Trumping the Media, Fooling the Masses?

Fake news
Fake news? Photo: iStock

Trump is right. The media is the problem. And I’ll tell you why. Not long ago, about once a day, America would sit down and watch the evening news on television to find out what was going on in the world. It would be summarized for the news anchors of that era by reporters. The anchors read the news off a teleprompter. The next day, commentary would be in the morning papers, and there’d be more details about the facts of what went on.

Today, every single minute of every single day, every American and practically everybody else in the world learns of everything that is happening, as it is happening, in real time, both real and fake. They get it on their cell phones, brought to them by the medium they choose, which is invariably one that slants the news to reinforce their point of view.

Thus America gets polarized, and thus the media, like an enormous engine—in reporting everything anybody important ever does, and also what Google shows these people did 32 years ago or some such, speeds up—gets overheated, starts smoking and almost catches fire. This engine never stops, but it does slow down every night between 3 and 6 a.m. when, even with the different time zones, almost everybody in America is sleeping, so water can be poured over it to cool it down in anticipation of the next day’s catastrophes.

This overload of everything is a great danger to American democracy and can easily lead to the rise of a popular dictator to fix things up.

Here is just one segment, what came in through my phone over a three-hour period on Thursday, June 8. Comey testifies that the President said he hoped the FBI would stop investigating Michael Flynn, calls Trump a liar for saying Comey’s underlings begged Trump to get rid of him and says he didn’t know how to handle being intimidated so he wrote a memo about it. Next, the Iranian Parliament and the ayatollah shrine go under attack from terrorist men dressed like women, Comey says Bill Clinton at the airport last year asked the sitting attorney general to please not declare its investigation of Hillary an investigation but instead just a matter to be looked into, North Korea fires ground-to-sea missiles, Trump says he is vindicated so let’s move on, South Korea decides not to accept American Scud missiles, terrorists in Iran are killed, Trump tells Iran’s leaders that’s what you get when you support terrorism, the British PM loses her majority, Iran calls Trump disgusting and blames Saudi Arabia, Comey says his memo was personal property not government property and he gave it to a friend to give to the media after he got fired, the House passes revisions to loosen laws about Wall Street and Trump declares Comey the “leaker,” a disloyal public servant who should be punished for his crimes.

Democrats go to bed with this thought: Trump tried to intimidate Comey to stop the probe of Trump and Russia, fired Comey for not doing so and then threatened him with jail for revealing Trump trying to save his skin. And Comey’s got a nickname: Leaker. How adolescent.

Republicans go to bed with this thought: All officials, Republicans and Democrats, are crooks and the “Leaker,” like Crooked Hillary before him, should be put in jail. Who can tell what the truth is? And thank God for our plain-spoken Mr. Trump and his unorthodox ways, here to clean things up for us.

So yes, it’s the media.

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