After several years of writing about media bias and identity politics, the last few months it’s been difficult to stay the daily course. That’s because I realized something pretty big that’s since clouded my every social and political thought…
The Democrat party as we know it today is a joke that would cease to exist entirely if not for the unwavering support of the massively powerful corporate media.
Long before the revelation, it always amused me when people like Resistance Jake Tapper or others in the media would claim:
We don’t choose the stories. The stories choose us. All we’re doing is reporting what’s going on in the world. That’s our job.
It amused me because they literally write the headlines. They choose exactly what stories to cover and as has become painfully obvious to anyone with a pulse, they also choose the narratives attached to those stories and how every twist and turn is characterized throughout the 24×7 news cycle.
(Here’s a piece with a good video of Resistance Jake Tapper that exemplifies the point.)
If you couple those realities — that the media are nothing more than the Democrats’ marketing arm, and that they’re also responsible for deciding what we talk about and how it’s characterized — it becomes really hard to take “the news” seriously.
And I feel like I’m on an island under the weight of that reality.
Because after watching our nation spend 3 years dignifying the preposterous notion that Donald Trump is actually a Russian spy who stole the 2016 election, I’m now watching us do the exact same thing with a fevered focus on hearsay witnesses to a phone call that we’ve all already read the transcript for.
It’s maddening. And every conservative media person and outlet, and every Republican advocate and official, and every Trump supporter and team member — everyone doing it is just playing into the media’s (i.e. Democrats’) hand.
They don’t actually believe they’re going to impeach the President. They just want us talking about it because it means they’re controlling the narrative. Even if we’re “winning” the conversation, it’s still the conversation they want us having because it’s a disruptive cloud over Trump-world and can slowly chip away at the patience and stamina of any Independents or Democrats who might have been leaning toward supporting him.
The good news is I think it’s having the opposite effect. I think most people see through the charade and as such, President Trump may very well gain support from one-time naysayers who might now sympathize with the persistently-attacked, duly-elected President of the United States.
But the vast majority of people, from long-time Trump supporters to recent converts, point their fingers at the Democrats as the primary source of the problem. And that’s just not accurate. You must know your opposition to defeat your opposition, and as such we must get our heads around the reality that it’s the powerful media — not the feckless and otherwise-toothless Democrats — who are our greatest enemy and threat.
Some people say the media aren’t biased. They say they’re just doing it for ratings. But if that’s the case, why isn’t John Durham’s name as widely recognized as Robert Mueller’s was? From the moment Mueller was appointed the media wouldn’t stop talking about him. And every story they focused on, and guest they had, and discussion they moderated, was centered on Mueller and what he might or might not be doing and what that might or might not mean for Trump and everyone around him. (And of course, also flying in the face of claims that the media are just in it for ratings, every aspect was always characterized in the most negative terms possible for President Trump, his team, and his supporters.)
But now we’ve got John Durham doing a similarly massive and sensational investigation with nefarious national implications as far-reaching as Mueller’s, with exponentially more evidence-based plausibility, and they never even mention the man’s name let alone what he’s working on.
The focus instead is on what people you’ve never heard of thought about a phone call you already the transcript of.
Imagine I told the world that you approached me on the street, beat me up, spit on me, then walked away. And the whole world believed me. Then you released a video that showed the incident: I was walking down the street, you approached me, we chatted, shook hands, then went our separate ways. Now imagine the media pretending that video didn’t exist. And instead, they spend the next several months breathlessly trotting out “witnesses” who claim to have heard about the incident and who back up my side of the story. Rather than accept the actual evidence, the media has the whole world ignoring it and focused like a laser on people who back up my lies about what you did.
Pretty infuriating, right?
Well that’s what’s happening with the Ukraine phone call nothingburger / nontroversy.
The President of the United States is allowed to qualify the absence of corruption before handing over taxpayer dollars to a foreign nation, and running for president on the Democrat ticket doesn’t absolve someone culpability in said corruption.
But the media are pretending not to understand any of those simple realities. They’re pretending the transcript doesn’t exist and that we need the opinions of unelected bureaucrats to tell us what happened. They’re pretending that President Trump doesn’t get to guide his own foreign policy. And they’re pretending that being a Democrat candidate for president is itself exculpatory, and that anyone who scrutinizes your bad behavior is guilty of something possibly criminal and definitely impeachable.
And every minute of every day that we talk about the “Ukraine phone call” and the ridiculous “impeachment inquiry” attached to it, we’re letting the media win. We’re ceding the national conversation to them, regardless of how good we might feel about “winning” it.
Pretend you’re starving for food, and I tell everyone you like to kick puppies. You want to talk about getting yourself some food, but I took the conversation somewhere else. So you offer gobs of evidence that you don’t like to kick puppies and, as a result, everyone ends up believing you and thinking I’m a liar. Nice work. Now we can talk about getting you some food. Right? Wrong. Because now I say that I was mistaken about the dogs thing, but I have good evidence that you like to step on cats. This is when, in a sane world, people wouldn’t believe me and we’d all talk about getting you some food. But that’s how powerful the media are. Because now, instead of talking about getting you some food, we’re going to spend the next several months making you prove that you don’t like to step on cats.
You might win that conversation also, but eventually you’re going to die of starvation.
For most Republicans and conservatives, “starving for food” means celebrating individual liberty and renouncing the socialism that chips away at it, judging people by the content of their character rather than by the diversity of their identity, “draining the swamp” that for decades has served itself at our expense, and putting America first instead of attacking and/or apologizing for it.
None of those things will happen if we keep playing the media’s game. It will take a strong, coordinated, major push from Republicans, conservative media, and the grassroots. But if we keep dignifying the notion that the feckless and wildly out-of-touch Democrat party would have a leg to stand on without the media (they have to have lie about the application and mission of literally every policy they pursue), and we don’t recalibrate our firepower and ferocity entirely on the corporate media who persistently prop the Democrats up while attacking us, then all we’ll end up doing is dying of starvation a little more slowly.
We can’t let that happen.
We must stop playing the media’s game.
And I can’t be the only one talking about it.
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