Love Them, They’re Liberals (An Occasional Series)
Headlines on the NY Times website today (January 22d)
And from HuffPo
(Updated: and the January 24th NYT web headline is “Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting with Lawmakers”)
So on the same day, continuing a practice that they’d been using throughout the Trump ascendancy over the past 18 months or so, the media overtly and blatantly talked about his “lies,” his “lying,” or his “falsehoods” or said he was “flat wrong.”
Sure, the NY Times, Chuck Todd, and George Stephanopoulous are liberals, and Chris Wallace, in today’s politics, is an establishment Republican, but even so, you’d never see them assert that a president “lied” in past administrations, Democratic or Republican. They’re not implying it or using some euphemism, they’re saying that Trump and his myrmidons are deliberating lying. And it’s not on the op-ed page; it’s in the “News” sections.
So what’s the big deal? Trump hasn’t been treated with kid gloves by the media since he announced his candidacy and isn’t now. Liberals love to bitch about media people taking it easy on conservatives, and that’s true. But they have always “taken it easy” on presidents, judges, authority figures, and anyone else connected to their their basically-oligarchic (or at least elitist) interests. While Fox News was brutal toward Obama, the mainstream media never really got too upset about his drone wars, civil liberties outrages, bailout of Wall Street, failure to create “good-paying jobs” (most of the jobs “created” by Obama were in service industries), or interventions, and never came close to accusing him or anyone else in his administration, or his political opponents for that matter, of “lies.” The language employed against Trump is unique in that regard.
Calling out politicians for their bullshit, really calling them out, is long overdue. It should have been practiced for a long time now, but it’s really taken off because of Trump. He deserves to catch hell, and he’s getting it.
But there’s a lesson or two here for Liberals. First, stop saying the media is taking it easy on him. That was a big part of the Democrat’s scintillating presidential campaign strategy and it fell flat. The media is more negative toward him than any politician I’ve ever seen, including Nixon during Watergate. Second, connected but more important, people don’t care. His political opponents already hate the guy. More to the point, Trump’s supporters just don’t care. They don’t care that he boasted of grabbing women or mocked a disabled reporter or encouraged mob violence or even if he paid Russian hookers for golden showers. Indeed, media disputes like this feed the beast, making it easier for Trump and his people to distract us with a spotlight on “fake news” while the truly despicable decisions he will make will be pushed further away.
Media shaming just doesn’t apply to Trump; he’s immune to it. Indeed, when the media calls him out he doubles down and goes more outrageous. When “they” go low, he goes lower. It’s taken him all the way to the White House.
Beyond that, I’ve listened to Liberals and self-described Radicals attack the media for decades and now they’re defending those very same people, because Trump is on the other side? It’s indeed unfortunate that when someone finally went to battle against these ruling-class P.R. agents, it was Trump (just as it was unfortunate when a candidate for president actually talked about “working class” issues and jobs and non-intervention, it was Trump).
The Liberal game of expecting the media to report everything Trump does in the expectation that it will turn the country against him, wake up the masses to what a vulgar and dangerous man the president is, get the people to speak truth to power, is, at this point, a use of time and energy that could go to discussing other issues like Social Security, Medicare, women’s rights, jobs, and the like, or, even better, going out into the streets like millions of Americans did in defense of women’s rights on Saturday, January 21st. Direct Action will go much further in resisting Trump than lurid media exposés of all his horrible words.
. . . One of Richard Pryor’s routines involved being in bed with another woman and having his wife walk in on him. She was obviously furious but he denied it and told her “Who you gonna’ believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” Trump’s pulling the same trick and it’s an argument that won’t end. He lies and it needs to be pointed out every time, but it’s not going to really damage him. It would have already.
Time to hit the streets and not count on the media to take him down.