Yes, 74 million Americans voted for Donald Trump.
Up the type size, and make that bold letters: SEVENTY-FOUR MILLION.
The Abominable Showman was fired — but only just.
But never fear, media people, there’s lots of juicy scandals and viral twitterings to come …
Court cases, Biden transition blocking, dubious pardonings, opponent (everyone) baiting …
The show will go on …
But what about the media in all this?
Well, they let us down.
No, not the honestly dishonest ones, your Fox News and the like.
I’m talking about our guys.
The embedded ones, the ones supposedly sniffing out the truth behind the news, and bringing it to us live.
Keeping Trump and all those in power accountable.
And us informed.
They let us down.
Have been letting us down for a long time.
Can’t just blame the kids for not reading any news that isn’t free, or lasts longer than two pars.
It’s the ones providing the news.
Trump has played them for suckers.
And us with them.
All our political leaders seem to be doing it these days.
With the help of their spin doctors.
The ones who have the media lying on their backs, tickling their tummies and whispering sweet distractions into their ears.
Well, that or lawsuit threats …
Over in America, some big media players were busy fact-checking the bullshit Trump and his crowd pumped out, while he and his acolytes were off doing the real stuff elsewhere … rigging the courts, boosting the rich, closing off immigration, rejecting important climate change information …
Remember Batman on TV all those years ago …
Pow, Biff, Wallop … dana-dana-dana, BATMAN?
That’s exactly what the Penguin or the Joker used to do it; distract the police with some epic stunt, and pull off the big heist on the other side of Gotham.
Luckily Batman and Robin always figured it out just in time.
Well, the media were clambering over themselves to be the first to the scene of Trump’s epic stunts …
Making media stars of White House press attaches, or they were over on Entertainment TV, telling us what a liar and a boor Trump was, how he fiddled his taxes, was nasty to some world leaders … while the Trumpeter and his lawyers and rich buddies were busy planning and pulling off their heists.
All in plain sight.
If you really looked.
And no Batman or Robin to save us.
Just the sons and daughters of Bernstein and Woodward, churning out those punchy 800-word leaders on why Trump was not fit to lead the most powerful country in the world, how divisive he was, how dangerous he was, sucking up to Putin, piddling on his own political party of convenience, the Republicans …
And so on, and so on, embedding themselves in the epic stunt stories that filled their pages and bulletins.
Smoke and mirrors while America burned.
And 74 MILLION still turned out to vote for Trump.
Wanting to give him another four years to make America Great Again.
Pandemic deaths or no pandemic deaths, Black Lives Matter protests or not …
It has only dawned on me recently exactly what media advisors are all about.
THEY’RE THERE TO TAKE OUT THE MEDIA.
And it works.
They have mummified the media.
We’re talking spin doctors.
They will tell you they are just there to help politicians make their message clearer.
That’s their first spin …
The Terry Prones (veteran Irish political spin doctor, and sometime media performer — hunter with the hares and runner with the hounds) of this world, sure they’re only there to polish a few turds, get their clients using the right fork at important dinners.
The ones that obey covid regulations anyway.
And talking proper.
They’ve been accused of helping politicians to avoid answering the questions put to them by preening news anchors.
As if that’s the worst thing they do.
No, far worse is how they disarm the media.
Kill them softly, or kill them cruelly.
But kill them.
Cultivate them, stroke them, threaten them … offer them epic stunt scoops, while the heists take place across Gotham.
And so many journalists head willingly into the spin doctor’s parlour … I mean press conference.
And would die sooner than boycott these affairs, lose their place in the elite pack, or chase the real story.
Follow the money.
Ultimately, these spin masters blindside the public, and keep their masters from accountability.
And democracy is the loser.
Don’t know about you, but I’m tired of all these breathless political correspondents skulking along the corridors of power, eavesdropping outside government meetings … ready to give us the news when the doors are finally open.
Only they don’t.
The politicians walk right past them, except when they want to leak something.
The pol cor elite are actually mostly briefed by the spin doctors.
Who spin them up and down and around like tops, and they lap it up, and write it down … and pass it all off to their complicit editors.
The journalist fly helping the spider to complete the web that will entangle him…
For me, one of ther scariest aspects of the Trump phenomenon is how he ran the media, took it on, and took it out.
His greatest spin doctor?
Initially he thought he needed Steve Bannon and the like, but realised he could do it himself.
Like the master con man he is, he realised he only needed the simple three-card trick: one card the epic stunt; the second, the truth; and the third? The fake news one.
‘Keep looking, keep looking’ …
‘Nah, suckers, fake news’ …
‘Go again … nah, epic stunt!’
‘Suckers … 74 million of them ‘…
And he nearly pulled off the biggest stunt of all, getting re-elected!
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