Sunday, February 19, 2017

Corporate Media Goes Full Frankenweenie

The elite media sewing circle of neoliberalism, having spent years assembling the Trump monster, now faces the daunting task of trying to rip their creation apart at the seams. Much to their chagrin, however, the creature is poking them right back in their tender little eyeballs with their own sharp needles.

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.
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.
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. 

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?

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 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.

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....

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.
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.

 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....


voice-in-wilderness said...

OK, I'll do it, I'll write what you set us up to imaginewith Hillary Clinton as Normal Desmond after the 2016 election"

"I AM big. It's the MEDIA that got small."

Anonymous said...

The MSM is having a meltdown because they aren't being called on for questions like they were under President Ass Kisser, I mean Obama. Trump has given credentials to numerous non-legacy media and he's calling on them for a change. How undemocratic!

Remember when legacy media's Helen Thomas had her legacy front row seat reserved for her for decade after decade, as if she was the original member of the Daughters of the American Revolution? Trump has upset the applecart by including blogs, like the Daily Caller. A BLOG! They have journalists? Wait, real journalists only work for legacy media. They must be fakes!

Even fired/rehired, shameless serial liar Brian Williams is weighing in, saying that Trump's 'attack on the media is reducing their prestige which diminishes the facts they report'. So the more prestige they get, the better facts they report - like being under sniper fire in Bosnia. Wait, was that Brian or Hillary? Same difference. Professional liars!

Brian is confusing prestige with celebrity. Those millionaire teleprompter readers on the evening news don't even write their own copy. The proof is seen night after night when all 3 broadcast networks report the same 7-8 news items, and half of those are fluff, feel-good pieces. If they're not getting their news from simply selecting from the highest rated YouTube views online for that day, then they're suffering from corporate mind meld. They're lazy and/or demented!

What's really bothering them is not getting their face time during press conferences which hurts their pre$$tige. Sad!

annenigma said...

Once again, I mistakenly became Anonymous.

James said...

I'd like to offer a macho perspective on this: The media can dish it out but they can't take it. They constantly attack Trump. I remember a CNN segment right after the inauguration and in one hour Obama was compared with King and Kennedy and Trump was indirectly compared with Hitler and Mussolini. Ironic, since Obama armed Nazi's in the Ukraine and helped the Italians bomb one of their old colonial stomping grounds: Libya.

The media can dish it out but they can't take it. Their message to the American people is essentially that they can attack Trump forever, but he can't attack them or he is undermining the fourth estate. He also isn't allowed to call a judge 'so-called' ... as if liberals were always polite to Clarence Thomas.

Zee said...


Wonderful piece of reporting mixed with legacy-media-skewering commentary!

I am ROTFLMAO as I watch the "mainstream media" go beyond mere panic to a complete, thumb-sucking, fetal-position nervous breakdown at the thought they are no longer believed--or cared about--by most of the American public.

The more that "they" hyperventilate that the very existence of--GASP!!!-- The Republic and The Constitution are at stake if "they" are not given credence, the harder I laugh.

As you and others have said, "they" elevated Donald Trump, certain--wise fools that "they" are--that he would be the easiest Republican candidate for Hillary to pick off. The outcome of the 2016 election has shown them up for the conceited, self-important idiots that they are.

And now, as annenigma pointed out in the previous thread, the more that "they" beat on Trump--alongside their "liberal"
groundtroops--the greater his standing grows with Americans who weren't all that fond of him to begin with:

By the way, the photo of Hillary--with her broad, forced, maniacal grin--alongside "Norma Desmond," was so freakish that I was absolutely certain that it was some sort of "Photoshopped" image designed to frighten dogs, small children and Republicans.

That is, until I went to the actual story and learned that the image is "real." Which is far scarier than thinking that the image was faked.

Erik Roth said...

Perhaps I ought to put this on an earlier post, but it's getting hard to keep up.
So I hope readers here will connect the dots and fill in the blanks.
Allow me to add FYI three links with significant perspectives pertinent to ongoing concerns.

Then, a previous commenter quoted this story, which bears repeating:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Applied to the relentless Trump regime, pumped up on hatred-driven hysteria, and fear-feeding paranoia, the point is plain to see ...
but how horribly ironic in light of the Trail of Tears and (so-called) President Trump's Andrew Jackson-enamored staff.

annenigma said...

There's a good piece in Counterpunch called 'Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution.'. The author is situated in Berlin.

"Official propaganda is not designed to be credible; it is designed to bludgeon people into submission through sheer relentless repetition and fear of social ostracization … which, once again, is working perfectly."

"Millions of American citizens (as well as citizens of other countries) are prepared to support a deep state coup to remove the elected president from office … and it doesn’t get much more fascistic than that."

So what happened to Obama's 'Insider Threat' program? He effectively dismantled it by belatedly signing an order to allow the entire national security/police state apparatus to share raw, unfiltered intelligence with each other. His act makes it far more difficult, if not impossible, to track down internal leaks.

Why did Obama wait until the LAST WEEK of his 8-year term if this intelligence sharing was necessary for national security? I have my guesses. Anything he waited to do until his last days in office that he could have done anytime in the past 8 years in suspect in my book. Obama was the best friend the IC and the Deep State could ever wish for. Hillary would have been an ever bigger friend.

Before you join the gang jumping on the Resistance bandwagon, consider how much of a threat Trump poses to the interest of globalized Capitalism - the underlying cause for which ALL our wars are fought at such a great cost to life and liberty. Foreign policy which relies on endless wars to force the spread of Capitalism abroad is not what we're about. Oh wait, it is.

Zee said...


Guess that I will have to start reading Counterpunch more regularly. Their authors/editors seem to be laughing at the puerile progressive "resistance" to Trump as much as I am--and much for the same reasons--unless I am misunderstanding something.