It’s been a rough week for the Donald First 100 Days Project. We’ve moved on to massacres in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This has become a ridiculous debate about whether this occurred, if not what did occur and what to call that occurrence. No wonder Orwell’s novel 1984 has come back into style.
We had the We Hate Australia incident; we’re still on about the Mexican Wall and the travel ban, as opposed to the immigration ban, is still somewhere in judicial limbo. This one may end up in the Supreme Court. Remember what I said about the Supreme Court: not built for speed or clarity.
The press is a mess, FOX and CNN on the warpath and not caring who knows. The Washington Post (WAPO) and the New York Times (NYT ) publish loooong articles, some of which may be relevant but which feature about as many facts as OK! and The National Enquirer. This is not entirely their fault. The Donald Administration is short on facts; not surprising considering Donald’s campaign. The fact that the campaign turned out to be what you see is what you get should not surprise anyone. This says more about the veracity of campaign promises than it says about the Donald Administration. Perhaps Donald is the first president in modern history who actually tried to follow through on his campaign promises, at least in the first term.
Currently, the problem with the press is its penchant for speculation. That’s all over the place, amplified as never before by the Internet and its various aggregate news feeds which always feature the most outrageous stories first. After all, these editors have to put dinner on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Your average thumb through is not going to pause at some clear headed analysis of what’s going on in the White House; you’ve got to pepper it up, as they say in the Netflix series, The Crown.
If you’ll remember, the Barack Administration waited to follow through on its campaign promises until the last two years of its second term, leading to the election of the Donald Administration. Donald is merely speeding up the process. Remember, Donald loves chaos, he prefers infighting. This is how he runs his businesses; underlings, including family, duke it out and then Donald makes the final decision. This may explain why Ms. Conway and other Donald spokespeople are so combative, not that the press gives them much quarter.
The shouting has become so bad that I have stopped watching almost all of the mainstream televised press except for BBC (not BBC America, BBC). BBC is as aghast as everyone else but it attempts to keep calm, as the t-shirts say. I feel a bit as if I’m living in a foreign country featuring press intent only on propaganda and posturing; it’s sort of like residing in the old Soviet Union, or in modern Iran.
Donald always describes the mainstream press as failing. This is his way of saying it should fail, very Russian of him, as it were. Most autocratic regimes are good at this, give something a label and sooner or later, if you talk loud enough, it will stick. The press is correct to push back, but it must get its thumb off the scale. Bias is the enemy, not the Donald Administration. The more bias, the more you play into Donald’s fantasyland.
The NYT’s motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” Perhaps they should change to Sargeant Friday’s immortal line, “Just the facts, ma’am.”