12 August 2016

Rage against the media

As someone who works, however humbly, in the news media, I'm getting pretty sick and tired of hearing Donald Trump's fans complain about how the news media highlights everything bad about Trump while covering up for Hillary Clinton. At my level I can testify that this complaint is fundamentally dishonest. I take calls for a readers'-comments column in a daily paper. That is, I listen to the calls once they're recorded, since no one wants to listen to callers live. I'd say that on any given day the column is more anti-Clinton than anti-Trump, and yet pro-Trump people are constantly complaining that we don't run anything, or else run hardly anything, against Clinton. In some cases, people are complaining because they want every call they make put in print, but there's no way we're going to let someone call a dozen times a day and have us print every word as if it were a groundswell of public opinion. In some cases, I think people are simply lying because they take the liberal media bias narrative for granted. But I've begun to suspect that their anger represents something else that won't be assuaged by running more anti-Clinton comments. Their real problem, I think, isn't that we (or the media as a whole) don't criticize Clinton or the Democratic party enough. I think they simply don't want to see and don't want to hear any criticism of Donald Trump. Their anger tells me that they take criticism of Trump, whether grounded in fact or founded on fear, as a personal insult, if not an insult to their country, their values, etc. When Trump is belittled, they feel disrespected. Their victory, I fear, would be forcing people to show Trump respect, if not forbidding people from criticizing him. Just as you might assume that the wildest, darkest conspiracy theories reflect what some conspiracy theorists would like to do if they had power, so I suspect that all the railing about media bias against Trump or the suppression of damaging stories about Clinton reflect no real desire for fairness or balance, but an envious wish for the power to suppress liberal or leftist opinion and force their reactionary opinions down everyone else's throats. In short, while I still see no reason to believe that Donald Trump himself is any sort of fascist, however trollish his temperament, I think a lot of his supporters this year have fascism in them, in the simplest, most thuggish sense of the word.

But for what it's worth, I think there could be more questions asked about the Clinton Foundation in light of recent email leaks, and I see no reason no to follow up on Juilan Assange's dark hints that a DNC staffer may have been murdered for leaking stuff to him. Always remember that arguments against Trump (or his fans) are not arguments for Hillary Clinton or the Democratic party. To believe that, or to believe that arguments against Clinton are arguments for Trump, is simply to be a tool of the two-party system.

No comments: