May 19, 2017

The media really are terribly negative toward Trump.

A serious-looking report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.
The report is based on an analysis of news reports in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, and three European news outlets (The UK’s Financial Times and BBC, and Germany’s ARD)....

• President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage....

• Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.

• Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic.
Lots more at the link, including many graphs, like this:



ADDED: This new report makes me want to repost something I wrote on March 3rd, "Do the Democrats see their only hope as getting an investigation going and somehow reliving Watergate?"

It's so sad, and so negative. So backward-looking and devoid of promise. But perhaps that is all they've got.

And then there's the media. The NYT and the Washington Post have a motivation to ally with the Democratic Party in its last-ditch effort to Watergatize Trump after Trump's endless criticisms of them. And this anti-Trump approach may get them a spike in readership, even as it repels some readers like me.

I'm missing the sense that I'm getting the normal news. It seems unfair and shoddy not to cover the President the way you'd cover any President. What looks like an effort to stigmatize Trump as not normal has — to my eyes — made the media abnormal.

I know some journalists argued that the normal approach shouldn't apply to covering Trump, because Trump is not normal, but that's not my idea of professionalism. Even if they were to regard professionalism in those terms — if the object of the news goes low, journalism should go low — they'd still be on the hook to continually maintain the perception that their antagonist really is low, and if they use their pages to strain to portray him as low to justify their continual debased presentation of the news, they're self-dealing and double counting.

The more seemingly normal Trump becomes — as with his speech to Congress the other day — the more the anti-Trump approach of the news media feels like a hackish alliance with the Democratic Party in its sad, negative, backward-looking effort to disrupt the President the people elected.

I would prefer for the Democratic Party to find something strong and positive to offer us in the next election and for the national media to play it straight on solid journalistic principles. Maybe they could take Trump's "great again" slogan seriously and personally. Meanwhile, we elected a President, and we deserve to see him have the opportunity to do his job. We all deserve that, whether we are in the segment of America that voted for him or not.

These paragraphs were written after, looking in my usual way for bloggable things, I saw this dominating the front page of the NYT:

77 comments:

Original Mike said...

The Democrat's Russian conspiracy theory wouldn't have legs if it weren't for the media.

Static Ping said...

The shock is the BBC being that restrained in their vitriol. I was expecting they would burn Trump in effigy at the start of each programme.

buwaya said...

The ruling class really, truly, hates the rest of you.
Trump is just a proxy.
They can openly say about him that which they are constrained (usually, out of prudence) to say about you.

My name goes here. said...

Oh wow. Look Fox is 52/48. That's sort of fair. And balanced.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic."

-- That... sounds vaguely like journalism.

zipity said...

Compare/contrast with the slobbery full tongue wet kiss the LameStream Media© gave/gives to Obama from the day he began his campaign, right up through today.

No bias there.

John said...

It's impossible to avoid negative 'news' about Trump. The feed on the iPhone news app is 90% negative - daily - as well.

I don't love the guy (better than Hillary) but seriously, this is tiring. I know the phrase 'cry wolf' has been over-used but this is the epitome.

khesanh0802 said...

Buwaya makes a very good point.

Matthew Sablan said...

The thing is, Trump has done a lot of things I don't like. But when I'm buried in 45 Tweets and Mobile Push Alerts about his second scoop of ice cream, it drains my will to care.

Once written, twice... said...

Trump receives the press he receives because he is--to use his words--"a nut job."

Also, it looks like Pence and Priebus are leaking again. This time about what Trump said to the Russians in their private meeting in the Oval Office.

khesanh0802 said...

Looks a bit like a witch hunt to me. The elders in Salem who fostered that famous contagion had no more basis in fact than much of the MSM.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Once, written Link?!?

Earnest Prole said...

This just in: water is wet.

Fernandinande said...

The coverage from "Autonomous Nonprofit Organization" was 110% positive 120% of the time.

John said...

It's a little like children that throw tantrums. It works at first - they get attention, but then the adults usually tire of it and realize that if they just ignore the child, the tantrums end. But the adults are always wary...

AlbertAnonymous said...

Thank you Captain Obvious....

Do people on the left really not see this? Or do they not care?

David Baker said...

"This just in: water is wet."

Not the powdered version.

buwaya said...

"It's a little like children that throw tantrums. It works at first '

No, it works all the time. Most people are weaker and more vulnerable than we like to assume. A 100% (or nearly so) diet of dogmatic spin creates or even dominates a worldview, even if the media is thoroughly distrusted. This is why totalitarian governments operate the press as an agency of the state.

