CNN is a creepy and pathetic company attempting to make a profit off the caustic personality of the President while they turn heel and praise him every time he bombs foreigners. They are the perfect incarnation of the sedate, soulless liberal class and the media empires which provided such a sterile portrait of the future that Donald Trump continues to look better than them by virtue of vitality alone. After all, there is nothing more repugnant than despising a man’s style while praising him for vanquishing innocent lives.
“Democracy dies in darkness,” declares the newspaper that fought tooth and nail for the Iraq War, which simultaneously destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives and sowed the seeds for the blood-and-soil Islamism of ISIS. Ironically, Trump was able to pose as anti-establishment in the Republican primary solely by condemning the Iraq War. He also rose to popularity by pledging to destroy ISIS. Could the Washington Post’s fevered editorials of the early 2000s have paved the path for right-wing populism to look good just by opposing the stances of the nation’s milkweed neocons?
Of course, it would be absurd to think that the same media companies who covered the Iraq War, the 2008 recession, and the 2016 election could properly cover a Trump presidency. The press embarrasses itself over and over again, despite facing a unified front of austerity from America’s unpopular ruling party. This should be shooting fish in a barrel. Instead, a majority (roughly 60%) of the electorate says that the press is full of fake news.
In December 2016, The New York Times released a story claiming that 17 US intelligence agencies had confirmed Russian interference in the election. In June 2017, they renounced that claim in print, citing that there were only four confirming agencies.
The undercurrent of this retraction is the unending liberal faith in America’s intelligence agencies, despite their complicity in white supremacy by assassinating and blackmailing civil rights figures in 1968 and 1969, including murdering Fred Hampton and threatening Martin Luther King with his infidelity, hoping to compel him to suicide. These very same liberals constantly decry the left for distrusting the deep state, particularly the CIA and the FBI, upholding the facade of institutional dignity to protect the powerful and whitewash crimes that would force West Wing liberals to face uncomfortable realities about America’s compromised institutions.
Perhaps the media class, and their liberal bedfellows, love the status quo. Perhaps liberals actually despise the left more than they despise the right. It would seem that way from listening to Nancy Pelosi, who holds that single-payer healthcare is an impossibility, and that abortion is a negotiable issue for the Democrats. Maybe if you call yourself a centrist, you can throw every progressive cause under the bus and still be considered a leading progressive legislator, because image is valued more than policy. As long as Nancy Pelosi is considered a moonbat far-leftist to people like Ben Shapiro, we can all straw-man the left and pretend that these inchoate moderates represent socialism in any form.
In the end, it is pretense that drives both Donald Trump and the mainstream press. False, craven images of courageous pensioned rebels and rockstar Presidents are cancerous, and place cosplay before politics.
But American liberals believe in cosplay. They believe in James Comey standing up and saving the republic with a few good words, in one fell swoop. Liberals, like the press, believe that institutional power can stop Trump and save America. In their fantasies, the dignity of the American system will bring the rogue and uncouth pirate lord to justice. It’s the madman, not his myriad powers and system of economic destruction being pushed forth at the behest of autocrats, that is the problem – no, Trump is a unique blight on an otherwise excellent system. Likewise, elements of the PC campus left believe that institutional coercion is the best way to enforce social justice, even at the expense of free speech. In most sectors of American political life, massive amounts of power are being unconsciously lent to corporate structures and their increasing control over individual freedoms. To the business world, and the political world that bends to business’ demands, human freedom is contingent upon the ability to afford legal defenses, medical expenses, and that is all supposedly consensual – the wealthiest people gain access to the best legal maneuvering and healthcare, because they are better by virtue of industriousness and deserve better services. This is the curse of meritocracy gone mad, where survival, not comfort, is the reward for thriving in the marketplace. The punishment? Medical bankruptcy. I wonder how many households have $50,000 saved up for surgery, should they need it. The answer is virtually none.
Yet these materialistic standards, which place a minimum threshold on the ability of a person or family to survive in the world, go largely uncontested by a media class obsessed with conspiracies surrounding foreign powers and an obsession with image and pretense over substance, an obsession that the election of Trump should have clearly called into doubt. On the subject of consistently foot-shooting liberal hubris displayed in Real Time with Bill Maher, Bush speechwriter David Frum and outspoken liberal Maher agreed that patriotic people should come together to not only impeach Donald Trump, but to welcome Mike Pence, as some kind of return to political normalcy.
Finally, the social safety net for the chronically poor can be cut with bipartisan approval in the name of respectability. The truth is that there is no normalcy in American politics as long as the rules of business subjugate the rules of politics. The concentration of wealth into the hands of the few, when coupled with the power of the wealthy over democratic outcomes, should tip the scales toward acknowledging that capitalism and democracy are moving the disbursement of political power in opposite directions. Namely, the concentration of wealth gives undue political influence to extraordinarily small segments of the population. But this is negligible to both the US media and most liberals – the radical nature of democracy, and popular opinion, has always been questioned as a social force, when elite rule is so much more convenient. This ‘Crisis of Democracy’ was cited in liberal circles throughout the 70s as the problem of having ‘too much democracy’, and not enough leadership by elites. The wealthy and industrious should have more political power, so goes the argument, the common people should have to become rich to have any influence over the world, so that by the standards of wealth, the tech barons and comfortable modern intellectuals in journalism and on cable TV can direct the course of history, because they have proven themselves to be the most worthy and talented. This is what liberals wish would happen – they dream of a world driven by Bill Nye, Nate Silver and Rachel Maddow. They take spiritual counsel from Neil DeGrasse Tyson and wish that Ezra Klein could write a healthcare bill. But these wonks and uninspiring technocrats failed at the ballot in 2016. Instead, Donald Trump managed to bring the agenda of the rich into the White House beneath the mask of being a rogue actor, a change in governing ideology. Trump is neoliberal to his core, but liberals think him an aberration, and conservatives take offense at bluster and personality over the reality that his policies are as old as conservatism itself.
If advocating for the closed austere society is in principle acceptable, and only the excess of aesthetic viscera makes Trump problematic, then liberals have already conceded the ‘center’ to conservatives.
Sadly, this is what much of the media and the liberal class believe. If only Trump was respectable, like Barack Obama! This is all they yearn for – respectability.
If only, whines Brian Stelter and Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo, if only the President wasn’t into memes, we could respect him!
There will be no ‘new center’, and there will be no conception of the media as a disinterested purveyor of rationality and objectivity. They never have been, when they cheered on the Iraq War, when they apologized for mass surveillance and clandestine intelligence agencies, when they refused for years to cover Wall Street’s structural problems and refused to hold the stockbroking hustlers and gamblers at the heights of Columbia’s sword responsible for their malfeasance in 2008.
The media does not care about you, and it does not care about the truth. This makes them unfit to cover the Trump presidency and places the burden, as usual, on outlets that don’t churn up heavy profits, but are more consumer advocates than narcissistic dice rollers in the worldwide casino of global capitalism, a casino falsely attributed to Trump, but that has persisted for decades and will see no master more fit for it than the senile old rentier we have now.