As I said in my last post, Joe Biden was not my man in the 2020 election. That said, I’m willing to give him a chance and see how things go. At this point I wish him all the best. If Joe Biden succeeds, then America succeeds.
The immediate problem will not be Joe Biden, but the radicals who won’t let the Trump era go.
No, I’m not talking about the diehard Trumpists. I think you’ll find that very few Trump voters are interested in causing real trouble, now that the Biden administration is a fait accompli .
But consider this headline from CNN:
As Barack Obama famously said (and later regretted, perhaps): Elections have consequences.
Indeed they do. Joe Biden’s agenda will be very different from Trump’s. We’ll see how it works out.
In the meantime, though, CNN could do much to heal the nation if its journalists didn’t begin every headline over the next hundred days with a jab at Trump, and his former voters.
Daily Kos is the leftward lunatic fringe of the media. CNN is merely filled with immature incompetents. Hopefully there are still a few adults in charge over at the network Ted Turner founded. Our nation does need healing; and someone needs to restore CNN’s status as the serious news outlet it once was.
Sometime between the George W. Bush and Obama years, CNN ceased to be a genuine news organization, and drifted into leftwing advocacy journalism. Individuals in the media generally did not like George W. Bush. And every one of them was giddy over the idea of America’s first black president.
During the 2016 election season, though, CNN’s tone became shriller, more unabashedly partisan. If the press disliked George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin, the press absolutely loathed Donald Trump. They made no bones about their biases.
Trump, CNN, and “fake news”
And Donald Trump disliked them back. Trump had no interest in currying favor with journalists. Trump accused the mainstream media of being biased against Republicans. He called them “fake news”.
CNN responded by taking even more liberties with the truth, and becoming even more partisan in their reporting. By the start of 2020, the relationship between President Trump and the mainstream media had deteriorated into an open feud.
We saw stark evidence of this during the early reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the start of the pandemic, the press framed every news story with an anti-Trump angle. This sometimes made for tragicomic results.
CNN immediately dismissed certain COVID treatments simply because President Trump was bullish on them. Democratic politicians used their bully pulpits to pile on President Trump. Trump was a buffoon, an idiot, we were told. His ideas were stupid!
Then, in at least a few documented cases, Democratic governors quietly asked the federal government for those very same treatments. Before long, most viewers recognized that CNN’s COVID-19 reporting was more about politics than medicine or science.
CNN’s new role in the Biden era
But today Joe Biden will move into the White House. While the media may still do the occasional hit piece on Donald Trump, the journalistic class will no longer be able to use him as a daily projection of their own biases.
We might reasonably ask, then: Will CNN get better under Joe Biden?
CNN will almost certainly get worse. We’ve seen evidence of this already. In recent days, CNN has filled its television broadcasts and website with ersatz, hagiographic pieces on the president-elect.
The above is the homepage of CNN this morning, Inauguration Day. The lead “analysis” from CNN writer Stephen Collinson reads:
“Biden prepares to conjure hope and bear pain for a grieving nation”
Joe Biden and I have two things in common: we’re both teetotalers (neither Joe nor I consume alcoholic beverages), and we were both raised Roman Catholic. The CNN reporting on Joe Biden reminds me of the stories I heard of the Catholic saints in my grade school religion classes. Joe Biden will “conjure hope”, and “bear pain” for us? Seriously?
The hagiographic treatment doesn’t stop with Joe Biden, of course. Kamala Harris is portrayed as the whip-smart heir apparent who will take the helm from the octogenarian Biden in 2024. (Biden, the oldest candidate to take the presidency at 78, will turn 82 in 2024. No one seriously believes that he will run for a second term.)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, continues to be the media’s wunderkind darling. AOC is the bold young progressive whose wisdom and life experience, acquired from a brief stint as a Bronx bartender, will guide us toward our long-term progressive future.
The new villain for the new narrative: you
My grandfather was prone to salty language and metaphors. When someone talked like this, my grandfather used to quip that he needed to put his boots on, because the bull excrement was piling up on the floor. That will be CNN over the next four years, as the network cheerleads Saint Joe, Heir Apparent Kamala, Young Visionary Ocasio-Cortez, and all the rest of them.
But that will get boring, you say. Yes, it will, or it would. Every good narrative needs a villain, a Snidely Whiplash*. But since Donald Trump vacates that role today, the press needs a new boogyman.
