If, as the saying goes, a nation gets the government it deserves, the current media culture sitting over us like a nasty, sluggish smog is deserved too.
Justice Potter, noting the difficulty of defining hardcore pornography, asserted, I know it when I see it, and having seen it, what is coming out of the mouth of Donald Trump is pornography, even though the press is loathe to label it as that. Blunt, frank, candid, unfiltered, and unchecked are some of the chipper euphemisms used to describe it.
Of course, he’s the leading presidential candidate in one of the world’s largest, most powerful, and craziest political parties, though this latter too is largely unmentionable by the truth-tellers.
If one more television pundit slobbers into my ear that Donald Trump has tapped into an anger out there, I’m going to start shooting down media satellites, if I can figure out how to do it.
What he has tapped into is the anger of cranks, bigots and nasty boneheads. Saying what decent, knowledgeable, well-balanced, humane, honest people won’t, is refreshingly politically incorrect only to the perpetually steamed, fuming, awful and unhinged dregs of a nation. Put that in your earpiece and smoke it, anchorman.
I hate to break this news to the news experts, but the fact that a fairly large fraction of the country on the right is always angry, pissed, riled and paranoid isn’t news. It’s America.
If you were to say to me, “Well, racist, bigoted, wrong, stupid, manifestly insane, untethered from reality, impossible, destructive and toxic rhetoric coming from Trump makes him only a typical Republican politician now,” I would answer you back, “I can live with that.”
As for Gertrude Stein, let me just say: I knew Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein was a friend of mine. And when she said there is no there there, she was describing the latest Hillary Clinton scandal.
Yet again, an unsightly confluence of press complacency and meretricious sleaze on the right results in a muck of half-masticated scandalizing.
Like Whitewater, and other Clinton non-scandals of antiquity, it’s one more case of both elite media and media demimonde roid rage, reporters and pundits juicing on innuendo, imprecision, flabby context, hinky sources and blithering hyperbole.
As for the facts themselves, to the extent they have any bearing on anything in American life at present: Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server was not at the time she did so illegal or improper. None of the information crossing it was classified, though some of it later may have been retroactively classified by certain agencies, though not the State Department where she served. Of the former secretaries of state requested to submit emails from their personal email servers, only Hillary has bothered to comply at all. Condoleezza Rice is MIA. Colin Powell’s are gone with the wind he says. As for the rest of these august former diplomats, they are unmentioned, uncontacted, and nonexistent, far as the American press goes.
I’m still waiting for someone to tap into my anger. What I’d much prefer, is an educated, well-informed electorate, along with a press rigorously dispensing objective truth, absent fear of appearance of imbalance, or other mythic beastly inhibitions. In fairness though, my fantasy life is indeed a rich one.