I bet NBC News’ Jonathan Allen wishes he could have that one back — the piece he posted on NBC News’ site that panned Day One of the Impeachment hearings because they lacked “pizzazz”.
The firestorm’s been pretty relentless, boring in hard on that one word: “pizzazz”. To Allen’s credit, he encapsulated the American news media’s problem. They think this story’s about… hmmmm — maybe that’s the problem. For all the substance Allen acknowledges, he worries Americans won’t bother with the story of how pirates are actively destroying their Republic on behalf of Russia because there weren’t enough bells and whistles.
Either Jonathan Allen has nailed America or he’s missed us entirely.
I say he’s missed us entirely — in a way exactly how most of America’s news media has. They still give way more credence to Trump’s base — and why it’s so angry at the rest of us (16% minority of the electorate that they are) than the rest of us (84% of the majority that WE are).
Most Americans are actually pretty sensible. By “most Americans” I no longer mean Republicans. Republicans can’t “be” sensible because sensible involves following the Rule Of Law. And, as Republicans know, in the current situation, actually following The Rule Of Law would put pretty much every Republican behind bars for the rest of their natural lives. Their offense is that offensive — and real.
Our news media continues to treat Donald Trump’s words and actions as if they were the words and actions of a real and legitimate POTUS. They’re not. Donald Trump (as it’s becoming clearer and clearer) is not now and never was a legitimate POTUS. Take Russia out of the equation entirely and Trump wouldn’t have survived the primaries.
Russia made Trump president. They need to keep Trump president — and the Republican Party, being entirely complicit in outright TREASON, needs to keep him president too.
If our news media had brought an ounce of perspective to this story — if they’d simply done the due diligence Fusion GPS did before starting their oppo research on Trump (on behalf of the Conservative web site the Washington Free Beacon), we would have ended the Trumpian coup d’etat before it even started.
FFS – Wasn’t “Mexicans are rapists” pizzazz enough? Wasn’t “pussy grabbing”? Wasn’t putting children in cages and betraying the Kurds and obstructing justice every day in every way? I guess when you see the world through “Both Sides Do It” colored lenses, pizzazz isn’t all it seems. One side’s pizzazz is another sides bullshit.
Actually, thinking this story needs more “pizzazz” is bullshit. Like treason isn’t pizzazzy enough for a storyteller…
Buy literally any other product in America and it causes harm — you can sue the product’s manufacturer because of the harm that product caused. The one exception is GUNS. For real.
You cannot sue a gun manufacturer because their gun hurt someone. Or even something (and we know how much gun-loving conservatives value property over people). Gun manufacturers got in tight with the NRA and then used the NRA to squeeze Congress into giving guns the freest pass in the universe.
Not only did gun manufacturers get a free pass legally, they bamboozled us into thinking the second amendment says the diametric opposite of what it actually says. They now insist that “well regulated milita” was a purposefully obscure reference to an obscure usage of those words that meant “well working gun of whatever size you want”. That’s not hyperbole. Look at the history. We started getting massively crazy the moment we let the NRA bullshit us about what the “framers really meant”.
How many dead gunshot victims lie atop THAT pile of lies?
You CAN’T sue a gun manufacturer. But what if you could? What if you could lay out the evidence to a jury how a gun is designed from the ground up to send a hot metal fragment flying through the air at a live target with the absolute intention of killing it. Guns are designed to kill. A gun that hasn’t killed something is a gun that has not done what it was designed to do.
Similarly — a gun locked in a gun safe is not doing what it was designed to do. It’s nice that, while in the safe, theoretically it can’t hurt anyone but — it just takes one moment’s distraction to change a responsible gun owner into the participant in yet another American gun tragedy. Adam Lanza shot up Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. But first, he shot his mother to death. Nancy Lanza was, by all accounts, A RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNER.
And then she wasn’t.
Responsible Gun Ownership is a myth.
Let’s add “Bullshitting the American Public With Fatal Consequences” to the law suit. Because that’s what the gun manufacturers and the NRA are truly guilty of — creating a monstrous lie that continues to kill us. Kill our children.