They have already picked a new villain—you. If you live in a rural or blue-collar area of one of the flyover states, if you vote Republican, if you own a gun and you question the narratives of the left-leaning establishment, you have just been cast as the villain in the mainstream media’s new narrative.
We see this already, in the constant fretting over “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists”. We are told that rightwing extremists and racists are going to take over any day now, if not for the constant vigilance of the Democratic Party and their allies in the media. But not to worry: the Democratic Party and their allies in the press will keep us all “safe”.
The media and government will be joined by likeminded corporate executives, especially in the tech sector. They will collude to keep inconvenient facts and opinions off the Internet. We have already seen this, in the Big Tech collusion against Parler, and CNN’s calls for Newsmax and OAN to be “cancelled” by telecom carriers.
Pretexts for restricting freedom
It is worth asking: Are there really “rightwing extremists” and “white supremacists” out there? Let’s do the math. There are now 328 million people in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), no less, estimates that there are now between 5,000 and 8,000 active white supremacists. That means that their share of the population is .002439 percent.
White supremacy, the boogyman of leftwing/progressive imagination, has no significant constituency in twenty-first century America. The America of today is simply too integrated for that. Even the rural, red-state branch of my family in Indiana has black and Latino bloodlines.
All it will take, though, is a half-dozen oddballs on a street corner somewhere in America, waving Confederate flags, for the media to sound the alarm about “rightwing extremism.” Clampdowns on speech and expression will immediately follow, as we’ve already seen.
This is all a matter of spin, of course. During the summer of 2020, leftwing BLM and antifa mobs torched both public and private property in forty-one of America’s fifty largest cities. The media billed those as “peaceful protests”.
“White supremacists” and “rightwing extremists” exist mostly in the minds of journalists and leftwing Twitter. What is real are the (at least) 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November. Many of those Americans are dubious about the integrity of the election. They object to the Democratic Party’s plans for open borders, astronomical levels of debt spending, and a far-left approach to the teaching of history and culture. Those same Americans are alarmed at the campaign by Big Tech and Big Media to stifle the voices of the opposition.
But if the media can brand dissident Americans as “white supremacists” and “rightwing extremists”, then the media need not address their actual concerns. People who work in the media understand the art of spin. They know exactly what they’re doing.
Dark days ahead
We are about to enter into a period of “soft dictatorship”. There likely won’t be any gulags or firing squads…at least not yet. But there will be a vast, politically left-leaning corporate-governmental complex aligned against individuals, groups, and opinions deemed “unsafe” by our new authorities.
CNN has an important role to play in that Brave New World. As the Joe Biden era begins, CNN will talk less and less about Donald Trump. Instead they’ll be focused on you, the dissident American who refuses to fall into line with the progressive program.
*Snidely Whiplash was the black-hatted villain in the cartoon series The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, which aired from 1959 to 1964 on ABC and NBC.
“Donald Trump is furious that Joe Biden has managed to attract a star-studded lineup to his inauguration, it has been claimed – in sharp contrast to the president’s own ceremony four years ago.
Trump, who will leave the White House before noon on Wednesday, was reported by The Washington Post to be angry that a roll call of stars are signing up to Biden’s event.
While Trump famously struggled to attract big names, Biden has confirmed Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and country star Garth Brooks for his event, which he is urging people to watch from home owing to the COVID pandemic.”
The title of the article is equally silly:
“Where were my A-listers? Trump is ‘livid’ at Biden’s star-studded inauguration line-up of Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez as Field of Flags is lit up on National Mall and President packs his bags for Florida”
The Daily Mail is a UK-based publication. This piece seems to have been written by a wet-behind-the-ears London reporter who doesn’t grasp American political culture at all.
The journalist, Harriet Alexander, is revealing nothing but her “Trump blinders”. That’s what it would take to write the above assessment.
The Democratic Party has long had a lockdown on the Hollywood and entertainment elites. Everyone in the US knows that. This goes all the way back to the early 1960s, when stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr were schmoozing with the Kennedys.
There have been a few exceptions. Reagan was already a Hollywood outsider by the time he entered the White House in 1981, but he did maintain some friendships from his acting days. Liberace, of all celebrities, was a political conservative, and actually visited the Reagan White House.
For the most part, though, celebrities were the kids who were “different” in school, but“different” in the exact same way as the other kids in their “different” crowd.
