Friday, December 30, 2016
The Coming Of The Controller!
I've been amazed at the dexterity with which Donald Trump (soon to be my next President...sigh) has been able to herd and corral the bulk of the Fourth Estate. Admittedly his task has been made easier because of years and years of Right Wing berating of "The Media" and how they imagine it has cut against their issues time and again. Sometimes the complainers are even right, but of course because sometimes they are correct, it's then elevated into a generalization of being the case at all times. That's pure poppycock!
The media is motivated in this humdinger of a capitalist country by one thing, greed. Save for a few outlets, the media here is private and so dependent on the classic model of selling its wares to the greatest number of folks possible at all times. That means that the truth and even the facts can get battered and bruised quite a bit as the hawkers yell for customers.
It's how Trump was able to succeed in the first place. He spent so little money in the campaign for the simple reason he's a spectacle, a loudmouth bomb thrower who is capable of saying outrageous things at any moment. So when he gave a speech (show) the cable news outlets glommed all over him in hopes that he might spit out an incendiary jewel they could trade on for hours and hours if not days. He was "good copy" and so they went to the trough time and again and fore swore their responsibility to serve as a responsible vehicle for the democratic process.
Trump had to be killed in the crib, put down before he got the wind at his back. He was not, as is the all-too-common wisdom now that is was an inevitable result, but he was propped up by the desire for shock value until finally he was able to break through with a message which rose above rancor and racism, if only slightly.
I must admit it's laughable when reporters ask one another (notice how they talk each other more and more and to other folks less and less) what is the bigger picture when Trump makes some Twitter utterance. The mistake is in believing he has some larger scheme. He's a grifter who has for the time being gotten over on his marks (the entire country) and he's living day to day trying to keep the con alive. He's helped by the fact the marks themselves will assist in the delusion because they are reluctant to admit they've been had. Sadly that last part is key for the grifter to keep control of the fraud.
And now as President-Elect (gasp...it hurts to type such things) he continues to manage the press like a passel of hogs, popping out swill via twitter which gets them all agitated while he goes on about his nefarious business. Ask too many questions about conflicts of interest with the people's business and his increasingly oily family, and suddenly we're in a nuclear arms race.
It's going to be like this for a while and the sooner the press learn not to twitch every time he mutters a fire-breathing epithet maybe we can get through this with minimum damage. I'm not hopeful.