The NRA sold America a culture where men see guns as the most direct means of conflict resolution. Feeling really angry about something or someone? Get a gun and use it as a means to feel better.
That we have so many angry men — angry young men, too — speaks volumes about our culture. We’ve failed women horribly because we failed men. That is, we failed to rein men in. We failed to teach men that having a penis does not make you special — and penises don’t have the final say on where they go or what they do.
We’ve over-empowered penises in our culture. And now that men have to power share, they find their penises don’t know what to do. Confused penises are angry penises. And angry penises reach for a gun — because that’s what they’ve been taught to do. It’s not a coincidence that so much gun violence in America is men shooting their domestic partners, spouses, mothers or sisters.
Wow — this law suit’s getting massive. Gun manufacturers have sold us some pretty terrible things along with their guns.
If gun manufacturers could be held liable for what their guns do, they’d have done everything in their power to 1) make their guns as safe as possible, 2) as hard to abuse as possible (fingerprint access & palm ID), 3) much, much harder to get (cos who wants to get sued into bankruptcy by assholes?) and 4) share the cost of any potential damage costs by building their insurance into the cost of their guns.
The last part’s the kicker. If gun manufacturers built the cost of fixing what guns break into the cost of each gun? No one could afford to buy guns.
I guess THAT’S why you can’t sue gun manufacturers. Death merchants want to be free to continue selling us death.
I suppose if you suddenly sprang into being right next to Donald Trump — so his essence, his aura, his version of the world was all that you knew — HIS version of the world might seem possible. But step outside the treasonous bubble of Trumpism — and a 2 X 4 of realism goes upside your head. The man’s lying even when he mutters “Hello”.
No one who isn’t already corrupted by Donald Trump thinks Trump’s view of the world, of events — of his own horrible family — reflects reality. Look at the “defense” the GOP’s “brain trust” banged together for the first day of formal, public impeachment hearings. There was no attempt whatsoever to argue the merits. There was no attempt to say “No, he didn’t do that” because everything’s been admitted to already.
If we approach the GOP’s behavior yesterday with a close up lens — as our Main Stream News Media likes to do — you get Trump’s defenders strategizing how to defend the indefensible. If you step back a few paces — using a slightly wider lens — you get get… well — if you COULD step back a few paces, you’d have done that a long, long time ago.
And if you had stepped back a few paces long before yesterday — if you had as much perspective as possible, say — you wouldn’t still be scratching your head wondering why Trump defends Putin the way he does and why the Republicans continue to defend Trump the way they do. Our MSM is YET to due their due diligence on Trump. They’ve never, most of them, done a top-to-bottom study of who Trump REALLY is so that when they report on him, they’re reporting on HIM and not some bullshit version of him. They’re not the same thing.
Back when the Republicans were doing everything they could to undermine the “integrity” of the Steele Dossier, they hauled Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Fusion, Simpson testified, had first been hired by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website to do oppo research against Trump. Being pros, before they got going on the real assignment, they did their due diligence. They got their hands on piece of publicly available material on Donald Trump in existence. They combed Amazon and actual book stores. They got magazines and newspaper articles. They got tapes of radio shows and TV shows. They even went to the public library to find stuff.
What Fusion found while doing their due diligence — the scuttwork FFS — convinced them that Trump had been deeply involved with Russian mobsters for years. They saw clear indications that Trump had laundered untold millions of dollars of Russian mob money through his Atlantic City casinos (which kind of explained how/why they failed — and how/why that was the point). Simpson explained that, suspecting what these professional journalists now suspected, Fusion contacted Chris Steele, former head of MI6’s Russia desk, the Westerner with the best contacts inside Russia bar none.
Chris Steele then produced his “dossier” — the raw intelligence that he’d gathered.
