Sunday, July 02, 2017

In Case You Thought The Slapfight Between Trump And CNN Couldn't Get Any Stupider... were wrong.
   But that's how the game is played in the neoPClithic....if there is any way to make yourself out as the victim, it's a powerful move...and a (potential) victim of violence...ooh la la! The Trump tweet was yet another embarrassment. But the pretense that it was a threat pegs the the needle on the stupometer. It's just goddamn idiotic. Of course we have no reason to expect any better from CNN, whereas we should be able to expect better from a President... But that's a different point. Trump's an embarrassment, but there was nothing inherently wrong with the video. Pretending that a joke is a threat of violence is despicable. How long before CNN claims to be afraid and demands a safe space?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Space spaces are for the unwashed SJW proles. CNN will make a call for civility. It's the same game essentially, but they are just a lot more artful, or really less jargon-bound, in their tactics.

But another thing, how should a news organization deal with the fact that they are now in outright conflict with the administration? In CNNs case it is completely deserved; they have been obvious ratings whores for the past year or so, and were the most farcically deranged in the whole Russia fiasco. And because Trump is Trump, he's going to bring his own brand of farce, of which that tweet is almost a perfect microcosm. But if you were a producer or news exec there, what do you do?

I honestly don't know, and CNN isn't going to be the only organization asking that question before the year is over.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I think that the #RESISTANCE(tm) is trying to make Trump flip his shit. Which...he came into office with a head start on that, and he's gotta be at least halfway there by now... Maybe CNN sees themselves as part of that.
Or maybe they see the middle shrinking and the crazy left ascendant, and want to outflank MSNBC.
Or maybe they realize that the crazier Trump gets, the better it is for ratings--and especially for whatever network has taken on the anti-Trump mantel most effectively.

As for what they *ought* to *do*...well...back away from the ledge? Cut out the sensationalism and yellow journalism? Look up the word 'objectivity' at

Trump brought so much of it on himself by being such an incompetent, contemptible assclown...I'm not even sure how much to blame CNN for all this. I mean...they suuuuck. I can't even watch them anymore even to just try to take their pulse. But jeez, they and Trump seem to be about to drive each other off the ledge.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for what they *ought* to *do*...well...back away from the ledge? Cut out the sensationalism and yellow journalism? Look up the word 'objectivity' at"

I don't actually think this is so simple. For one, the brand is significantly tarnished by now. Second, they need ratings, and they drove away everyone not looking for negative Trump coverage. A return to objectivity will play as giving in to Trump, which will drive away the few people who still dig the crap they're shoveling.

But it isn't just that. How can you possibly be objective in your politics reporting when there is an obvious feud between the network and the administration? It's oxymoronic at this point. I mean, objective news coverage needs to be done, because Trump is not a flawless angelic figure, and the Republicans are not all-competent Brahmin, but CNN can't fill that role anytime soon.

Just another observation. CNNs entire strategy is wall to wall coverage of a few basic news events. This didn't start with Trump, they were doing it with the Malaysian airlines thing and countless meaningless junk before. That is how they differentiate themselves from MSNBC and Fox, which are basically personality-driven partisan organizations.

Trump's politics is heavily geared towards what is in effect media-hacking. He throws a ton of garbage into the system and waits for his opponents to overload. This strategy is almost a perfect complement to CNN. He will do something ridiculous (like post a meme some Trump twitter fan created from referencing his WWE days) and CNN being CNN will cover it nonstop, and start saying it is a threat of violence or some nonsense to rationalize the coverage. Which means that after a year, CNN becomes the prime destination to hear journalist hyperventilate about Trump's twitter feed.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I don't know what to think about your first three paragraphs--but they're worth thinking about.

But those final two paragraphs are gold, Anon, gold!

Seriously, that really flipped a switch on for me about CNN. And that point about CNN and Trump complementing each other...that's great, man. You ought to publish that somewhere.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

No argument that this CNN business is ludicrous, but...

