Donald Trump has had the absolute gall to call them a monstrous Enemy of the People in one of those endless Tweets that always seem to convulse them in such painful stitches.
The actual people, whose trust in the mainstream media was already at a record low before the election of Trump, are not exactly taking the side of the six major news conglomerates controlling 90% of everything we are allowed to see, hear, and read in this tawdry little turnabout.
Therefore, it's time for unraveling pundits and media stars across the centrist spectrum to gin up some outrage on behalf of themselves, to cast themselves as the latest and most important victims of Trumpism. If you listen to them talk about Trump's recent press conference instead of just watching it for yourself, you might be under the impression that The Donald is maniacally shutting down all the networks and newspapers, rounding up all the journalistic suspects, burning a whole bunch of books, and otherwise destroying the First Amendment.
You might forget all about the root cause of Trump's rage, which is the torrent of leaks about his chaotic administration coming out of the Intelligence Community and other government bureaucracies. You might forget that the media has aligned itself with the Deep State in order to bring Trump down in the interest of their own self-interest -- which is the continuing militarized dominance of the Exceptional USA.
You might also forget that even before Trump's dogged "war" on the media, the majority of American writers for years have reported self-censoring out of fear of Deep State government surveillance.
Although the manufactured outrage of the churnalistic class runs as wide and as deep as its characteristic shallowness allows, for now I'll just comment on two of the self-pitying screeds emanating from the august pages of the New York Times.
Frank Bruni has gone way beyond pain. The needle in his eyeballs apparently has been tipped with Novocaine, because Trump has left him feeling absolutely numb.
He forces you to process and react to so many different outrages at such a dizzying velocity that no one of them has the staying power that it ought to or gets the scrutiny it deserves.
They blend together under the numbing banner of what a freak show he can be, of Trump being Trump. And so the show screams on.
Bruni should perhaps ponder whether the media "intensification" of the Russia "questions" could be the real cause of his debilitating condition. It is so tiring to make stuff up, especially after you've already spent over a year helping to stitch together a $5 billion free advertising campaign for the monster.Part of this excess is his nature. Part of it is design. Not by accident did he put on that 77-minute performance for the media — hurling insults, flinging lies, marinating in self-pity, luxuriating in self-love — just three days after the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and amid intensifying questions about collusion between Team Trump and the Russians.
Here's my published comment:
Day after day, week after week, month after month, the media has been giving Trump exactly what he wants: nonstop attention.
He's a master provocateur and the media is an easy mark. Trump acts, media reacts, Trump counter-reacts, ad infinitum. You think you're exhausted, Mr. Bruni? Just for once, I'd love to read a column of yours that didn't have Trump or one of his fascist pals at its quaking epicenter.
He didn't have a "meltdown" at his presser - the press did. He was in absolute control of his own theater. I'm even starting to wonder whether his "mental illness" is also feigned, to keep us hopping in search of the latest diagnosis. There's a method to his alleged madness. After all, many a CEO and professional actor and politician has similar, albeit more muted, characteristics on "the spectrum."
What if he gave a press conference or delivered a speech that media refused to broadcast or live-blog? What if only two pool reporters clambered aboard Air Force One for the weekly jaunts to his Florida club? What if Trump burped out a Tweet and we failed to get insulted, gradually weaning ourselves from the constant contest to outdo each other with the cleverest riposte?Now we come to Maureen Dowd, who claims to have been so well acquainted with Trump over the past several decades that she practically had him on speed dial throughout the campaign, even dishing about the private luncheon she enjoyed with him in his Tower. The tone throughout the electoral season was that he was such a narcissistic goof, who could possibly take him seriously.
Trump is nothing but constant belches of fetid hot air. The courts are thus far thwarting his directives. So are the people. So instead of simply reacting to him, let's be proactive and demand of the whole system the social and economic justice we deserve.
Treat Trump as a symptom, not as the disease.
Now she's been forced to change her tune to save her own credibility. But far from being as numbed and enervated as Bruni, she finds herself melodramatically Trapped in Trump's Brain.
It’s a very cluttered place to be, a fine-tuned machine spewing a torrent of chaos, cruelty, confusion, farce and transfixing craziness. Of course, this is merely the observation of someone who is “the enemy of the American people,” according to our president....There must be something wrong with me, because I didn't shudder once during his presser, despite being as far away in left field from his "base" as you can probably get. I admit that I guffawed at some parts, cringed at many parts, and gasped at other parts. But for some reason, I failed to totally freak out. I also have to admit that I enjoyed seeing some of the self-important hacks getting told off for futilely needling and "fact-checking" the guy who just can't seem to help his mendacious self. Trump knows full well that most people don't care which president got the most electoral votes in all of history.
Like all narcissists, he doesn’t like to be told if he’s screwing up, so he surrounds himself with people who don’t tell him.The president is still oblivious about the shudder that went through the land, beyond the base that likes seeing the press jackals flayed, during his gobsmacking 77-minute masterpiece of performance art in the White House Thursday.It was more Norma Desmond than Norman Vincent Peale, the Trump family pastor who wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking” and influenced Donald’s thinking as a child.
Dowd's attempt at wicked needlepoint, complete with the decorative Sunset Boulevard edging, fails for once to mention Hillary Clinton's role in all this drama. It just so happens, though, that Hillary met Norma Desmond in person at about the same time that Trump was delivering his own garish bravura performance.
My published response to Maureen:
Of course Ms. Dowd is not an "enemy of the American people." But neither has she consistently performed journalism in the public interest this past campaign season, what with her throbbing Trump soap opera disguised as an ever so clickable series of columns.
So now she's joining the pack of corporate newshounds in a ravening quest to bring down the same fox they so recently went out of their way to feed and pamper.
|Oh My Poor Eyeball (Plush Frankenweenie Takes Shelter in Protective Plastic)|
Speaking of Norma Desmond, there's a whole media chorus line of them, both in and out of drag, wearing identical virtue-signaling masks as they position themselves in the center of the stage.
But you know what's a real drag? For a frightened public to be so ill-served by a pack of churnalists vying for top prize in the media aggrievement sweepstakes. It's like they're lost without the cozy sycophancy they used to mistake for reportage in the pre-Trump days.
Therefore, my nomination for the Norma Desmond award goes to CNN's Chris Cuomo, who grotesquely likened Trump's "fake news" insult to being called the N word.
I watched the same presser as the pundits, but somehow missed Trump's epic "meltdown." What I saw was vintage Donald, playing the press corps like they were cardboard fiddles.
They've been out of tune and out of touch with regular people for way too long.
My Rx: cancel the annual White House Correspondents' incest-fest, wean yourselves from Trump tweets, and cover some town halls.
Maybe if the media were a little less reactionary....