Olympian Ryan Lochte behaved like an ugly American and then lied about it, so he must be a Trump supporter, right?
Media outlets led by the Huffington Post have decided so. Nothing other than the swimming star’s bad behavior was enough to send the website’s Cynthia Dill on a flight of fancy – and bizarre assumptions.
“How much do you want to bet that Ryan Lochte is a Donald Trump supporter?” Dill wrote, derisively referring to both Trump and Lochte as “bros.” “And is it me, or does shirtless Lochte in the pool resemble shirtless … Putin, Trump’s idol, on a horse?”
Dill’s article concluded, “On Team Trump, there’s no limit to how low the bros can go.”
Lance Gould, Huffington Post executive special projects editor, also made the Trump connection, NewsBusters noted. In a tweet posted after news of Lochte’s fib about a drunken night of revelry that ended in the trashing of a Rio de Janeiro gas station restroom, Gould made an improbable connection.
“#LochteLied ... And that guarantees him a position on Trump's communications team,” Gould tweeted.
Lochte and three other swimmers were involved in the wee-hours hijinks, in which a gun-toting security guard held them until they forked over $50 for damages. Lochte claimed they were robbed at gunpoint, a story which quickly unraveled.
“I’m embarrassed for myself, my family -- especially those guys,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I was immature and I made a stupid mistake. I’m human. I made a mistake and I definitely learned from this.”
It wasn’t just the Huffington Post that thought Lochte did enough wrong to be lumped with Trump, who issued his own ambiguous apology last week for the fact the he sometimes says “the wrong thing.
"I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain,” Trump said, in what some of his supporters considered a welcome act of humility.
An Associated Press article titled, “For Trump and Lochte, the delicate politics of contrition,” by Nancy Benac, highlighted Trump and Lochte’s apologies and pointed out that neither “fully owned up to exactly what he’d done wrong.”
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, NewsBusters noted, tied Lochte and Trump to the “steep decline of American democracy,” calling the men “two clowns” who “epitomize the disordered state of the American psyche, circa 2016, almost too perfectly.”
“Lochte and Trump are a pair of arrogant, ignorant jerks who believe that neither conduct nor character actually matters, and who feel entitled to rescue themselves from any sticky situation through the strategic application of lies and money,” O’Hehir wrote.
Lochte, as it turns out, has yet to weigh in on the 2016 race. But four years ago, he expressed a preference.
“I’ve been going non-stop left and right,” Lochte told The Wall Street Journal. “I haven’t had time to watch the news. I’ve got to catch up on that. But, you know, Obama did great the past four years, so I’m kind of more leaning towards him. Jeah!”