Trump with refutations of his claims, and he’d crumble.
The problem, of course, is that this isn’t how it works. Humans are emotional more robustly than they are rational, and when a belief is rooted in emotion — desire, fear, anger — you can’t reason your way around it. Put succinctly, you can’t combat irrationality with reason.
This pattern repeated a few times. Inskeep would offer a rational, accurate, indisputable point about the election results, and Trump — uninterested in rationality or accuracy but very interested in disputes — would wave them away.
Why bother even trying to convince Trump of reality when it’s not going to make a dent?
The answer, I think, is in keeping with the spirit of this article. Emotionally, I and others in the media think it’s important to confront falsehoods with accurate information. Rationally, I know it won’t make a difference; rationally, I’m sure Steve Inskeep understood it was unlikely that Trump would suddenly cop to simply making things up. But the virtue of combating misinformation holds an appeal that rational consideration can’t uproot.
I refuse to believe that it’s unimportant to tell the emperor that he’s not wearing clothes, even if it doesn’t prompt him to put on pants.
I listened to the first few minutes of it this morning, and marveled at Inskeep's ability not to laugh in the XPOTUS's face. Inskeep, of course, is a professional, unlike the interviewee. And Bump has a good point: when arguing with a fantasist, there is no middle ground.