Ever since his chosen candidate, Mitt Romney, lost the election, things haven't been the same for poor old reality-teevee nincompoop Donald Trump. All the people from the Romney campaign who pretended to like him are gone. He's back to punching near his weight class, yelling at Cher and Chelsea Handler. His buildings continue to crumble into dust, and his restaurants have become Stygian reservoirs of food-borne parasites.
Nevertheless, there are still new fields of human endeavor into which Trump can blunder like a misinformed idiot, such as the yearly salaries of the CEOs who run celebrated charities! "Do your research before donating this holiday season!" says Trump, who didn't actually do any research.
Yes, for whatever reason, Trump took some time out of his bone idleness yesterday to jump on Twitter and start complaining about the compensation being doled out to the people who run the Red Cross and UNICEF. As per usual, Trump's bleatings were utterly unconstrained from even a nominal obligation to be factually accurate.
Tweeted Trump: "@redcross CEO’s salary in 2011 was $951,957. Where is the outrage?"
The answer to the question, "Where is the outrage?" is "it's been badly misplaced, by an idiot." The CEO of the Red Cross, Gail McGovern, received $501,122 in compensation in 2011, a salary that amounts to 0.01% of the Red Cross' total expenses. According to Charity Navigator, McGovern has provided substantial bang for the buck, earning a perfect rating for "accountability and transparency."
It is awfully odd, anyway, to hear anyone talk of a CEO salary that's not even seven figures as worthy of outrage. Ralph Lauren made 66 times the amount that Donald Trump thought McGovern made when he started raging on Twitter, and Lauren's recent accomplishments include the universally reviled, made-in-China uniforms worn by American athletes competing in the London Olympics. JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, who oversaw a hilarious $4.4 billion loss on what's been nonsensically described as a "hedge," took home 42 times what Trump thought the Red Cross had paid to its actually effective CEO.
(This is actually a pretty good time to remind you that the most poorly managed donation in the history of charitable giving was the $4.7 trillion U.S. taxpayers gave to a bunch of banks in the fund accounting-free crapshow known as "the bailout.")
Trump was not merely content to blither like a cotton-headed ninny about the Red Cross. He decided that he was also going to ineffectively stick it to UNICEF as well, tweeting: ".@unicef Caryl M. Stern CEO is driving around in a Rolls Royce..."
Stern, appropriately, shot back: ".@realDonaldTrump sorry no rolls; only a prius. fire your fact checker and help us save kids lives."
But that's what's so amusing about this -- not only does Donald Trump have no "fact checkers," he seems to be obtaining his facts from a very recognizable source: your Aunt Diane.
You know your Aunt Diane, right? It's the same Aunt Diane most of us have: dumb as a post, mean as a tick, slightly racist and always sending around those terrible email forwards, in all the colors and fonts that exist, complaining that the authorities haven't found Penny Brown yet, or enthusing about how you can claim a chunk of Bill Gates' vast fortune simply by sending chain letters. That is who Donald Trump is getting all of his information from -- the whole "head of UNICEF drives a Rolls Royce" rumor is a famously forwarded bit of email garbage. So famous, in fact, that UNICEF has been forced to create a whole section on their website to devoted to debunking it.
Trump, could, of course take a look at UNICEF's publicly available financial statements, but that would require him to not be a shameful, lazy, lackwit.
But there you have it! If you were wondering what, exactly, was forming the foundation of Trump's knowledge base, now you know: dumb email forwards from that aunt you are not looking forward to seeing at Thanksgiving dinner.
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