They carry this into adulthood. At least since Bill Clinton, almost all celebrities who are the slightest bit “political” have sought to align themselves with Democrats. This tendency was conspicuous during the Trump era; but it isn’t as if Trump “lost” the celebrity demographic for the GOP. The GOP never had it.
If your goal as an individual American voter is to see yourself in alignment with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Bon Jovi, you should vote Democrat for the rest of your life. But if you are really turning to Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi for political advice, perhaps you…should rethink your priorities.
Likewise, Republicans in the United States have differing opinions about President Trump and what he achieved (or not) while in office. But there is not a single Republican voter in the land who is saying, “If only Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks had been with us!”
I seriously doubt that the outgoing President Trump is giving Lady Gaga or Tom Hanks much thought, either.
Leftwing activist John Sullivan (see photo) was arrested for his role in damaging federal property at the January 6 US Capitol incursion.
Although he has links to Black Lives Matter, Sullivan can be heard on camera egging on the January 6 rioters, exhorting them to “burn” the building down.
Maybe Sullivan is one of those white supremacists we keep hearing about. After all, the media and the leftwing activist community have repeatedly told us that both the Vietnamese American Andy Ngo, and the Afro-Cuban Enrique Tarrio are white supremacists. I therefore see no reason why John Sullivan, BLM activist, cannot be a white supremacist, too.
White supremacists are everywhere, don’t cha know. They inhabit the same space as unicorns, faeries, and trolls that live under bridges.
It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media spins this very inconvenient addendum to their narrative. I look for CNN to simply bury this story. That’s what CNN does with most stories that contradict their narratives.
Vincent Z. Mercogliano, a staff writer for the USA TODAY Network, seems befuddled, and more than a little indignant, at the decision of NY Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo to close his Twitter account and (gasp!) open an account at Parler:
“In his latest stunt, the 25-year-old defenseman deactivated his Twitter account — which, had he done quietly, I wouldn’t be writing about it.
But by indicating that it was an apparent protest of the company’s decision to ban Donald Trump, then following it up with a puzzling Instagram post — in which he wrote, “If they let Parler back up at some point I will be on Parler. Until then I will not be using social media apps” — it called extra attention to him and brought on a slew of questions.”
Notice Mercogliano’s use of the dismissive word “stunt”. Everything that famous—or wannabe famous—people do on social media is a “stunt” in one way or another. That’s what the combination of celebrity and social media has always been about, since the very beginning.
Mercogliano then chides DeAngelo for his embrace of the evil, wicked, very dangerous Parler app—which the tech giants have temporarily crushed through collusion, anyway:
“DeAngelo has been a vocal Trump supporter, so him being upset by Twitter’s decision to boot the outgoing president was no surprise. For me, most of the questions centered around DeAngelo’s decision to align himself with Parler.
I hadn’t heard of Parler, a social network, until a couple days ago, but it’s been in the news since Wednesday’s shocking invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Some planning for the appalling attack apparently took place on Parler, with Google subsequently removing the app while calling it a “public safety threat”
This is, of course, the new party line. If you have an account on Parler, you seek to overthrow the new Democratic Party order that begins on January 20, and establish a Fourth Reich in the United States.
I don’t use Parler myself, not because I object to its existence, but because social media isn’t my thing. But I know several people who do use it. One is a 74-year-old retiree who has never owned a firearm, or thrown a punch in anger in his entire life. The other is my 52-year-old high school classmate. She’s 5’1″ tall, a hundred bounds soaking wet. She runs a dog training service in South Carolina. In high school, she was a mild-mannered wallflower.
The Dangerous People of Parler? The ones I know, at least, are not exactly the fearsome malefactors that inhabit the fevered leftwing imagination.
To his credit, at least Vincent Z. Mercogliano refrained from trotting out the “white supremacist” bogeyman. But his remarks indicate that he, like most of the journalistic class, is woefully out of touch with the average American.
The man and woman on the street wants nothing to do with Twitter. And we’re appalled at the Big Tech conspiracy to censor Parler, even if we personally want nothing to do with that, either.
You can read the whole thing, but here’s a sample: Lane depicts innocent, truth-seeking journalists (like the perma-smirking Jim Acosta of CNN, perhaps?) being out-maneuvered by the sinister femme fatale, Kayleigh McEnany:
“And finally, Kayleigh McEnany, Harvard Law graduate, a propaganda prodigy at 32 who makes smiling falsehood an art form. All of this magnified by journalists too often following an old playbook ill-prepared for an Orwellian communication era.”
