President Trump has caught a lot of flack about calling the press “enemies of the people.”
The usual suspects and some not quite so usual, people I read and enjoy and who in general are fairly sane and haven’t caught the rabies of “never Trump”, have gone out of their way to beat their hairy chests and cry woe onto us because “that phrase has a history.”
What I hear is someone objecting to “tone.” And by the way. this is me rolling my eyes so hard they fell out of my head, rolled on the floor and the cats are playing with them as we speak.
Here is the problem. I see why President Trump said that, and you know what? He was no more and no less than precisely right.
I see why he ignored the history of the phrase to use it too.
First, he’s not a professional politician. Second, he’s the sort of businessman at the sort of level who while trying to be bombastic and upselling is actually neither required to be very good at a verbal marketing level, nor, frankly, very good at it. Smaller-level, retail salesmen are required to choose their words carefully and know how to avoid/inflame the public’s sensitivities. For that matter so are lawyers, who occupy the ranks of most of our politicians.
Trump might know how to encapsulate things in a memorable way (“Make America Great Again). But mostly he goes for short and punchy: “We’ll have a great x, it will be the best x.” “We’ll win so much you’ll get tired of winning.”
And he gets, perhaps better than any of our presidents in the past, that the busy, flooded-with-entertainment American people functionally have ADHD. We need something we can say in one phrase.
Given all that, how would you describe the situation we’re in? Where our media — and most of our intellectual class, at least those who have access to a public-megaphone —are functionally trying to destroy the nation and everything it has stood for?
I’ve described it as: if we had lost the cold war, other than enemy troops in the streets and our economy being looted by Moscow, how would it be different? If you look just at our education, entertainment, and mass information systems, what would be functionally different?
In the schools, our children are being taught that capitalism is bad and that communism and its pale-pink brother, socialism, are the ideal systems. (I had a longer bit on that, but I’m spinning it off into another post, while I concentrate on the press.)
Entertainment is no better.
And then there are our media, which is what Trump has dubbed “Enemy of the People.”
Well, looking back at my whole time in the U.S., it’s hard not to see what he sees. And if you think the media used to be more fair or more balanced, you are out of your mind. Or rather, you’re remembering the media when it was a unified voice, and you had no access to the truth beyond what it preached.
Think of having JournoList as your only access to news.
Because they all reported the same thing, you sort of assumed that they must be telling the truth. Unless, of course, you lived through it.
Sometimes before the eighties, when I read it, Robert A. Heinlein said that in his life he’d never been present at a newsworthy event which was accurately reported by the press.
I’ll join with him in this, and I’ve been present at a lot of newsworthy events, mostly when I was young.
Reportage on them ranged from bizarre (“How did you even think that could happen let alone happened?”) to merely wrong (wrong names, wrong place name, wrong motivations ascribed to the people, wrong details) depending on how important and how at odds with Marxist narrative the event was.
Say that a group of people had been ambushed by Maoist guerrillas (the equivalent of our charming Antifa. Young, rich people who think they’re being radical and either bringing about paradise or shocking mom and dad) and beaten bloody. The press would report it as a fight between “a group of outsiders in the area” and the “people outraged by how the tourists have treated our fair city.”
On the other hand, if it were a killing where a father had snapped at his “radical” son who was spending all of the family money on bon-vivant stuff while posing as a friend of the working people?
The killing might be fairly reported (it’s a private thing, and small, and usually only local) but the motive ascribed would be that the father resented his son’s idealistic beliefs.
Everything you read and saw in mass media (and still do) was looked at through this lens. Everything was spun as being the fault of evil capitalism making people bad. Yes, even in the U.S., though they might have been a little more subtle about ennobling socialism and communism.
And the weird thing was – did it myself – that no matter how many times you’d seen that the press did not report things accurately, you still believed what they reported on things that you hadn’t been there for. You sort of had to. To start doubting them was to start doubting what everybody knew. And that put you outside the acceptable mainstream.
The wheels started coming off this in the oughts. The whole National Guard and Bush’s fake-but-real crimes as proclaimed by Dan Rather thing might have seemed to have been just a blip and heaven knows there was much fighting against bloggers after that to keep us in our place, but seriously, that was the shot over the prow of the media. We informed them that some lies could be combated and couldn’t be used to carry water for the left.
Sure this didn’t save us from the reign of Barry the Unready. Partly, because I think the media took the warning seriously. So for Obama, they went all in, piled on, and fell on their swords over and over again to make him a sort of idol. They spun so hard away from his corruption, his outright hatred of America (do you have another excuse for the Iran deal?), that most people still aren’t aware of them.
I think it was the first time they blatantly made up sh*t out of whole cloth to distract from the really bad stuff Obama was doing. Also the first time their slavering tongue-laving of a Democrat was that open. It was fairly nauseating with Bill Clinton, but dear Lord at least they never called him “sort of a god.”
