“Where’s the Maggiehaberman?” asked the Tyrumposaurus. “I thought you were going to bring the Maggiehaberman.”
“I said no such thing.”
In the angry tail-scarred walls of the Oval Dwelling, the Aygeesulzberger, a self-professed herbivore, stood his ground against the T-Rump. As Chief Stomper of footprints in the sand left by the Nooyorktimesian, a Sub Family of the Mediacircustops, the Aygeesulzberger was half the T-Rump’s age but twice — no, 20 times as smart — and this meeting was long overdue.
“She loves asking me questions,” said the T-Rump. “I could let her ask me questions all day long.”
“You lied to her the last time you spoke. You said you didn’t know about the meeting with the Russodinos until months afterward.”
“Fake news.” The T-Rump said it like a throw-away line, like a dino burp or a swamp water fart.
The Aygeesulzberger worried about dino democracy dying out before the dinos themselves. Not on his watch. Not while he still had all the footprints in the sand that were fit to stomp.
“I know why you came to see me,” said the T-Rump. “You need me. You need me to save your failing footprints in the sand.”
“As a matter of fact. No. Our footprint followers are up two-thirds from a year ago.”
“All thanks to me. I should be getting a cut of your moolah-moolah leaves.”
“Need I remind you, because your staff certainly won’t, but you shouldn’t be profiting while serving and protecting the dinos of the Milkanhoney Preservation.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got the Kirstjennielsen all over that. While I’m serving myself, she’s protecting the dinos. As soon as she figures out how we misplaced those 700 dino tots. What the hell, they weren’t ours, anyway.” He paused. “Why am I not talking about myself?”
The Aygeesulzberger refused to play sycophant like the rest of the T-Rump campaign dinos. Which set the T-Rump’s unloyal dino sense tingling. The leader of the free-running dino world had a sixth sense for sniffing out the righteous and uptight. He went on the attack.
“90% — 90%! — of your footprints in the sand about me are negative. You call that fair?”
“Look at me, T-Rump. I’m a news dinosaur. If you lie 20 times about a meeting your dinos had colluding with the Russodinos, that’s 20 out of 20 bad footprints in the sand. We had to run, correction … step lively … with fluff footprints to give you the positive 10%.”
“Mediacircustops jargon,” said the Aygeesulzberger. “Not hard news. No stomping. We tread lightly. They’re soft footprints in the sand.”
“Oh, like when I’m sleeping. … Somebody bring me a Dietcoker!”
The Kellyanneconvixway rushed in with a large moolah-moolah leaf, containing a puddle of swamp water from the less acidic end of the lagoon. She splashed him in the face with it.
“Ah, I needed that.”
The Aygeesulzberger waited for the Kellyanneconvixway to exit. He didn’t need her spinning his story into T-Rump Derangement Syndrome oblivion.
“Ahem, the reason I’m here, T-Rump, is that I’m deeply troubled about your anti-Mediacircustops rhetoric. Your language is divisive and increasingly dangerous. Your term ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful. In short, you’re the one lying. You simply cannot label the Mediacircustops as ‘the enemy of the people.’ It’s inflammatory language and will lead to violence.”
“As in violence on both sides.”
“No, there are some dino regimes cracking down on the Mediacircustops, putting lives at risk. You are undermining the democratic ideals of the Milkanhoney Preservation and eroding one of our nation’s greatest exports.”
“No! Free speech! Your broad attacks on it are dangerous and harmful to all dinos.”
“Alright, alright. Don’t get your haunches in a hernia. I read you loud and clear. And they say I can’t read. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a little free speech of my own. Damn. If only I could charge for it.”
The Aygeesulzberger left and the Billshineola entered.
“You need anything boss? Any Mediacircustops dinos you want me to go play the ‘banned’ word game with? I slept with the Thesaurian last night.”
“Me too. No, get this message out to my fleet of Trollertweeties. Pronto. To read as follows. Word for word. … Had a very good and interesting meeting at the Oval Dwelling with the Aygeesulzberger, Chief Stomper of the Nooyorktimesian footprints in the sand. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the Mediacircustops and how that Fake News has morphed into the phrase, ‘Enemy of the Dinos.’ Sad!”
“Wow,” said the Billshineola. “You sure told him!”
“Of course. If he says it’s my fault, we just have to tell everyone it’s his. Deflection. Pure deflection. How do you think I got where I am?”