“What is the News and what is 'the News?'” I hear you cry. Quite simply, the News is that it’s now undeniable, despite all the previous denials, that the Democrat Party’s presidential candidate is seriously ill. Since Clinton’s dramatic collapse yesterday at the 9/11 Memorial service in lower Manhattan, Hillary Clinton’s health has become the central issue of the day. The candidate’s campaign, of course, is trying to represent Clinton’s condition as an infectious disease – pneumonia – that will pass in the course of time. “The News” is that virtually the entirety of the Main Stream Media has swallowed that line, along with the attached hook and sinker, and is parroting it as widely as possible.
But what the media could do easily in previous decades has become impossible in this year of Our Lord 2016. There are too many cell-phone cameras, and too much Internet bandwidth. Too many people watching and asking the wrong sort of question. Too many alternative media sites and too many honest – or at least alternately biased – “citizen journalists.”
We could be watching the World Series and the Super Bowl simultaneously, and the combination wouldn’t be enough to keep this from being the talk of the globe.
You read that right: the globe. The whole of the human race. The candidates for the most powerful position in the most powerful nation on Earth are of interest to everyone alive. There are statesmen in Europe, Asia, and South America wringing their hands over the possibility of a repeat of Woodrow Wilson’s final years. There are autocrats and oligarchs smacking their lips over the prospect of a weak, befuddled American president. And most of the American electorate, whether it was previously for or against Mrs. Clinton, is asking just exactly who would be running things in “her” Administration: Bill or Huma?
Yes, you may well shudder.
I dislike to prattle about the same crap everyone else is running on at the mouth about – enough of that and you might change the channel – so let’s return to the title of this piece for a moment. This is where the really interesting speculations are: What will “the News” do should Hillary Clinton fail to gain the Oval Office?
Say what? You can’t see that as an issue of interest? But really, Gentle Reader, the media conglomerates that have dominated American journalism and entertainment for the century past are very heavily invested in the First Woman President. It should come as no surprise, even if you haven’t been following the action; media support and protection of Barack Hussein Obama was almost entirely due to the color of his skin. Can’t have the First Black President – who’s actually a mulatto, but we mustn’t linger over that – trip over his own feet! What would become of our Myth of Interracial Amity? (Never mind that the black racialists have only grown more strident, and their demands more extreme, as time has passed.)
Just as the media knew from the start that Obama was a fraud, basically an empty suit, its managers have known from the start that:
- Hillary Clinton is an unprincipled, massively corrupt power-monger;
- Her achievements are nil; her altitude in American politics is mainly due to having been First Lady;
- The remainder of her prestige comes from the adulation of the media itself, which have shamelessly promoted and covered for her;
- And given the way the media have treated the Trump campaign and the Republican Party generally, if she fails to win the Big Prize, the media themselves are in for a very big comeuppance.
The media cannot afford to have the Clinton for President campaign fail. Clinton could drop dead in public, and the media would do its level best to persuade the public that it was “just a stumble,” “the candidate is recovering nicely,” “her supposed incapacity is entirely her opponent’s fabrication,” and “the inauguration will take place as scheduled.”
All of which makes it mandatory that “the News” be “Nothing to see here, the candidate is recovering nicely, let’s move on to something else.”
Cynicism is neither a virtue nor a failing. It’s merely an attitude that one can adopt in the face of developments. Certain developments seem to call for it. When the media go “all in” for a particular politician or candidate, whitewashing his sins, hyping his accomplishments, deflecting attention from his failures, and generally promoting him as a modern-day George Washington, it’s understandable for a reasonably aware and intelligent American, who knows that in our time politicians are the least accomplished and least trustworthy people on Earth, to take a cynical stance toward the Fourth Estate. “They’ve placed their bets,” he’ll say, and sniff at what follows as “just what I expected.”
We’ve had a few genuinely good and accomplished men enter federal politics since World War II: Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney. Whether you agreed with the policies they espoused is irrelevant to their characters and what they achieved as private citizens. Note how little the media thought of them. Note how stolidly they bore the disdain of the columnists, the ill-disguised assaults of the “reporters,” and the calumnies of their opponents. And note that not one of them ever had an unkind word to say about anyone on the other side of the aisle.
Such aspirants to office are dwindling. A time will soon be upon us when no one in politics is anything but a thug. That time may be upon us already. Name the federal officeholders you’d trust with your daughter or your ducats. Mine is a very short list.
The descent of our political class into total venality doesn’t have much further to go. Nor can it be corrected through the electoral process. As H. L. Mencken has told us, we’d only be replacing one set of rascals with another.
But the media, whose power is tightly tied to an involute web of political alliances, will not allow any discussion of that. “The News” must remain a choice between Good and Evil, even if ordinary Americans can’t see the difference between the candidates. Don’t turn off your TV! Without “the News” to educate us about which of the choices is which, how will we choose between them?
Let’s have a little Orwell to close:
"Gentlemen," concluded Napoleon, "I will give you the same toast as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!"
There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the scene, it seemed to them that some strange thing was happening. What was it that had altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover's old dim eyes flitted from one face to another. Some of them had five chins, some had four, some had three. But what was it that seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the applause having come to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the game that had been interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.
But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
Have a nice day.