You are dealing with a centrally controlled, organized ministry of propaganda, operating in what amounts to a state of civil war.

Matthew Sablan said...

"• President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents."

-- Well, that's an interesting statistic. I guess nothing interesting is happening in the world besides Trump watching TV alone in the White House.

Inga said...

Trump gives them a lot of ammo.

Virtually Unknown said...

When a new anti-Trump piece comes out, like the ones at the top of the Drudge Report right now, I know if I wait two days, they will fizzle out, since they are mostly all air and depend entirely on stripping all context and substitution of theirs and their audience's bias for the facts. Usually, the headlines are just stepping off places for wild speculation, and the stories never seem to support anything by the most anodyne reading of the headline.

But "keep hope alive!" You will find that pony someday! For now though, you just probably feel like the little kid in "A Christmas Story" when he found out, using his decoder ring just in from the mail, that the secret message was "drink more Ovaltine."

Bay Area Guy said...

It's either the "Boy who Cried Wolf" or Chicken Little claiming that "the Sky is Falling".

Trump has his flaws, no doubt. But who doesn't? That's not the issue.

In my view, the Left's political aims are the issue. They yap about "income equality" which means they want to take from those who have, and give to those who don't. They yap about "diversity" which means excluding white males. They yap about being "pro-choice", which means convincing people to kill their own offspring. The yap about "same-sex marriage", which means uprooting 5000 years of Western civilization values.

The Left wants a different type of America; gender-neutral, income-equal, areligious, bisexual, multi-cultural, socialist, no oil, no cars, bike-riding earthy hippies on bullet trains.

I prefer not to go down this path. I like traditional America, despite some of its flaws.

Amazingly, DJT is the main guy who actually resists and thwarts the Left from achieving these aims. That's why the Left, the Dems, the media, and the academics hate him.

Myself, I support and continue to support Trump and respect his ability to resist this onslaught.

buwaya said...

Other news -

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines-china-idUSKCN18F1DJ

"Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea."

The gloves are off. Or more off than before.

tcrosse said...

This just in: water is wet.

But the fish don't know they're wet.

buwaya said...

"The Left wants a different type of America; gender-neutral, income-equal, areligious, bisexual, multi-cultural, socialist, no oil, no cars, bike-riding earthy hippies on bullet trains."

No, what they really want is for their social clique to have absolute power. The rest of the above is incidental, cultural-dogmatic identity signals, or political concessions to parts of their coalition.

Qwinn said...

The real point of the never ending tantrum is so that non political types will vote for the Democrat just to stop the whining. It worked in 2008.

St. George said...

I'm reading "Alone," the second volume of Manchester's Churchill biography and have just finished reading the Chamberlain/Munich section.

Considering that history rhymes, the parallels between now and then are interesting. Trump is no Churchill, but consider that both men were obnoxious domineering egomaniacs who came to power after years of the most pathetic kowtowing to a mad foreign dictator.

That piece of paper Chamberlain held up, the one that signified 'peace in our time,' was a document he and Hitler had signed agreeing that the two nations would discuss any differences they might have. It was piffle. Like our agreements with Iran and North Korea. What really happened when Chamberlain went to Germany was that he gave the Nazis tacit approval to dismember Czechoslovakia. The West so feared a second war that the English people went into a frenzy of joy and relief. As for Churchill, he was reviled, loathed, and hated in the press at that time much as Trump is today. A major newspaper cancelled his regular column, a huge loss of income.

So bad was Churchill's situation that he lost everything in the 1938 crash (as he had in 1929), put his estate on the market, if briefly, and had to be saved by a rich friend. Like Trump, he knew from debt.

"Husbands and wives stopped speaking to one another, fathers and sons said unforgivable things to one another," said Lady Diana Cooper. "It was as if the entire country was in labor, straining to give birth. And it a way it was."

Rene Saunce said...

The pro-democrat media is hack.

Inga said...

Oh no! Now that evil enemy of the people, otherwise known as the Press, is reporting that a "high level official in the White House" is a subject of the Russia probe.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Oh no! Now that evil enemy of the people, otherwise known as the Press, is reporting that a "high level official in the White House" is a subject of the Russia probe."

-- The media that has been solidly wrong about significant portions of the probe? They're not the enemy of the people. They're just radically incompetent.

Kevin said...

I would like to point out the only reason you're hearing "witch hunt" today is because Trump Tweeted it yesterday.

