Thursday, November 8, 2018


1. Press Pugnacity

     It’s been said before, of course, but nothing remotely comparable to what Jim Acosta said and did at yesterday’s press conference ever occurred during the Obama years. Indeed, for a “reporter” to do any such thing would have been cause for ostracism by the rest of the press corps. Obama, you see, was sacred, a totem object to be worshipped, never criticized or doubted. But under the presidency of Donald Trump, the mainstream media have apparently decided to see just how far they can push the boundaries of public deportment before evoking a punitive reaction.

     The media mouthpieces have attempted to defend Acosta and his confederate April Ryan as “just asking hard questions.” It’s nonsense, of course. Acosta’s physical resistance to surrendering the microphone when told to do so by the President of the United States and Ryan’s characterization of Trump as a “white nationalist,” both of whom were trying to defame Trump with accusations disguised as “questions,” were entirely in the pattern of an enemy press. Not, mind you, an “adversary” press, a term that’s been detoxified by the press itself to put a righteous gloss on “holding power accountable,” but an outright enemy determined to destroy an Administration of which it disapproves for ideological reasons. Consistency required CNN, Acosta’s employer, to assail the president as somehow against press freedom.

     It’s mind-boggling, really. Acosta and Ryan were in the White House, a place to which their admission is conditional on a modicum of good behavior. They outrageously insulted the current tenant of that House and expected him to stand still for it. Would they demand to be allowed such behavior in the home of any other American citizen?

     It becomes a lot easier to understand why the mainstream media is so willing to swallow the hallucinatory suggestion that the huge columns of aggressive marchers making their way toward our southern border are just “refugees.”

2. The Hostility Is Two-Way.

     I’ve been holding onto this compendium for a few days. With the Acosta ejection, it seems a perfect time to use it:

     [T]hese liberal media prima donnas are comfortable in describing the president of the United States as a sociopath, a disturbed person, a traitor, white nationalist, white supremacist, white bigot, racist, sinister, destructive virus, treasonous, straight out of Munich 1928, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Nazi, evil, mentally unfit, dictatorship, Hitler, unfit to be human, domestic terrorist, psychologically troubled, hate monger, imperial wizard, neo-Nazi, Axis Power, unfit, a national security threat, piece of sh*t, killer, out of control, domestic terror group, a menace, nuts, dictator, mentally unstable, Putin's c**k holster, madman, giant a**hole, bigot-in-chief, and racist-in-residence

     This is another please-read-it-all column. Indeed, my Gentle Readers need to read the whole thing, and to file it away against future needs. Without substantiation of their hostility, the media are far too good at persuading their audiences that their portrayal of President Trump is accurate.

     It’s been said that what the media dislikes most about Trump is that he fights back. That’s certainly a large part of the reason for their antagonism. Republicans aren’t supposed to fight back. They’re not supposed to take umbrage at being slurred as racists, Nazis, et cetera. Prior Republican presidents have kept the kid gloves on even in the face of extreme and incontrovertible hostility...not that it got them anything but more derision and denunciation.

     A John McCain presidency would have drawn the same slurs and slanders as President Trump is now enduring. McCain, ever more desirous of press adulation than of actual achievement, would have absorbed it without counterpunching. But the upstart in the White House today is of another cut. His media enemies can make no headway against him, and that purely enrages them.

     The idea that they might “catch more flies with honey” either hasn’t occurred to them or strikes them as distasteful, a surrender to the hated Right. And so the charade of a press “speaking truth to power” by demonizing the duly elected president (and by implication Americans who support him) will continue, though whether any depths of vilification remain for it to plumb is uncertain.

3. More on Republican “NeverTrumpers”

     Ace is still on fire:

     Jonah Goldberg has been loudly bragging that he supports gay marriage since before Obama admitted he supported gay marriage.

     He also recently declared that he's basically or "essentially" pro-life, which is code for what I am: pro-choice, but not really upset by the sort of minor restrictions that conservatives are likely to actually get through the courts.

     He's a social liberal.

     There's nothing scandalous about that -- any party should have, and will be strengthened by, a diversity of opinions on various matters.

     But the pro-gay-marriage position is not a minority opinion in the class that rules the Republican Party. It is the dominant position, and long has been.

     Do you really think Bill Kristol favors gun rights?

     Have you ever seen him holding a gun? Writing about guns?

     Do you really believe the conservative writers who are not chiefly on the pro-life beat are really very pro-life?

     Please read it all. It’s Ace at the top of his form. What he’s pointing out here isn’t just that these “thought leaders” hold views that diverge from the conservatives they claim to represent (and to write for); it’s that their number one priority isn’t to uphold and promote conservatism. It’s something else.

     Ace maintains that these folks are actually liberals. He could be right. But the explanation which seems soundest to your humble Curmudgeon is otherwise: their political preferences, if they have any, are of a far lower priority than maintaining their positions in the political Establishment. Continued acceptance in the circles they frequent is more important to them than any abstract proposition in social, economic, or political discourse. They will not willingly take or defend any position likely to get their Washington cocktail-party passes pulled.

     That’s appreciably more consistent with their “NeverTrumping” than a covert inclination toward left-wing policies.


Squints said...

"His confederate April Ryan."

Heh. I see what you did there.

Glenda T Goode said...

Thing is, all of this headlines type of commentary and it does not matter if it is a Bill Kristol or Jonah Goldberg, is that it is posturing for prominence. Pundits do it. Reporters do it. Anyone in the 'biz' does it. It is how you keep your job. Each play parts in the big play.

The mistake made on the outside in the real world is that we do not recognize the game for what it is. Placing implicit trust in the government, industrial, media complex is unwise.

Further, the actors play on whatever side allows them to promote their agenda. With Obama, they were very complimentary of his activities and when they were critical it was done in the most meek of ways. Trump is being bullied by a press corps that wishes to exterminate him anyway possible. Even so, I remember a contentious debate in the Senate that had them almost at blows. Half hour later the senators off the record and unaware they were seen were making social plans together.

In many ways this is the same clique crap that goes on in high school.

The reality is that the power has always been what goes on behind the scenes.

riverrider said...

the problem is the public perception of the "reporters" as PRESS. they are not the Press. they are corporate hit men. six people own 98% of what we used to call "The Press". six people one agenda. stop thinking of "the press" as a benevolent group of fair and honest beat reporters from back in the day.