Instead of telling any of THAT story, pretty much all of our MSM — not doing a lick of due diligence — slapped the word “unverified” on Steele’s work (losing all sight of WHY he was doing that work, answering WHAT question asked by WHOM). Imagine how much quicker we’d be to telling and understanding this story if all the “publicly available” perspective had been applied to the story from the beginning — the way Fusion GPS did…
Our media blocks itself from bringing perspective to any story because they start from the premise that “Both Sides Do It”. Regardless of what it is, bad or good, I suppose, “both sides do it”. Neither side has any particular reason — other than their tribal impulse toward one extreme or its diametric opposite. People do things “just because”. All information weighs exactly the same — because (in American journalistic parlance) “who’s to judge?” That’s why lies and empirical truth weigh the same in so much reporting. Too many American journalists think they’d be editorializing to assume the information they’re reporting is actually true.
If you report that Donald Trump is DEMONSTRABLY a racist one moment, he doesn’t stop being a racist the next when he claims NOT to be a racist.
Similarly, when Trump behaves like a traitor — when he does openly treasonous things (like betraying the Kurds where the Press could enumerate every single way Trump’s action served only one person: Putin) — he doesn’t stop being a traitor just because it’s time to report on election 2020. That’s why we’re now telling the Ukraine story, get it?
Trump thinks he’s gotten away with stealing election 2016 so why not finish gutting American Democracy by stealing election 2020 — and using IT to UNBLAME RUSSIA for stealing election 2016? If the American MSM had done its due diligence… ya see where I’m going?
Then — bad to worse — the MSM scratches its head wondering why the Republicans (in the face of so much horrible truth) continue to defend Trump when (look at yesterday) there’s literally NO DEFENSE — for actions that scream from the rooftops “WE’RE CRIMINAL!” Because they live in a “Both Sides Do It” universe where lies and truth weigh exactly the same, this clear evidence of obstruction of justice (rather than seeking justice — it’s not seeking Justice when, like Lindsey Graham, you refuse to look at evidence cos it’s all a “hoax”) gets reported like… like it’s NOT an actual criminal behavior.
Boom — just like that, a CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR gets normalized. Legitimized.
When you have no perspective and you allow yourself to “see the world” through the criminal’s eyes as if the criminal wasn’t a criminal, you get corrupted yourself. If you had an ounce of perspective, of course, you wouldn’t have gone there to begin with. You’d have known that criminals were trying to bamboozle you.
We are zooming toward a bunch of big, big reveals. When this goes to the Senate — whenever that happens — and the Senate refuses to convict on charges so simple and so clear, we will arrive at the place this battle needs to arrive at. Who are we as a country?
Are we the lawless, authoritarian 1850 hellhole of ignorance, racism & old tyme religion the Republicans want us to be? Or are we America?
Our news media insists (all evidence to the contrary) that the only difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the letter next to their name.
No, they’re not the same. Of course they’re not. Republicans, being conservatives, want to CONSERVE. Being as you can’t conserve the future, conservatives want to conserve the present but more exactly conservatives want to “conserve” the past. Just like their name says.
Progressives on the other hand want to (as THEIR name suggests) PROGRESS. Being as you can’t “progress” into the past — and you really can’t “progress into the present”, Progressives put their energies into getting as many people as possible to progress into the future — where we all belong.
So — both sides want diametrically different things. Whatever both sides might be doing, IT’S NOT THE SAME THING.
Come election time (if they could only put cheating aside), conservatives want to restrict voting as much as possible. The demographics are completely against them; the more that vote, the worse conservative chances are. That’s because the “glorious past” that conservatives dream of returning to is the 1850’s where everyone knew their place — men, women, white people and especially black people.
Democrats and Progressives, by contrast, want to bring as many Americans into the voting process as the possibly can. Why wouldn’t they? Democracy works best when it reflects as many voices as possible. Ever notice how Republican voter suppression efforts are never aimed at Republican voters? That’s not a coincidence.
By the same token, if the brown-skinned people fleeing Central American drug violence (that’s mostly our fault) were reliable Republican voters? They’d be limo’d across the border, handed a passport and be dropped off at the first employment office they came to. Complete with a credit card.