The media is not self-correcting, but self-reinforcing to a fault. They all need eyeballs every day. They all do what they can to keep the storylines going, when as we've seen, even a bit of objectivity would knock the fire down to a low simmer on most of these stories.

Even the WSJ, as noted in the graph, has been playing the game of slanted headlines and "what ifs".

So for those who think Trump needs to put away his only tool to get his message out without it being ignored, filtered, or distorted by a press who's clearly out to get him, I hope (there's that awful, coercive word again!) you take some time to look at that chart and consider what it truly means.

The fact that Trump misspelled something in a Tweet is not this country's problem. It's the images and words which are properly spelled and rigorously edited in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style which should be receiving the real scrutiny.

stever said...

There are plenty of people who consider Obama (plus Michelle) to have been great. For eight years, and ongoing.

On what basis, I can't imagine, but that's mostly what they were fed on the MSM and what they saw on Facebook.

So this is just predictable and no doubt would be the case to a large degree if any non-democrat were president.

Unknown said...

Good! Thugs deserve bad coverage. The only thing I object to is outright claims about Trump's medical/psychological condition. Describing him as ignorant, arrogant, and a bully, that's fair because he has acted thus.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Begley said...

Historic. Media has never treated a President so poorly.

David said...

Duh.

Yancey Ward said...

If Trump was recorded running into a burning house to save a baby, most of the media would start running stories about how the baby might grow up one day to be a serial killer. It is that biased.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump wants to be graded on the everyone gets an A curve. Instead he's getting the grades he deserves.

buwaya said...

"They're not the enemy of the people. They're just radically incompetent."

A. Yes they are the enemies of the people, if by people you mean the tribal groups not in their coalition.

B. No they aren't. This is propaganda, it does not need to be true or plausible to have an effect. A study of wartime propaganda, of any side in any war, does not lead to a conclusion that scruples are of much use in this.

"The media is not self-correcting, but self-reinforcing to a fault. They all need eyeballs every day."

They are not. This is a fundamental error. There are no decisions going on at that level. They are working under direction, as this is a centrally controlled, organized system, working off daily, and even hourly, directives on the subjects and spin thereof from a headquarters.

Kevin said...

Oh no! Now that evil enemy of the people, otherwise known as the Press, is reporting that a "high level official in the White House" is a subject of the Russia probe.

So someone in the White House is being checked to see if they did anything wrong? Yawn. Isn't everyone in the White House going to be checked to see if they did anything wrong?

I know stuff like this gets half the country's panties wet, but unless you've got evidence to share it's the equivalent of believing that it really means something that the married guy you're sleeping with says his marriage is "over" and he'd certainly be divorced from his wife if it weren't for the sake of the kids.

Snark said...

Broadly speaking, the negative coverage of his presidency is a reflection of his poor performance. It's not the responsibility of the press to manufacture evenness for President Sociopath where it doesn't exist. HOWEVER. There have been many press indulgences where they have been sloppy or narrow with the facts, sometimes in pursuit of gotcha journalism, and sometimes I suspect just because there haven't been consequences from their readers/watchers. It's not cool to watch Anderson Cooper roll his eyes at Kellyanne Conway, even though I understand it. It's not cool to watch Don Lemon and panel laugh mockingly and otherwise subtly bully guests. Don't have people who only spew useless talking points on if you can't handle their useless talking points with professionalism and dignity. Chris Cuomo is almost never cool, but on the way to work this morning he outdid himself when I heard him say, about Trump's trip, "this is a President who likes to be in his own bed at night and this is a big trip for him" - it sounded like he was talking about a six year old! I'm liberal, but I can recognize this stuff as the worst kind of liberal smug, and understand why it drives many, especially on the right, around the bend. All that said, President Sociopath is a menace and fundamentally the arrows of journalism are flying in the right direction.

readering said...

It's good the study has lots of graphs. Trump likes pictures.

buwaya said...

" but I can recognize this stuff as the worst kind of liberal smug"

Yes it is and no it isn't. This is a coordinated campaign run by interests that exploit your ("I'm liberal") better nature. But it is a fraud. This is a totalitarian system trying desperately to be born, and Trump, and his supporters, are in the way.

Qwinn said...

If Trump single handedly cured cancer, the media would run stories on rising unemployment rates among oncologists.

That would've been true of Bush too, of course.

buwaya said...

"and fundamentally the arrows of journalism are flying in the right direction."

What is really happening is an escalation of rage among Trumps supporters, or at least the people whose interests he represents. The "liberal smug" is starting to be seen as an ocean of deadly personal insults. The rage on the other side is building rapidly, invisible it seems to the "liberal smug" people.

