trump Daytona

You've got to tip your hat to America’s newly minted “chief law enforcement officer of the country.”

Donald Trump is a master at stagecraft. His Feb. 16 appearance at the Daytona 500 was pure magic. It was the opposite of a helmeted Mike Dukakis awkwardly sitting in a tank.

Flying from Mar-a-Lago, Air Force One did a slow lap above the Daytona International Speedway track before landing across the street at Daytona International Airport.

Air Force Thunderbirds, which did two fly-overs of the track, were parked next to the presidential plane.

Trump’s motorcade then led a parade of racing cars around the 2.5-mile track.

With First Lady Melania Trump at his side, the president gave a short pep talk before closing with, “Rubber will burn, fans will scream, and the great American race will begin.” As grand marshal, he declared, "Gentlemen, start your engines.”

The enthusiastic crowd loved every minute of it and took up chants of “USA,” “four more years,” and “we love you.”

White House media organ Fox News broadcast the spectacle and the Trump campaign filed an ad of the event.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that Trump’s visit will be long remembered by Trump’s fans and supporters.

The only glitch: Campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that Trump won the Daytona 500 even before the race started.

Unfortunately, he accompanied the tweet with a 2004 image of Air Force One carrying George W. Bush, taking off from Daytona after he attended the race.

Parscale deleted that image, which featured more fans in the stands than there were at this year’s opening of the NASCAR season.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg penned a Feb. 16 op-ed in the Financial Times that called for more regulation of Big Tech because he doesn’t think “private companies should make so many decisions along when they touch on fundamental democratic values” in the areas of elections, harmful content, privacy and data portability.

The article was a smokescreen, a PR ploy to get Facebook off the hook. Since the US government moves at a glacial speed, there’s no way regulatory safeguards could be erected in time for the 2020 election.

Zuckerberg could snap his fingers and kill political advertising tomorrow if he wished.

Philanthropist George Soros noted in a Feb. 18 letter-to-the-editor piece published in the FT that if FB has any "doubt whether an ad is political, it should err on the side of caution and refuse to publish.”

Soros doubts that going to happen because he believes Zuckerberg is “engaged in some kind of mutual assistance arrangement with Donald Trump that will help him to get re-elected.”

The Trump campaign has hired Matt Oczkowski, who was head of product at Cambridge Analytica, the data firm that improperly obtained the personal information of tens of millions of FB users.

Ockowski played a key role in Project Alamo; the online campaign orchestrated through FB advertising that helped put Trump in the White House.

What do you say, Mark? There’s still time to pull the plug on political advertising.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Foreign Correspondents Club of China issued a statement condemning China’s decision to boot three Wall Street Journal reporters for the “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia” article published Feb. 3.

The Beijing regime says the WSJ piece “smears the efforts of the Chinese government’s effort to fight the coronavirus," which has killed more than 2,000 people in the country.

The Club’s statement calls the expulsion “an extreme and obvious attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign news organizations by taking retribution against their China-based correspondents.”

But try to fight it on FCCC’s website. If you click on the “statements” section, this pops up: “To ensure the continued operation of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China, we are not currently making such material openly accessible on the website.

It looks like China is muzzling the FCCC.