Maniac Republican, Greg Gianforte, body-slammed a journalist who had the “effrontery” to actually ask him questions and try to record his responses accurately through the use of a recording device, put up to Greg Gianforte’s mouth for the best possible fidelity. It was too late to affect the result, even through at least three newspapers withdrew their endorsements.
Here’s a very good piece by the Guardian’s Richard Wolffe, one that raises important points about the climate of hate and distrust that’s been fostered and exacerbated by the 45th president of the United States but, again, one looks back at the media’s enabling of Trump in 2015 and 2016 and gets frustrated at them for not seeing this coming at them down the pike. Some sections of the media propelled Trump to the White House; some elements sowed the seeds of their current predicament.
There was the coverage of Trump’s empty podium, sometimes even cutting away from other politicians as they made their speeches in order to tease the audience with the promise of Trump’s freestyling comedy coming up. The mainstream corporate media cottoned on quickly to the fact that even people who hated Trump would watch, as one might observe a car wreck while slack-jawed, and more people, meant higher ratings, meant a higher price for advertisers. And Trump knew this: it’s how he managed to win while being outspent 2 – 1 by the Democrats. Trump received $2,000,000,000 in free media As the undercover cop in ‘The French Connection’ might have said, both Trump and the media “got well”.
Then you had their laziness when Trump, who supposedly watches six hours of this gunk a day, would automatically phone in to these shows, because he was a lazy, lazy bum and the lazy media would always stick him on the air until Chris Wallace told him to get lost. Again, it was a cynical grab for ratings.
Imagine if a journalist – rather than a news “actor”, who just reads vanilla pablum from a teleprompter – had an hour, an hour and a half, one-on-one with Trump, going through all of the policy areas about which a president should reasonably have some knowledge? It would have been a total mess but it never happened because the media didn’t want Trump going anywhere, he was too good for business. As CBS’ CEO, Les Moonves said: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.“.
They didn’t want Trump face down on the canvas and carried out of the ring, they held him up, like a good prize-fighter wanting to keep the bout going until he himself has to take the dive in the round desired by the mob so that the no-good bum can win. After this extended coverage on the supposed news shows, the uninformed might reasonably have determined that the short-fingered orange bandit must be a legitimate candidate because…he was on the news shows all the time.
Morning Joe might be doing some good work at present, with Scarborough figuratively tap-dancing on Trump’s windpipe just about every morning, but Morning Joe fluffed Trump’s pillow regularly early in the primaries. They deny it now, like when always-wrong-about-everything Bill Kristol went into meltdown and called them out in hilarious fashion but Larry Wilmore’s jokes at that correspondents’ dinner went down well: “….gushing all over him….or as it’s also known as ‘Morning Joe’……Morning Joe has their head so far up Trump’s ass they bumped into Chris Christie….”.
Overall, Trump and the Republicans took advantage of the media’s confusion between ‘neutrality’ and ‘objectivity’. Objectively, Trump was an ignoramus, a clown, a snake oil seller, a simpleton, a maniac but he got deference because he’d bullshitted his way to being the Republican nominee. They know that the mainstream corporate TV shows aim to strain to call everything even and that gives the right-wing cover to be as mad as they like because they’ll never get called out on it through fear of the TV networks as being seen as partisan.
News networks should objectively help the viewer to decipher the noise and give them the chance to come to their own deductions and conclusions, whereas news networks seem more often to just equally push Democratic and Republican narratives, no matter how phony-baloney they are; dump them on the viewers’ doorsteps and wash their hands of it all: “Don’t ask us. We only deliver the news; we don’t try to elucidate, that’s for you.”. They’re only waking up to the idea of challenging this short-fingered menace after the fact, and after Trump already got in first and painted them as “the enemy”, so he can point at them when they attack him and just go: “See? See, folks? What did I tell you?”. Too late. Much of the media unwittingly made their own bed and the bed for the Godless orange hooligan: the master bedroom at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They’re a few months late and a few thousand dollars short.