This is all extremely dangerous, and you liberals really, truly need to stop it, before it slips into something irrecoverable.

Bob Ellison said...

The K school is where washed-up politicians go to die.

William said...

To say the coverage is negative understates the depth and breadth of their loathing. They don't allow Trump a single redeeming or likable character trait. I'm amazed that NBC let this crazed maniac host a prime time tv show. What was Lorne Greene thinking when he allowed Trump to host SNL and be in close contact with all the young women who worked on that show.........Coverage this negative has caused just as many to be distrustful of the media as of Donald Trump. I know Trump has done some things wrong, but 92%?........ And there's not a chance any of them are reconconsidering their positions. If the Russian story goes flop, they will discover some Mafia related firm who poured concrete for Trump on one of his projects. It will never end.

Birkel said...

@ Qwinn
You are agreeing with buwaya. I

@ buwaya
I find none of the commenters writes anything that contradicts your theory. Most simply do not want what you are saying to be true. They want this to be a normal struggle.

The inability to grasp what is happening, for whatever reasons, will be studied if the elites lose. No such study will be allowed, effectively, if the elites win.

Bob Ellison said...

William, Lorne Greene never quite got it back after Lil' Joe died. Too bad. Pernell Greene tried, but Lorne couldn't bring it back.

eric said...

Fox news, besides having their resident Democrat talking heads, also employs some #nevertrump folks. Combine this with the fact that Fox also has a good number of people who want to report things straight and I'm not surprised it's about 50/50.

Still, I'd argue it's not fair and balanced. Because it's all trump drama all the time. And it's getting g sickening.

But this is on purpose. Because

1) If you're on team Democrat, you want people to tire of the drama so you can present your no drama alternative for 2020.

And

2) If you're on team #nevertrump you hope to tear him down, spoil his agenda, and tell the rubes, "We told you so!" At the next election so this time we will listen to their sage advice.

It's like a guy selling fire insurance. Better buy fire insurance from me, you know, just in case. And when you don't buy the insurance, he burns your house down and says, "See? Told you!"

eric said...

Blogger buwaya said...
"and fundamentally the arrows of journalism are flying in the right direction."

What is really happening is an escalation of rage among Trumps supporters, or at least the people whose interests he represents. The "liberal smug" is starting to be seen as an ocean of deadly personal insults. The rage on the other side is building rapidly, invisible it seems to the "liberal smug" people.

This is all extremely dangerous, and you liberals really, truly need to stop it, before it slips into something irrecoverable.


From what I'm seeing, it's already too late for that.

John said...

buwaya:
"It's a little like children that throw tantrums. It works at first '

No, it works all the time.

I don't disagree that it tends to work more often than not but I think we're seeing a fatigue factor and silent backlash that even the Left is recognizing as potentially dangerous for them - hence the walking back of 'impeachment' and taking things too far. There's a point or edge they don't want to fall over where they are completely ignored because even they realize they can't win power back without votes.

tim maguire said...

I'd like to see a chart showing scandals Trump is mired in that the public gives a crap about. I'm betting it's a blank sheet of paper.

First the media invented the scandals, then the media invented the line that Trump was mired in them. Meanwhile Trump goes about the business of being president.

Some days I fear that the media will succeed in its betrayal of the American people, but I can take some comfort in the knowledge that it will be a phyrric victory. They are destroying themselves in the process.

Clyde said...

Obviously 7% of the employees at CNN and NBC are thought-criminals if they are supporting Trump by giving him positive coverage of any sort. 9% at CBS, 13% at the NYT, etc., etc. All of them who are involved in any way need to report for mandatory re-education about their role in "journalism."

Notably absent from the chart is MSNBC, but I'm guessing they're the only ones who won't need to send anyone in for re-education. No green on THAT bar!

Lucien said...

The media seems more partisan than the Democratic Party, which makes sense if you consider that from a professional politician's view, the best possible outcome is President Pence; and that to get there they would have to spend a lot of political capital with no guarantee of winning.

tcrosse said...

The Big Money gang who own the Media are pissed at Trump for stealing the Presidency they had bought and paid for. They and their millions of useful idiots will never forgive him.

Michael said...

As these graphs show, the media is shooting its wad, they have gone all in on this. I believe they are going to lose.

eric said...

I'd love to see a graph like this representing Obama's for few more months in office.

Tommy Duncan said...

