Saturday, February 25, 2017

media under assault

The media is sputtering over the selective denial of access to gatherings in Donald Trump's name. Trump calls out media which appear to have failed to fawn adequately. They're liars. Every thing they do -- except when they agree with Trump's take -- is egregiously wrong and Trump won't stand for it ... so he excludes from get-togethers the most egregious 'offenders.'

And the media sputters. They don't dare call him an asshole because that would play into his agenda. But there is something else the media overlooks: Trump is right. The media are liars and if they simply admitted it and then called on Trump to make a similar admission, they might be on firmer, less-sputtering ground.

Anyone who studies reporting seriously knows that the choice and placement of words and photos is, ipso facto, a bias. This is not a criticism -- it is merely the best that language can do. Stories are lineal, life is not. The thing that counts is the degree to which relevant facts or fictions are spun and positioned. From local coverage to national outrage ... yes, there is a leaning. Let's get over ourselves and admit it. Whether it's charter schools or an unwillingness to declare war in a Middle East where the United States is already at war, media descriptions -- even on their best days -- cannot  report the "truth." Words cannot replicate what actually happens. Get used to it.

Were the media to 'fess up -- yes, we are biased -- it seems to me that two things would happen: 1. The bully and narcissist Donald Trump would say, "See! I told you so! I win ... again!" and 2. the media would be in a better position to challenge Donald Trump's critical vision: How is his presentation of the 'facts' any more pristine and who says so and why should we trust him?

In the long-ago and faraway of news-gathering, I seem to remember that American newspapers gained traction in the 19th century not so much as a means of promoting democratic ideas, but rather as a means of enhancing the views of the publisher.  As Albert Camus would later observe approximately, "Most men climb onto the cross in order to be seen from a greater distance."

OK ... news gathering is a crap shoot. It claims to sort chaff from wheat and vice versa, and adduces evidence... but what evidence or evidence of what? Its virtues stand cheek-by-jowl with its sins. Donald Trump's assault on the media was presented on the media being assaulted

Bottom line, readers/viewers decide ... just like the media and just like Donald Trump. Perhaps every news program should be over-written with the caveat: "Warning, this program may require some thinking. Viewer discretion is advised."


  1. No time to think, nascar/football/kardashians are on.

  2. With all the people in government leaking information who needs to listen to Spicy Boy Sean?

    With all the obvious lies Trump tells, who wants to hear more?

    New or no news with this whipped lash turn to the Alt-Right, I do wonder if any state will just up leave the Union. I might move there.

  3. Words may not suffice to describe reality, but the media certainly put a lot of effort in using them to spin it. Nothing new... In fact, it's almost as old as storytelling goes, it seems...

    "Being all-merciful the Supreme Lord ordered Siva in this way:

    svagamaih kalpitais tvam ca janan mad-vimukhan kuru
    mam ca gopaya yena syat srstir esottarottara

    Make the general public averse to Me by some imaginary hypothesis from you. Also camouflage me, so that the public will be deluded gradually by desire for material advancement. (Padma Purana)

    Also, in the Varaha Purana Lord Visnu instructs Siva saying:

    esa moham srjamy asu yo janan mohayisyati
    tvam ca rudra maha-baho moha-sastrani karaya

    O mighty-armed Siva, please write books filled with lies, and thus bewilder the people.

    atathyani vitathyani darsayasva maha-bhuja
    prakasam kuru catmanam aprakasam ca mam kuru

    O mighty-armed one, please preach a collection of lies. Place yourself in the forefront, and conceal Me."

    If you want to protect yourself from demons, just become one.

  4. "If you want to protect yourself from demons, just become one."

    My question is this: What other option is there? And, perhaps, are demons as bad as they are cracked up to be?

    I enjoyed all those quotes and wondered idly (I really don't mind much either way) whether they were a thread in the alt-truth, alt-facts universe. :)

  5. "What other option is there?"
    No idea Adam, I'm growing weary and tired of them to be honest. I used to think of 'ideas' as 'problem-solving', but simple ideas can be mistaken or even amassed into ideologies and ideologies, like books of lies, often just add more fuel into an already raging fire.

    As for demons being as bad as they are cracked up to be, my wild guess is that it depends on how loose and angry they are. I do like a quote from the recent Dr. Strange movie that goes something like this "we don't have to destroy our demons, but learn to ride them." For sure, the point was riding your own... I did like the sense in it though; neither fight nor let it loose, instead ride it. Easier said than done, for sure. I guess you'd say "sit on it". Mine is a tough one though... Too many years growing without adult unsupervision.

    As for the quotes being a thread in the alt-truth, alt-facts universe, who knows? The Supreme Lord, perhaps? :)