In fact, their hysterical adoration climbed to a level that they convinced themselves there would never again be another Republican president.
And then they tried the same thing with their Queen Empress Clinton, and it didn’t work. Look, I move in entertainment circles. They were planning her run and how great she would be (she being the true radical in the family) before Billy Jeff left the Oval Office.
And it didn’t work. And Bad Orange Man won the election.
As I’ve said before, part of the good thing about these very turbulent times we live in is that the masks are coming off. The bad thing is how horrifying the visages beneath are and how much they hate us.
Let’s go on recent stuff, shall we?
Is the press the enemy of the people? Well, they surely are the enemy of the president. (Link leads to video.)
But it goes well beyond that. They are outright faking photos and stories, like the Palestinian media had done to fake “Jewish War Crimes” for years. (Is that cultural appropriation and against their code?)
Take this, for instance, as reported by Reuters.
And look at that photo:
Then look at this photo:
Look, any even halfway unbiased media would have said that the caravan of “migrant” invaders is in fact a group of mostly military age guys, most of them ranging from openly hostile to the U.S. (singing their country anthem and saying bad things about our country) to many wearing soccer uniforms, which in a Latin country can be the equivalent of military (at least militant) attire for region and country. They would also report that while they had concerns about tear gas being used, women and children were being pushed to the front of the caravan, to cause JUST this kind of incident, so the bellicose men would be let in.
Instead, our media knowingly stages and lies with photos like that. (And I hope they put diapers on the kid to make the whole thing more pathetic. What is a kid doing wearing diapers at three? For that matter, are we expected to believe those little kids walked all the way at something like 65 miles per day, which would be ridiculous even for trained troops? Also, no, to the idiot on Twitter who said that they got rides from kindhearted people: when you’re dealing with a group that size, kindhearted people aren’t enough.)
The media would surely have done some digging into the people behind the caravan to show it’s organized by communist front groups.
These things can’t be hard to find if my friend Bill could dig online and using his rusty high school Spanish report on stuff like that (those two links above.)
So the media not reporting them and reporting that the caravan folks are all poor people whom we’re treating badly, and faking pathetic photos — all this makes them what?
Let’s suppose they managed to convince the American people (and not just the bleating shabies of the left) that these are desperate people, deserving of charity, whom we’re attacking.
The American people are notoriously generous. They’d say “open the borders,” wouldn’t they?
Which is what the press wants.
Given that opening our borders to (literally) communist organized masses would destroy us, how are they not the enemies of the people?
Or given that they hid Hillary’s Uranium One scandal, while blowing out of proportion any BUSINESS contacts Trump had with Russia, how are they not the enemy of the people? Doesn’t it lead the deranged but frothy-minded members of the left to think elections are all invalid, and why not cheat more (which would explain their behavior in midterms.?
Do you know that there are actually people who believe that Trump cut taxes “only for the rich” and therefore the “middle class is paying for these tax cuts”? Yes, they are innumerate. Look, most people are, even in the best of times, and our schools — between new math and whatever the actual heck Common Core is — are doing their best to make even more of them like this. But they wouldn’t believe that nonsense without the media.
And I bet you all of us have friends who are decent middle-class people, very busy at their job, who get news only from the MSM and are therefore convinced Trump is a tyrant and America is evil. Even though, being decent people, if they knew what was really going on they’d be outraged… at the left.
Yes, sure, “enemy of the people” was used by tyrants, usually to brand anyone who opposed them. As such, the optics suck.
However, our president isn’t a wordsmith, and what he’s saying is no more, no less than the absolute unvarnished truth.
If the press had their way we’d be an open-borders, invaded state, where any remaining productive people are taxed 90% to provide “for the needs” of people who do nothing and create nothing.
If you think that’s a worthy goal, you may then disagree with the president that the press are Enemies of the People.
I don’t. Remember he’s not talking of the Marxist entity “the people,” whose interest can be said to be anything “Marxists like” up to and including mass murder.
The people Trump talks about are the American people and there can be no doubt that the press are enemies of the American people, surely. Heck, they’re proud of it, oikophobes that they are.
Sure, he could say “the press is rooting for the destruction of the U.S.” but it’s not as… punchy.
He could say “they lie” – and he has – but it’s weaker.
He could say “the enemies of Western Civilization,” but given that Western civilization is reviled in our schools AND – American people being functionally ADHD –most people would think he was saying the press are enemies of the old West, well…
So what else can he say? The media want you to be invaded and plundered” sounds even more bombastic (though undeniably true). The media want to put an end to the Republic” is more bombastic (and utterly true) and less understandable.
What can he say other than “The press are enemies of the people”?
And he’s right, you know.