Both sides don’t lock children up in cages — and then justify it. Both sides don’t betray allies as easily as they breathe. Both sides don’t take money from the poor and middle class to give to the rich. Both sides aren’t actively trying to destroy our environment out of pure stupid greed. Both sides don’t seek to dismantle the whole federal government. Both sides don’t conspire with hostile foreign powers to circumvent the will of the American People.
Both sides do not commit treason to maintain political power.
Only ONE side does that — Republicans. It’s just how they’re wired.
In fairness, it’s hard to get one’s mind around what’s happening to us. Russia launched an aggressive intelligence operation against us and election 2016 that succeeded beyond its wildest hopes. They literally MADE Donald Trump president.
C’mon — take Russia out of the Trump equation and he doesn’t get through the primaries. Take Russia & Wikileaks off the table (so there’s no document dumping) and Trump’s “Pussy grabbing” finishes off what “Mexicans are rapists” should have. There’s no rescue, see?
No Russia, no Trump. Can we vote tally our way to a “smoking gun” that says “Hey, wait a minute, Trump lost the vote count in PA/MI/WI too!”? Of course not. But there’s circumstantial evidence out the wazoo starting with the 77,000 votes across three states that made the difference between Hillary Clinton becoming POTUS and Trump “winning” instead.
It’s so much simpler than we’re making it. The law says you cannot break the law to win an election. Therefore if you broke the law to win an election then you did not win. Donald Trump and the Republican Party BROKE THE LAW to win election 2016. They broke the law repeatedly. They took copious amounts of Russian money (by dubiously legal means now revealed as ILLEGAL) and even allowed Trump’s campaign to make a change the the GOP’s 2016 Party platform that’s now the subject of intense investigation — the betrayal of Ukraine.
Ukraine-gate is just the next chapter of Russia-gate. The fact that we have a next chapter is because we didn’t burn the book after finishing the last chapter. This is literally Trump brazenly trying to close the deal (and close the book on American Democracy). The Republican Party is desperate to help him succeed.
If, as part of our righting the Ship of State, we re-establish The Rule Of Law as “a thing”, then we need to abide by The Rule Of Law’s most basic tenet — it IS. It applies evenly and fairly to all, no exceptions.
Under The Rule Of Law, thieves do not ever get to keep what they stole. If it’s returnable, it gets returned. If restitution needs to be paid instead, it gets paid. The Republican Party stole election 2016 from the American People. We voted one way, the GOP (with Russia’s considerable help) created the illusion that another result happened. It didn’t.
Take Russia out of the equation — Trump loses. He loses badly. And so does every last bit of his legislative & judicial agenda (Mitch McConnell’s & the Heritage Foundation’s judicial agenda actually). If Donald Trump was never legitimately president then he never had the right to nominate anyone for anything — especially SCOTUS judges.
Hell, without the illegitimate presidency, Trump probably couldn’t get onto the White House grounds. The bloated orange jackal turd couldn’t even pass a basic background check, could he?
If I steal your car, that doesn’t make me its rightful owner — even if I sit outside your house at five in the morning and lay on the horn till you come outside so I can flash you the finger as I peel off in a hail of screeching tires and road grit. The car’s still yours.
The same goes for an election. We The People voted one way but got the result Russia wanted instead. That cannot stand.
We learned the hard way what happens when you don’t fix problems at the get-go. We should have killed slavery dead. We didn’t and like a zombie it has hungered for our brains ever since. We fought the Civil War over slavery. Because Andrew Johnson helped kill Restoration, we’re still fighting the Civil War. We’re still battling over slavery.
If we don’t void the stolen results of election 2016, we will head down the same terrible path — with the same terrible results. How can we possibly “agree” to let the stolen results of 2016 remain if we KNOW for a fact they don’t reflect the Will Of The People but, rather, the will of Moscow?
How can we possibly allow that to “be”? How can we allow the car thief to keep what he stole?