Both sides are right about some stuff, and both sides are wrong about some stuff

I'm starting to get a kind of Twilight Zone/Invasion of the Bodysnatchers feeling about this, Winston. The basic attitude of yourself and the Mystic seems to be:

ON THE ONE HAND: [Insert very long list here of unprecedentedly appalling, horrific, vile, disgusting, institution-undermining, republic-destroying, global-conflict-promoting actions, many still ongoing, of the most powerful man in the world]

ON THE OTHER HAND: The US Left, and the 'progressive' media, are a bunch of self-deceived, limp-wristed narcissists.

THEREFORE: Impossible to take sides -- they're both as bad as each other.

What am I missing?

11:45 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, honestly, I don't really know how to compare their awfulness.

Trump: fucking don't get me started.


The PC left: not merely self-deceived, limp-wristed narcissists...but straight *Twilight Zone*...

I mean...I think Trump is off the goddamn scale. Just...a whole different order of terrible... I'm reduced to sputtering fury.

My view is probably distorted because I knew Trump was godawful from the start...whereas I was oblivious to how bad much of the media really is...or maybe they've gotten worse... But this realization is pretty new to me.

But, also: all my knowledge of Trump comes form the now I'm not even sure how accurate my view of the guy is. To whatever degree it's distorted, though...can there be much doubt *how* it's distorted?

Also: I expect Trump to be gone in about 2 years...the media is forever...or might be. And which is worse for the country? Two years of a monumentally shitty president, or a perpetually shitty media? Especially one that's politically biased for the love of God?

Is the answer really that obvious?
Because it's not *entirely* obvious to me.

And as for the progressive / PC left...the problem with *those* guys is that they're not limp-wristed at all... They're fanatics. And they've got powerful influence on the levers of cultural power. And they are flat-out insane. If I had to choose between those crazy cultists and the fundamentalists...well...I'd have to think on that one, and might just end up flipping a coin...

But finally: I don't really mean to emphasize a comparison of how terrible they are, I didn't think the Mystic did either. I just now think they're both *awful.* And, as the Mystic wrote, each side has both legitimate criticisms and insane criticisms of the other.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So just to beat the drum on CNN's business model of being obsessed with minor news events, let's go back to the Malaysian Airlines debacle. To keep that story alive, Don Lemon literally theorized that it might have been swallowed by a black hole. A black hole. In the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately the voice of reason on the panel concluded that it was preposterous because a "small black hole would suck in the entire universe".

Now complement that distinguished media establishment with Donald Trump in the White House, his weird ability to dominate the news cycle with vapid antics, and really the best strategy is to get your popcorn.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Are you...making that up?

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you could check youtube. He's asking the panel if the theory is "preposterous", not necessarily endorsing it. But that is the point. CNN drives meaningless stories into the ground and will do literally anything to keep them alive.

Including wondering whether planes were swallowed by black holes.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I'll be in my room.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

Not to belabor the obvious, but...

Trump is the most powerful man in the world. What he does affects everybody.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Who could disagree?

He's a terrible person in the world's most powerful office.

The situation is bad, bad, bad.

I do not disagree with that in the least.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

My point is that the massive asymmetry deprives the rhetoric of 'on the one hand... on the other...' of its point. This way of bitching about the media gives a false impression that their antics mitigate Trump's horrific clownshow / trainwreck in some way. And it's not even as if the Washington Post has much power qua media. (CNN more so, but not as much as Fox.)

Don't get me wrong. I do agree that much of what the 'liberal media' says in response to Trump makes me think 'Don't you realize that this is why Trump won?' The wrestling thing is a good example of that.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah yeah. Yeah.
Yeah...keep saying this to me... I'm definitely susceptible to getting all fired up in one direction and losing perspective.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

OK Winst!

Just remember, when you're getting really pissed off and rolling your eyes... you said, 'Keep saying this to me'!

7:47 PM  

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