This column has, on occasion, been disparaging toward American journalism, but only because it is now populated by the biggest bunch of knuckleheads ever to be assembled outside of Knucklehead City on the planet Knucklehead. Remember the sitcom news anchor Ted Baxter with the big voice and the slick haircut and minuscule IQ? Well, if you added the emotional stability of a three-year-old having a temper tantrum, you would have your typical American journalist and commentator, not just on cable but at the networks and newspapers too. I could lasso a gorilla, give him a lobotomy, and teach him to do the job better than these clowns in fifteen minutes.
But perhaps I overstate my case. Or … do I?
Let’s take a look at three stories and how they were reported just within the last few days.
The conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group had its news anchors around the country read an ad for the network. The ad read: “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” It then went on to say, basically, we strive to be better than the other guys but if we mess up, let us know. Which is what ads for news say. It was kind of like CNN’s “This is an apple” ad, only literate and true.
An internet wag made a supercut of all the anchors reading it, so it looked like some sort of propaganda campaign. Or like an ad. Which is what it was.
Here is a sample of reactions from the fever pits of CNN and MSNBC: “Orwellian!” “Dangerous!” “State run media for an autocrat.” “Embarrassing.” “An assault on the democratic … norms that helped us build a country that … conquered the communistic one in the most existential struggle in human history.” And, of course, the whole thing was put at the door of Donald Trump, who had nothing to do with it. Sinclair is privately owned.
Or take the reporting on the EPA’s expected rollback of Obama’s fuel-economy mandate. The mandate required automakers to hit targets of 54.5 miles per gallon — an absurd number based on zero science (the decimal point was a snarky joke) which automakers could duck by jumping through a bunch of largely cosmetic “green” hoops that cost them money but made the administration look good. It was scientific, political and environmental hogwash that hurt American business.
Here’s how CBS reported it. “The Trump administration is set to roll back one of President Barack Obama’s signature policies on the environment.” “It’s expected to ignite a firestorm of criticism.” And then, despicably, they picked up a series of likely coordinated and unfounded attacks on EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s ethics — travel expenses that are in keeping with those of previous directors, an apartment he rented from an energy guy who had no business in front of the EPA, and so on — clearly designed to take the man down.
Dishonest knuckleheads. Also hysterical.
Finally, take the reporting on President Trump’s remark that he wanted to withdraw our troops from Syria after they were done mopping up ISIS, fulfilling his campaign pledge to keep our overseas engagement to a minimum. Keep in mind that when Barack Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to recklessly and stupidly pull out of Iraq — which, along with his mishandling of the Syrian civil war, allowed ISIS to thrive in the first place — the New York Times, a former newspaper, cheered him because he “has never wavered on his promise to bring the troops home.”
But when Trump keeps a far less destructive promise, the Times says: “Far from learning on the job or modifying his views to fit the imperatives of America’s global role … Mr. Trump is falling back on the familiar mix of belligerence and isolationism that fueled his … campaign.” CBS called the wished-for drawdown a “retreat,” and NBC compared it to W’s unfortunate “Mission Accomplished” moment.
Sleazy, dishonest, hysterical knuckleheads.
And all right, I was resorting to hyperbolic insult when I said I could train a lobotomized gorilla to do their jobs better in fifteen minutes.
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