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The Media

I read an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal today. BLUF: Donald Trump has spent the past year and a half trolling the news media with everything from outright lies, to outrageous statements, to egotistical exaggeration, but it’s all part of a greater strategy: to send the media off on pointless “fact checking” errands in search of intrinsically worthless data.

Meanwhile, Trump does what Trump does.

Now that he is president, reporters assigned to Mr. Trump are in a tough position. They have to pay close attention to what the White House says, but they know the White House may give them garbage and dare them to spend an entire working day trying to verify or debunk it. Meanwhile Mr. Trump will make the ordinary decisions any president must make—court nominations, executive orders, negotiations with foreign leaders—while reporters are off trying to disprove some idiotic claim about the president’s approval ratings. They’ll feel as if they’re in an impossible bind, trolled into looking the other way, futilely insisting on their authority as the nation’s guardians of truth.

I’ve often said on this very blog that I don’t care about the idiot minutiae that the media digs up on 45. I don’t care how many books he’s sold. I don’t care how big his inauguration crowds were compared with 44. I don’t care if and when he opposed the Iraq war. He wasn’t a public official back then – merely a bloviating rich guy – and it’s completely irrelevant to me what he said on the Howard Stern show about the Iraq war more than a decade ago. While the media goes off chasing down Trump’s latest claims, blows hot air about which Trump lawsuits we should be keeping track of in 2017, and dutifully covering Charlie Sheen’s tweets about how much he hates Trump, Trump’s National Security Adviser Flynn was chatting on the phone with his Russian counterpart – on the day sanctions were announced. Now, I’m not saying he revealed anything about the sanctions, but the optics aren’t good, given his connections to the Russians. Two weeks later, the media was catching up. “Oh! He spoke to the Russians on the day Treasury announced sanctions!”

Barton Swaim, the author of the column, suggests that the media are going to have to find new ways to deal with Trump. He doesn’t do business in any way they’re used to, whether you agree with him or not.

mediaI would suggest the media start actually covering the story, covering the presidency, and letting us know what is going on, rather than wasting time spinning, “fact-checking,” and analyzing every word he says to death, in an attempt to discredit him.

If you’re going to be the “nation’s guardians of truth,” perhaps you should start by reporting actual news rather than chasing down silly, inconsequential claims. Stop digging for ways to discredit Trump on stupid issues, such as how many people attended his inauguration. Nobody gives a shit! You are reporters. So report, goddamit! Report accurately. Report the truth. Leave spin and analysis at the door, because frankly, most of you aren’t sufficiently versed in policy to analyze it.

Stop blurring the line between journalism and editorializing. No one gives a fuck what you think. Report the story, and let the audience decide what they think about it.

Confirm accuracy before publishing stories with buzzwords such as “unverified,” in a pathetic effort to beat everyone to the story. Verify.

And most of all, make rational decisions about what is important to the American people, and leave Buzzfeed, Breitbart, and other clickbait purveyors to their tabloid chaff.

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27 responses

  1. Nicki,

    In the past, one of the REWARDS for being the reporter who broke the story on Trump was getting on MSNBC and CNN and ABC and being famous for a couple days…….

    Now….being the one who breaks the BS story (like the MLK bust being moved) gets you ridiculed…..

    How nice the change…..

    And oh! The MLK bust does need to go back to the Museum and put Washington/Jefferson/Reagan or someone more relevant to the Republic back in there.

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    1. And if they need any suggestions, how about Houston, Austin, Travis, Crockett, amongst others…..

      We have lots down here that would qualify…..

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    2. MLK was pretty relevant to the Republic. I don’t begrudge his bust being in the WH any more than I mind any other work of art (although, I will say the proletarian agitprops outside the Oval during the last administration were ugly as fuck). That should be up to each individual president.

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      1. Well, nothing against MLK, and I DO think he was more ‘relevant’ to this Republic than Winston Churchill (whose bust seemed to be in there forever…)…but when I get in there….it’s gonna’ one of our Founding Fathers…..from either of the Republics I reside in…….:-)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No reason one cannot install a third bust to accompany Winston and Martin.

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  2. > He doesn’t do business in any way they’re used to

    I’d be happy if he made the media pay their own way.

    I don’t know which president started flying the media around at our expense, but I’d like to see it stop. If the NYT needs to see what the President is doing in Los Angeles or Paris, let them fly commercial or use local correspondents.

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    1. According to this, the press does pay their way, and it’s expensive.

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      1. Well, obviously NOT EXPENSIVE enuff!! 🙂

        “Let the user pay”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard | Reply

    But Nicki!!!

    If they just reported the Facts, the People might think the “Wrong Things”!

