#130: Trump & the Media

Among the many fine things that President Trump has done in only his first thirty days in office is smack down the press. His attacks on the press have gotten the same entertaining results as his order on immigration did: talking heads in psychiatric level shock over the sheer personal violation they feel. Their eyes rolling in their heads, spittle flecking their lips, they whine and screech: Does he not KNOW who we are??!!

Yes, they repeat over and over again, We are the Press, guaranteed freedom by the US Constitution!  

Jeez, they weren’t so interested in the Constitution while Hussein was president. Maybe we should point out to them that in their own view of the Constitution, it is a “living thing” responsive to changing social and political norms in which it can mean whatever we want it to. Maybe “free press” now means “a press told to mind its manners”. Just a little joke, I’m an Originalist so “free press” still means “free press.”

But what’s particularly intriguing about the nonsense issuing from their over-heated spitty lips is the word “adversarial.”

Again and again, they complain that the president has no business objecting to their lying, biased, often unsourced, “reporting.” He just doesn’t understand (the simple fool!) the special nature of the relationship in The U.S. between the (free) press and the government: that it is by its very nature “adversarial.”

Well, that’s o.k.. We know what adversarial relationships are like. The relationship between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was adversarial. The relationship in North American courts between prosecution and defense are famously adversarial. But what does this really mean?

It means that, for example, that the prosecution gets to say things, often perhaps outrageous things (under the watchful eye of the  court, of course), BUT then the defense gets to respond or rebut or simply bloviate in turn. Neither of the two gets to use the other as his (or her) punching bag without the other getting his (or her) turn. “Adversarial” means that BOTH sides get to punch.

Historically, presidents have for the most part decided to simply “take it.” This has generated a population of wussy news bullies who have taken it for granted that they can say absolutely anything with impunity. In effect, we are talking about a generation of snowflake reporters (I won’t use the overblown honorific they constantly bestow on themselves: “journalist.”) The combination of presidential forbearance and left wing control of the media has allowed the newsy population to develop and market a fictional “brand” for themselves: the honorable, courageous, deeply insightful, counter-balance to “power.” I suspect that this began in the post-war years with personalities like Murrow and Cronkite, the erstwhile priests of news, since canonized to News Sainthood. Again and again we hear them repeat the hackneyed phrase “we speak truth to power.” Jeez, get over yourselves! “Journalist,” today, is treated (by themselves) like “superhero fighting the forces of darkness.” But even in the comic books, the arch-enemies of the superheroes do fight back without the superheroes going into a crying tantrum.

Our modern “journalists” (it’s ok to use the word as long as it’s in quotes) resemble nothing so much as modern “Palestinians”: they throw rockets again and again at Israel, then get outraged when Israel hits back: “they hit back too hard, it’s disproportionate,” wah, wah, wah.

The lesson is simple: you don’t wanna get whacked, play nice. You don’t wanna play nice, then don’t whine when you get whacked. You insist on whining? Eventually, people are gonna point at you and laugh. It’s already started, get used to it.

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5 Responses to #130: Trump & the Media

  1. Marta says:

    Well said, sir, as always! The most appalling thing for me has been the fact that the media (largely, although not entirely) doesn’t even care that they are being irresponsible or misrepresenting the facts. It’s almost as though they have decided to take a unilateral anti-Trump and anti-administration, and arguably anti-conservative stance no matter the story, no matter the facts. They have become hysterical and I wonder if they realize that most of us only watch/read for entertainment value and to mock their stupidity.

  2. Thanks, Marta, delighted to hear from you. And yes, as the usual phrase has it, the U.S. media is an arm of the Democrat party. Has been pretty much since 1945. This means that the anti-Trump factions own virtually the whole of the TV airwaves — not so much the internet, and with radio, it depends on location.

    I hope you and your family are healthy, happy, and ever increasingly prosperous! We are all ok, living now in Victoria, which has very quickly become home.

    Best, JP

  3. Jim Ryan says:

    Americans are starting to realize that the press is dishonest. They were told this for decades but are only now starting to believe it when they see it so blatantly on display in the last twelve months. They saw the most corrupt and feckless candidate in their memories – Hillary – get a pass while the GOP candidates got roasted. It was the last straw.

    The dishonesty of the press has roots in the 1930’s with the NYT’s Walter Duranty denying the Holodomor (Stalin’s starvation of about four million Ukrainians). I’ve heard that the pinko self-hating editors also spiked the stories of the Holocaust for as long as they could manage it.

    Nice to see a J.-P. post!

  4. Tony Willing says:

    Good and timely remarks JP. Am looking forward to the revelations by James O’Keefe later this week. Exposing the US press as, for the most part, clearly biased at this point in history is an important part of reclaiming American culture and traditions and preserving Western civilization in general.

  5. Theo says:

    That’s how I see it. Well said.

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