For those who remember the reaction of the media on election night, the slanted coverage is no surprise. Their establishment liberal hero, Hillary, lost to Trump. Trump must be punished daily.

Lost media credibility is a small price to pay for the destruction of the man who defeated Hillary and the establishment.

grackle said...

Trump gives them a lot of ammo.

You hear it constantly: If only he would stop the tweets, his language invites the extreme responses he gets, he’s his own worst enemy, there should be someone in the Trump administration who can tell him “no,” etc.

There’s many variations of what is essentially the same complaint: Trump doesn’t talk, look or act like a POTUS that the speaker would approve of.

Readers, do these comments remind you as they do me of the old “blame the victim” attitude toward rape? She was outside and alone at the wrong time of night, shouldn’t of worn that short skirt, she was showing too much, had a revealing neckline, should’ve had a man with her, etc … she was “asking” for it …

The attitude is that any POTUS has to act a certain way and within certain vaguely defined parameters. Venturing outside those parameters apparently means that the MSM/Democrats/eGOP are justified in peddling fake news about Trump because Trump invites it; Trump himself “causes” it.

Kevin said...

@grackle

Bingo.

Mike said...

Hard to tell if this is bias because Trump keeps messing up. His travel ban rollout was disastrous. His NSA turned out to be a traitor and had to be sacked. He's fired Yates and Comey for doing his will. Healthcare imploded on the first try and isn't getting anywhere now. His tax plan was cobbled together in ten minutes and is going nowhere. Plus his Twitter rants.

I'll agree that people sometimes get riled up over nothing (e.g., the ice cream). But notice that when Trump does something people approve of -- give a coherent SOTU or bomb Syria -- the media coverage is *overwhelmingly* positive.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

I used to listen to NPR almost daily, unable to tolerate the post electionTrump hate I tuned out. Wonder if many others are too. Tried switching to CBC and BBC - was disappointed that they are also preoccupied with Trump.

Limited blogger said...

Are we gonna have this same discussion for 8 years?

buwaya said...

"Are we gonna have this same discussion for 8 years?"

I hope so.
Think about it.

DanTheMan said...

>>This is all extremely dangerous, and you liberals really, truly need to stop it, before it slips into something irrecoverable.


Oh, get a grip. Calm down.

It's not like people are trying to kill congressmen for how they vote or anything like that.
And if somebody did, they would be universally condemned. Again, it's not like people would try to give the assassin money or anything.

Wright?


roesch/voltaire said...

When there is good news from the Trump administration it is reported for instance the unemployment rate and then there is... oh forget it Trump just tweeted some BS again and changed the story,

Chuck said...

St. George said...
I'm reading "Alone," the second volume of Manchester's Churchill biography and have just finished reading the Chamberlain/Munich section.

Considering that history rhymes, the parallels between now and then are interesting. Trump is no Churchill, but consider that both men were obnoxious domineering egomaniacs who came to power after years of the most pathetic kowtowing to a mad foreign dictator.

That piece of paper Chamberlain held up, the one that signified 'peace in our time,' was a document he and Hitler had signed agreeing that the two nations would discuss any differences they might have. It was piffle. Like our agreements with Iran and North Korea. What really happened when Chamberlain went to Germany was that he gave the Nazis tacit approval to dismember Czechoslovakia. The West so feared a second war that the English people went into a frenzy of joy and relief. As for Churchill, he was reviled, loathed, and hated in the press at that time much as Trump is today. A major newspaper cancelled his regular column, a huge loss of income.

So bad was Churchill's situation that he lost everything in the 1938 crash (as he had in 1929), put his estate on the market, if briefly, and had to be saved by a rich friend. Like Trump, he knew from debt.

"Husbands and wives stopped speaking to one another, fathers and sons said unforgivable things to one another," said Lady Diana Cooper. "It was as if the entire country was in labor, straining to give birth. And it a way it was."


Yours may be the longest post-quote I have ever copied. Fascinating; about Churchill, that is.

Churchill was everything that Trump is not. A heroic warrior. And experienced Parliamentarian and cabinet minister. A supremely principled man. A clever bureaucratic leader. A brilliant writer, speaker and all-around wordsmith. Funny, clever, articulate.

Trump is absolutely none of those things.

buwaya said...

There is zero coverage of the unemployment rate situation in the MSM. Blank on nightly news and barely there on CNN.
The news is not the news, even compared to ten years ago, it is propaganda, all of it.
You are in a pre-crisis situation, in spite of positive economic news. Strange, isnt it?

buwaya said...

