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Listening to Andrew Klavan’s podcast has opened my eyes to how the American media complex – from news to entertainment – has promoted a monolithic political narrative. We may look back on the past four years as the time the media finally lost their power to create and maintain their desired narrative.
The most obvious example is the 2016 election. The election of Donald Trump caught every news outlet completely by surprise. As far as I know, only Salena Zito and Molly Hemingway understood what was happening and predicted his upset over Hillary. After the election, I quit watching cable news – even my favorite show, Bret Baier’s “Special Report.” I realized that all the pundits pontificating so confidently don’t know a dang thing. I’m sure they’re quite intelligent, but they are stupefyingly ignorant.
The next big media fail that I recall is the Kavanaugh confirmation. If we still lived under the old rules, Sen. Feinstein would have leaked her letter, the media would have broadcast it far and wide, and chastened Republicans would have withdrawn Kavanaugh’s nomination. Instead, alternative media shined light on Feinstein’s underhanded tactics, and the mainstream media beclowned themselves by frantically upping the charges against an honorable man to the point of ridiculousness.
Then came the Russian collusion narrative. When it was first floated, I wondered who in their right mind could ever believe such a far-fetched story. Yet it dominated cable news for years, and Robert Mueller was touted as the savior of the country. The media pushed this narrative until Mueller’s pathetic congressional testimony exposed the narrative for the hoax it was.
Next up was the brave whistleblower who leaked the Ukraine phone call records. You couldn’t turn on the TV or the radio without hearing “quid pro quo” 24/7. Once again, if we still lived under the old rules, Adam Schiff would be the most brilliant orator the Senate had ever seen, the Senate would vote to convict, and President Trump would have left office in disgrace. Instead, Americans had alternative sources for news and commentary and could see for themselves how weak the case against Trump was.
Now we are in the middle of a pandemic. I honestly don’t know if the extreme stress we are putting the economy under is necessary or not, but I am staying home. I am not watching cable news. I check on @rodin’s updates, I read Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit, and I take daily walks outside. We’re ordering takeout as much as possible to support local restaurants. Fortunately, I teach high school math, and I am well-prepared to conduct my classes online. (If you’re looking for math screencasts, you can visit my YouTube channel here.)
But the recent stimulus showdown was another media fail. Under the old rules, McConnell and the Republicans would be blamed for the initial blocking of the bill, and Pelosi and Schumer would be portrayed as trying to get some “common sense” provisions into the final package. Instead, we could see in real time how the NYT headlines evolved from telling the truth (Democrats block passage of stimulus bill) to serving the desired narrative (McConnell is to blame for stimulus bill failing to pass). As Andrew Klavan has said, Democrats can’t hide behind their media allies anymore. We can see everything they do, and Pelosi had to back down. Meanwhile, Trump is gaining in popularity on a daily basis, as frantic media personalities advise him to stop the press briefings, please!
Of course, this state of affairs didn’t happen in a vacuum. Unlike past Republican presidents, Donald Trump understands that the media will never be fair to him, and he hits back at them when they attack. Hard. For the first time in my life, I have had the pleasure of watching a Republican president call the media out on their tactics, and their discombobulation is a marvel to behold. They still don’t understand that we don’t subscribe to their narrative anymore.
Now they have set themselves a Herculean task: get an old white man, who is clearly not mentally competent, elected president. I can’t wait to see to what lengths they will go to convince us Joe Biden is the right person to lead the country at this time.Published in