It seems so damned elemental it shouldn’t need explaining: Truth and lies are entirely different things. Being made of reality and real stuff, the Truth always has heft. The Truth can be unbearably heavy at times.
Bullshit on the other hand — while it looks like it weighs a ton — weighs nothing. That’s what it’s made of: nothing or one of nothing’s derivatives.
It’s galling as hell to watch supposedly informed members of the news media (MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is on my TV screen as I tap this out) give bullshit weight it doesn’t deserve. Chris Matthews — having just listened to five minutes of solid truthful reporting — instantly presented the (easily) anticipated Trumpian defense: bullshit.
But, Chris reported the bullshit as if it “could” have weight. What if? He false equivalenced five minutes of actual reporting with fifteen seconds of nonsense. Ummmmm, clean up on aisles three through infinity!
What makes it worse is, if you took Chris off set and shot the shit with him, he’d be the first to tell you (I sure hope) what a guilty traitor Trump is! Backstage, when no one’s worried about pissing off the Boss, you know a lot more nitty makes it into the gritty. On air, you have to double and triple source everything to pass muster. Off air — you heard what you heard.
Trust me — everyone’s “smarter” backstage. They know everyone else’s “play”. They know everyone else has a play.
But, on his air, Chris consistently (as he did today) presented Truth and outright bullshit as having equal weight. Truth could be true but, hey — so could the bullshit. That must be why MSNBC is putting it on its air — because it’s true, right?
It IS that simple. Media works that quickly, that efficiently, that effectively. I’m grateful most media has stopped presenting climate scientists & climate deniers in a 50-50 shot as if both sides of THAT conversation weighed the same. Keep in mind — in the visual language, a screen divided exactly in half has two sides of equal value. That’s how visual vocabulary works.
When that happens, the news media creates a “trompe l’oeil” — a visual trick — that makes empty, valueless bullshit look like it’s a dead ringer for stone cold Truth. A more truthful visual representation of a climate scientist debating a climate science denier would be the scientist taking 99% of the TV screen (maybe even 100%) and the denier getting the rest. Their mic volume would reflect the same proportions.
In other words, we would never see or hear from climate deniers because their bullshit had been properly “weighted”.
Truth’s problem is it isn’t sexy. It just is. Usually, the only reason anyone ever talks about “The Truth” is because someone else is questioning it — or denying it.
When all this is done & dusted, I want us to promise ourselves that we’re going to enshrine in law the illegality of “Both Sides Do It” journalism.
The Chuck Todd-ification of American journalism has not worked out well for us because (Duh!) it’s based on bullshit — and the nincompoop notion that everyone and everything is political. It’s not. If a Republican mugs me, my issue is with him mugging me, not his political affiliation.
Similarly — when a Republican violates the Constitution or commits treason, my objection is entirely to the fact that he’s committing a crime. The fact that the crime is being committed against me — a law abiding registered Democrat who demands that the Constitution be upheld — STILL isn’t political.
Ironically, the Republican has behaved politically at every step along the way.
When a reporter like Chuck Todd gets his hands on a story though — if the Democrat is objecting to the Republican (even the Republican was literally murdering him), Chuck would insist that the Democrat is objecting solely because the guy trying to kill him had a different political affiliation.
I’m watching live right now as Katy Tur debates the idea that we’ve come to see actual RIGHT & WRONG in political terms. That’s insane. The fact that Republicans refuse to even read transcripts — that the press knows (having read them) are filled with actual EVIDENCE OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR) should tip them off to that fact. This isn’t about politics.
Both sides do not commit treason as a means to hold onto power.
But one side clearly does. One side continues to defend a president whose ties to Russia are flat out treasonous. I’m old enough to remember when that word could NEVER be uttered on a cable news set without creating a firestorm of controversy.
Now? Who DOESN’T speak the word “treason”?
That’s no because the word suddenly got popular, it’s because treason is actually afoot.
I sure do wish CNN & MSNBC would get this through their thick skulls — only one side commits treason to hold onto power.
Only one side stands between traitors and the end of our Republic.