Chuck,
Even Churchill, with all those qualities, was not immune to a ginned-up media hysteria. And Churchill's hysteria was ginned up by the Tories, Chamberlain, working through the Press Lords (Rothmere, his erstwhile friend Beaverbrook, etc.).
Today the US has its own press lords, but they stay out of sight.

Michael K said...

It's like a guy selling fire insurance. Better buy fire insurance from me, you know, just in case. And when you don't buy the insurance, he burns your house down and says, "See? Told you!"

Chuck, is that you ?

Chuck has obviously never read anything about Churchill. He was constantly accused of being childish and irresponsible.

"Alone" is almost the best volume of Manchester's biography. The last volume was written by Paul Reid after Manchester died, using Manchester's notes.

wildswan said...

At the end of the first hundred days, despite the negative coverage, Trump had increased in popularity and would have won the popular vote had the election been held then. That is a crucial point about this negative coverage. The coverage isn't as effective as it would have been ten, twenty or fifty years ago, due to the varying ways to get news. In Wisconsin the same thing happened. Walker was elected and the left immediately began working on a recall. The papers gave terrible coverage to Walker, the polls showed him losing, no one spoke up for him, then he won. They even had an interminable investigation in Wisconsin of Walker and his campaign. It went on for years with totally unconstitutional practices used against conservatives. Now that is all a national strategy. I doubt that it will work but, of course, it is a more dangerous way to behave. Still the left has decided to do it. It is my opinion that they have gone crazy because they have deserted the cause of the workers. Even though socialism is bad supporting it meant supporting the workers who could always use help. But deserting the workers, calling them deplorables, morons, trash, racist, sexist, homophobist, Christians etc. means the left has abandoned its entire previous history and justification. This has to be disturbing for them. They have to try to impeach Trump because they have at present no program at all. So they're going to save the world from the Russians as if they were Fifties John Birchers. They've even adopted Barry Goldwater's slogan - Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. But this kind of contortion - well, I don't know what to say except that I've never read about it in history but it seems like something that will suddenly snap in some way.

Owen said...

Buwaya: you're starting to scare me.

I have never seen things anywhere near this bad. It is a combination of actual media incompetence and naked unremitting malice. Whether that reflects a centrally-organized Deep State/oligarchic structure and plan, is harder to say. Such operations need not declare themselves openly; only in the comic books do the villains brag of their plan (right before the final struggle at the edge of the cliff). Occam's Razor argues that not only is evidence of such a formal political conspiracy hard to obtain, it is unnecessary. There is parallel and convergent evolution at work. These cadres arose from a shared culture of elitist aspiration and influence-seeking. They all went to the same schools (or aspired to) and they all live in the same bubble. It is under threat or, alternatively, it is almost complete: they can taste it. And so they will do anything to win.

Net net, your picture is the most efficient way of addressing the problem. Assume we have been invaded by an alien force. Bodysnatchers.

Tommy Duncan said...

Wildswan said:

In Wisconsin the same thing happened. Walker was elected and the left immediately began working on a recall. The papers gave terrible coverage to Walker, the polls showed him losing, no one spoke up for him, then he won. They even had an interminable investigation in Wisconsin of Walker and his campaign. It went on for years with totally unconstitutional practices used against conservatives. Now that is all a national strategy. I doubt that it will work but, of course, it is a more dangerous way to behave.

Well said!

Bad Lieutenant said...

What are the standard social economic indicators for reelection of an incumbent? The economy, peace or War, Victory or defeat, like that? By those measures Trump seems to be doing very well.

Lucien said...

The guy's been in office for about four months. He nominated Gorsuch, got China to turn up the heat on North Korea, bombed Syria (just like Barack/Hilary would have done or so we were told) and dramatically reduced illegal immigration from rhetoric alone. Obviously he's had plenty of missteps - but nothing that deserves this kind of coverage after barely 100 days in office. Hell, he and his staff are probably still not entirely sure where all the bathrooms are in the White House at this point.

The only conclusion one can reasonably draw from this is that the governing class (Republican elite, Democrat elite and unelected bureaucrats who actually rule the country) are at war with the first American president in decades (centuries?) who is not beholden to the governing class. It's only going to get uglier from here. As a libertarian who despises our governing class, I hope Trump wins but it will be trench warfare for the next four years.

Lucien said...

Inga said:

Trump gives them a lot of ammo.

No. "Anonymous officials close to the White House" or "anonymous officials familiar with the matter" give them a lot of ammo. Not exactly the same thing, but sadly I'm guessing that's good enough for you, right?