In an interesting Freudian slip, Lane concludes by insisting that, “This isn’t cancel culture.” Lol.
The journalistic field of the 21st century really does have a problem with “diversity”—ideological diversity
The CNN team is always eager to depict themselves as saintly apostles of the unbiased truth. In recent days, they have shared many videos of themselves meeting rough treatment at the hands of last week’s Capitol Hill besiegers.
From what I have seen, most of the roughing up was verbal, and there were some attacks on equipment. (See video below.)
But even verbal attacks of this nature aren’t something that anyone should wink at. This shouldn’t happen in America.
Likewise, this blog encourages all sides to refrain from political violence or threatening words—and to settle their differences peacefully.
It is worth asking, though: Why does almost everyone right of Joe Biden dislike and distrust the media? I would never assault a CNN reporter—verbally or otherwise. But I must admit, I no longer trust a word that CNN correspondents say, unless they’re talking about a weather event. (And even then, I like to fact-check them with another source, if I can.)
This wasn’t always the case. CNN used to be different, in the 1980s and the 1990s.
Here’s a concrete example. In one of the presidential debates of 1988, liberal Democrat Michael Dukakis was destroyed by a single question. The moderator who delivered that question was none other than CNN anchor Bernard Shaw. Watch the video below.
Imagine that: a CNN journalist giving a liberal Democratic politician a tough, potentially campaign-ending question. But Bernard Shaw was a different kind of CNN correspondent.
Shaw retired from CNN in 2001, after more than 40 years in journalism. It is quite possible—quite likely, really—that Bernard Shaw’s personal sentiments leaned Democratic. Nevertheless, he saw his mission as moderator in the 1988 presidential debate as one of “getting to the truth”.
Going into the 1988 election, many Americans were concerned that Dukakis was too liberal in general, and too “soft on crime” in particular. Dukakis’s answer regarding the death penalty, following the hypothetical rape and murder of his wife, revealed that he was, in fact, too liberal for most American voters. (Dukakis lost in a blowout in ’88.)
Bernard Shaw is also a former Marine and a Vietnam veteran. Shaw, born in 1940, is now more than 80 years old. They don’t make CNN journalists like that anymore.
The new breed of journalists, the Gen-Xers and Millennials, entered the field from the 1980s onward. As a Gen-xer myself (born in 1968), I can tell you that few conservatives, or even moderates, entered fields like teaching and journalism by the 1980s. Those had already become hothouses of leftwing progressivism.
Fast-forward to the tumultuous present, and almost all journalists lean to the left. This is why public attitudes about the media differ so sharply along party/ideological lines.
Case-in-point: Consider the way the media handles “riots”. The journalists at Vox have practically tripped all over themselves making excuses for the Black Lives Matter riots—which were (let us be clear) riots. Note the following headline, after one of the original BLM riots:
“Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms”
It doesn’t stop there. Let’s take a case that was a little bit less life-and-death. In 2018, the New York Times named a reporter from The Verge, Sarah Jeong, to its editorial board. It was later discovered that Jeong, a woman of color, had made numerous racist comments about white people on her Twitter feed over the years.
Vox could have done the right thing, and condemned Jeong’s behavior. But because Jeong was a woman of color, Vox engaged in all sorts of contortions, making excuses for her. Vox blamed the whole thing on a “rightwing conspiracy”.
There was no doubt, though, that Jeong had done what she had done. It was all out there on the Internet.
In those two cases, you see the difference between the CNN journalists of 1988 (i.e, Bernard Shaw), and the journalists of today.
Today’s journalists are basically engaging in “advocacy journalism”. Absolutely everything they report has a “spin”—and it’s only one spin.
Why should we believe what they say, or take them seriously?
(But I reiterate: There is never an excuse for attacking or threatening journalists, or anyone else. That was wrong.)
The bad blood between conservatives and journalists goes far beyond our current cultural divide. The real problem is that almost every journalism student since the 1980s has been a liberal Democrat in both affiliation and orientation.
We need a lot of things right now in our society. But not least among these would be a quota system for journalism schools, restricting liberal Democrats to 50% of each incoming class.
I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the journalistic field of the 21st century really does have a problem with “diversity”—ideological diversity. Until that is corrected, journalists will likely be unwelcome at conservative gatherings by default.
It wasn’t always that way, and it shouldn’t be that way. But then again, there was a time, only a few decades ago, when not every journalist leaned so obviously to the left.