“That Trump Is Insincere In His Hate Speech About Journalists Is Not The Most Important Fact”

Hillary, the media, the Russians and the FBI are all responsible for an unqualified, kleptocratic sociopath–and perhaps a traitor–now residing in the White House, though mostly I blame the people.

There’s no way to look around nearly 63 million citizens voting for the most obvious con man imaginable, a three-card Monte dealer not playing with a full deck, and whether that was done from ignorance or malice (likely both), it’s really difficult to sustain a decent, sane state with those kinds of numbers. 

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That being said, all the above parties and others should gauge what role they played in this shocking lowering of the country.

On Twitter, there’s been a charged back and forth between New York Times reporters, including Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, and dismayed #Resist-ers over the culpability of HRC and the NYT, which is really kind of silly. Clinton was a candidate wounded by a decades-long campaign of hatred from the right, and she certainly made tactical mistakes. The Times’ above-the-fold story about Comey’s October surprise, not nearly skeptical enough, was also an error, and it wasn’t the only serious one the company made during the election. 

Media critic Jay Rosen, who’s doing outstanding work during this new abnormal, analyzed a new Politico article by Ben Schreckinger and Hadas Gold that largely dismisses White House attacks on the press as mere “ritualized warfare,” a sort of worked pro wrestling match with the punches pulled. Like a lot of pieces by the site, it mixes some great reporting with some rather confounding assertions. As Rosen argues, the Administration isn’t communicating with the media with its condemnations but is rather trying to undermine public faith in the Fourth Estate for future use. 

Beneath a graph showing a precipitous decline of trust in mass media by Republicans and Independents over the past 20 years (essentially the lifespan of Fox News), Rosen writes this:

While you’re enjoying your playground, what are you doing about this chart? This is what Glenn Thrush (“I never bought the shtick in the first place, that he hated the media…”) doesn’t seem to understand. Trump’s hating-on-the-media posture is not supposed to convince Thrush. It’s binge-worthy programming for core supporters of the president, catnip to their confirmation bias, extra insurance that anything damaging uncovered by the Times and its peers will be dismissed out of hand by 25 to 40 percent of the electorate.

That Trump is insincere in his hate speech about journalists is not the most important fact — for journalists — about that way of speaking. But you wouldn’t know this from Politico’s account, which fixates on the irony of a president who says he despises the press when actually he craves its approval. (His narcissism would explain that.) Trump’s hate speech about journalists matters because it is part of a program to substitute his reality for reality itself, word of which doesn’t seem to have reached the playground.•