by Deborah Nelson
Despite the full on media-circus President Trump’s Tuesday infrastructure press conference turned into, the following questions…about infrastructure…somehow went unasked:
*How will streamlining Federal infrastructure permitting affect America’s economy? Environment?
*What about jobs – you said easier permitting will generate employment. How and when?
*You said those jobs will go to Americans – how will you ensure that?
*Will revoking more stringent (i.e., 500 v 100 year or 2-3 feet higher construction) flood standards for Federal projects cost taxpayers more in the long run if another Katrina hits? How about for HUD housing and Federally-backed mortgages?
*How will expediting environmental reviews on Federal energy projects affect gas prices? The environment? Jobs?
Nobody in Washington’s press corps, evidently.
Reporters covering Trump’s action were instead distracted, yet again, by a shiny object with no relation to the subject at hand…this time it was the recent Charlottesville protest group clashes.
Those protests, like others recently plastered all over the evening news, were of course manufactured. In this case by Neo-Nazi attention-seekers on the “right” attempting to provoke “anti-fascist” attention-seekers on the “left” into national media coverage.
The media’s conclusion from all this? Trump is racist!
Apparently because he insisted on condemning violence from the “left” as well as the “right.”
And so, yet again, any progress Trump’s administration might be making to curb stealing and improve American economic conditions was successfully obfuscated. Kind of makes you wonder what some of those “protestors” are really after. Especially the ones wearing masks. Who are not being arrested.
Conservatives think the press fixate on identity politics to advance some kind of divisionary “left” authoritarian agenda.
It’s not that complicated. Like everything else, we need simply to follow the money.
The press like identity politics because those stories won’t anger their advertisers (who, coincidentally, are also sponsoring the politicians behind those policies reporters have been so uninterested in covering); or get reporters in trouble with insider “sources.”
Those sources – the well-placed intriguers whose tips seldom reveal anything regular people want to know (like who’s stealing from us and how much they’re taking) – are how “journalists” break vitally important gossip stories about government flunkie power shuffles before their equally useless peers “report” them first.
You know…the evening news.
Tuesday’s event was particularly notable in that it demonstrated the mechanics of “fake news” in action, from the original message’s inception to its eventual inaccurate public delivery. Just like the old school telephone game.
You could actually see the misinterpretation process unfold in real time; as press questions devolved from Trump’s response time to Charlottesville events, to his attempt to explain the mutual thuggery at work, to a quiz show barrage on the President’s opinion of “the left” versus white supremacists (hint, he’s against racism, a position that’s evidently far less interesting than his refusal to excuse “left” leaning violence).
Never fear though, with Tuesday’s spectacle the press performed a valuable service.
Ha ha, no, not for YOU. And not reporting the news. That’s boring!
What they DID accomplish was to simultaneously help BOTH the fringe group of white supremacist attention-seekers AND the larger, nationally funded group of “leftist” attention-seekers the fringe group set out to provoke in hopes of gaining attention…gain attention!
Those groups’ problem is, in order for protest movements to really gain traction, you need crowds on the order of 1920s Weimar Germany. Preferably violent ones.
And that’s not going to happen here, at least not the old fashioned way, because average Americans, inconveniently, don’t riot any more than they vote (*yawn*).
Americans, generally speaking, are neither racist nor communist nor fascist…they’re lazy. Apathy is the real political glue that unites us as a people.
On the rare occasions Americans will rouse themselves to get involved en masse, it ain’t going to be about politics….it’s going to be about something REALLY important. Recall the legendary New Coke wars of the ‘80s. The time Days of our Lives tried to kill Marlena off. The question of whether that dress was black and blue or gold and white.
If America hasn’t rioted over HBO’s tyrannical and unjust decision to only air 7 Thrones episodes this season, they’re certainly not going to budge off the sofa for a statue of some guy on a horse…much less a regular Joe gunned down by an incompetent police officer on his way home from picking his kid up.
So “unrest” must be manufactured. Sometimes with paid goons.
President Trump’s mistake was trying to explain this.
In the resulting scuffle, any information about his economic plans or infrastructure policies had no chance.
But Trump got three particularly salient observations in before our shining national press corps trampled them underfoot in the excitement over somebody mentioning racism.
And you can bet our faceless friends bankrolling the lucrative Protest Industrial Complex…for which citizens who All Just Get Along are a death sentence…will be paying very close attention to how the answers play out:
*Jobs cure social tensions.
*Infrastructure projects employ people.
*Cutting red tape saves a fortune in mandatory “consultant” fees and facilitates infrastructure projects.
Expect little press interest, but maybe regular people will somehow manage to connect the dots from the sofa.