    So the Media has to make sure that the People think the “Correct Things”!!! 😈 😈 😈 😈

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    1. Damn, I was going to post something similar.

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  4. The underlying problem however, is that most people [supporters and detractors alike….don’t care what the truth is. they only care about “spinning, “fact-checking,” and analyzing”, in order to advance their agenda.

    For as much grief as the media rightly deserves…..Trump deserves very bit that he has coming to him, when he insults the American people with lies and fantasy.

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  5. Worse: They keep destroying their credibility this way, if Trump does do something that is worthy of impeachment and they report it… who will believe them?

    Though I guess Garak was wrong: Never using the same lie twice can be as harmful as repeating the same lie twice. Getting caught lying over and over will do you in anyway. 😉

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  6. I thought this Rebel Media guy was very succinct….

    (Ezra Levant 🇨🇦 ‏@ezralevant
    (While the Media Party was obsessing over tweets and crowd size, Donald Trump just (took over the blue collar wing of the Democratic party.

    The Oval Office keeps throwing shiny squirrels behind the media and the medias chases it like a 4 month old Labrador. By the time they turn around, the private business unions are on board and Warren Buffet’s railroad futures are heading for a nosedive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Except they’re not as cute as 4 month old Labradors. 😉

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      1. Or as smart.

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        1. Labradors drool less.

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        2. Not MY old lab! Good lord, that dog could slobber! My mom used to follow him around the house with a paper towel.

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  7. Can I dare to say that perhaps part of the problem may stem from our lukewarm educational system which continues to churn out communications majors or journalism majors who dream not of being the one to break the next Watergate scandal, but the one who gets to sit on a panel discussion with Rachael Maddow or one of her contemporaries. The real lifting and hauling of the news business has been relegated to those who toil behind the scenes on the internet of ideas, it would seem. I have to say that I often find out more about what is actually happening from people who are actually on scene and write a blog or post on some social media, even if framed by their own bias, then I ever learn by any of the news programs anymore. I find it also amusing that the media is quick to blame everyone from a flawed Hillary Clinton, to the FBI director, to an ill advised air port meeting with the AG and Bill Clinton as the reason for Trump’s victory, when in fact, the real reason for his win could be laid at their own feet. Even the new president, with however many billions of dollars he may or may not have, didn’t have enough to buy all the free publicity that the media lavished upon him during the past election cycle. Trump himself said that he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and still win the election, and he probably was right, because the media, instead of recoiling in horror, and dismissing him as a viable candidate when he committed his faux pas, doubled down, proving the old adage that any publicity is good publicity. The Trump administration has a steep learning curve, but the media has an even steeper one. If they are interested in learning. Time will tell who learns first.

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  8. Sorry but…for all intents in purposes, aside from a a few outside what I consider the Progressive Propaganda Ministry known as the mainstream media…the objective reporter reporting ‘just the facts ma’am. just the facts’ is dead and buried. I wouldn’t piss on the buildings that house these institutions, nor the ‘reporters’ in them if they were on fire. I won’t even condescend to wipe my ass with those of the print media. The PPM has spent the last 8 fucking years stating Obama can do no wrong and actively trying to cover up his mideeds. Sucking his cock, swallowing and then asking ‘please sir, may I have another?’,when he busted a nut in their mouths. those fuckers are so far down the rabbit hole, they couldnt get out if they strapped themselves to a Titan rocket.

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    1. I don’t think it’s completely dead. I do see some glimmer in the type of investigative reporting that’s done. Unfortunately, it’s also obscured by incessant licking of whatever progressive cause woven into the story. I’ve learned to ignore it, but still. It’s annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Trump knows how to play the media, he’s been doing it for decades. When caught by the local NY newspapers with women not his wife, his response was to make sure they got his good side for the photo. Bubba at least lied about his affairs, that’s normal. Donald isn’t normal. He’s going to play the DC media like the cheap violin they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] was thinking about the short piece I wrote yesterday about the media, which considers itself somehow the guardian of the truth, being flogged, jerked around, and […]

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  11. I actually think it’s quite important to note when the WH, staff or resident President lies to the Republic.

    But that shouldn’t be the sole obsession of the ‘news’ media.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good reporting. The same thing occurs in the language industry. Agencies send freelancers scurrying to fill out forms instead of developing into independent competitors. Next thing you know the laws force everyone to undergo Continuous Extortion in brainwashing propaganda courses run by those same lampreys. The average linguist has about as much sense as the average reporter for the looter press.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, possibly unskilled translators and rookie reporters need to reinvent themselves!

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  13. […] Far easier to send them scurrying this way and that, yipping and yelping about carefully planted red herrings and non-sequiturs that have nothing to do with the real […]

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