The mainstream corporate news media often denies the obvious facts of the present in order to make them more shocking later. It is a way to distort reality and fuel the contempt machine with the ultimate goal of maximizing profits.
Namely, last week the New York Times published a widely discussed video compilation of the racist, sexist, bigotry, misogynist, and other hateful language that is common at Donald Trump political rallies and other events. New York Times reporters began collating these images for “Unfiltered Voices From Donald Trump’s Crowds” when Trump’s campaign officially began in 2015.
It features Donald Trump scum calling Barack Obama a “nigger,” reciting Nazi chants, saying that Hillary Clinton should be “hanged” and that she is a “bitch,” and expelling swear words about Hispanics from their mouths , Latinos and Muslims.
The New York Times explained that their reporters were so focused on the unpredictability of Donald Trump’s speeches – and the potential for violence in his events – that they were oblivious to the ugly behavior he inspired among his henchmen:
All of this helps explain why we have only waited until recently to turn our attention to the very inflammatory, and often just plain vile things, that many people showing up to support Mr. Trump’s campaign were saying aloud – often very loud – or wore on their T-shirts and hats.
Politics at its best can be inspiring. But many in Mr. Trump’s audience were inspired to speak out in hateful, crass, profane, obscene, or just plain mean.
Focusing on these explosions opened our eyes. Ashley Parker, one of our most senior journalists covering the Trump campaign, said she realized she had grown somewhat used to these postings. And it makes sense: if you are on the lookout for real violence, you are eliminating simple vulgarity or racism.
This is just one more example of how the so-called “liberal media” allowed and pampered the rise of American protofascist Donald Trump. “Simple vulgarity and racism” are at the heart of its appeal and power over millions of American voters. To ignore this reality is to ignore one of the most important dynamics of the 2016 presidential campaign. Moreover, “sifting through” “vulgarity” and “racism” is an inability to understand how racism is , sexism, nativism, white supremacy and authoritarianism are values and beliefs that came to dominate the conservatism of the movement and the Republican Party in the post civil rights era and in particular the era of Obama.
Bringing aside racism, bigotry, and hateful behavior at Donald Trump rallies also requires a great deal of willful denial about the kind of poison he represents in the American body politic. Here, the New York Times ignores its own excellent reporting on Donald Trump’s rallies by writers such as Jared Yates Sexton. The New York Times also somehow separates the violence inside Trump’s rallies where Black Lives Matter and other protesters were threatened with burns to death – a disturbing allusion to the story. gruesome and unique America’s spectacular lynchings against its black citizens – of what is going on outside. Most disturbing, the New York Times, by now “discovering” racism and fanaticism among Trump supporters, has chosen to turn the mountains of public opinion and other social science research that has consistently demonstrated the role racism, white racial animosity and authoritarianism. by transforming support for Donald Trump into mere curiosities and outliers, the equivalent of empirical anthills. It is intellectually dishonest.
All in all, the New York Times has chosen to give the benefit of the doubt to a political candidate and his supporters who do not deserve such latitude or such a safe harbor. Sadly, the New York Times was not the only major American media to make such a mistake. Donald Trump’s protofascist behavior was evident to any reasonable observer before and during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. The corporate news media treated this as curious and entertaining, a way to capitalize on the antics of the GOP candidate inspired by the professional wrestling of the carnival barker.
They waited for “decent” and “responsible” Republicans to step in. Instead, Trump has become more popular; the “decency” of the Republican base and its supporters has been exposed as a sham; there are few or no “decent” people in this iteration of the Republican Party.
Donald Trump mastered the metagame of the 24/7 cable news format and then continued to escalate his “unconventional” political behavior. The mainstream corporate news media and its so-called “experts” among the talkative classes were, with few exceptions, unprepared for this strategy. They stood in wonder, helpless before Trumpmania.
Donald Trump would win the 2016 Republican nomination. Members of the commentary who are installed in the American commercial news media are humbled (for a moment) and must now engage in self-flogging and false public introspection in an effort to maintain legitimacy.
The New York Times and the mainstream news media have also failed due to a slavish dedication to the journalistic principle of “objectivity” in the way they cover American politics. “Objectivity” and its associated creeds of “balance” and “fairness” are insufficient to properly describe the political abomination and shipwreck that is the Donald Trump phenomenon. The capital letter “Truth” has a bias. It is not neutral. It never has been.
The “objectivity” or “fairness” or “fairness and balance” that spawned Donald Trump’s ascendancy within the Republican Party is the same type of ethics and thinking as in any other. time would have presented the struggle between white slavers and black human property, Nazis and the victims of their evil, and Bill Connor’s thugs and civil rights freedom fighters as “just a difference of opinion” in one area understanding where “both sides do it”. Such a framework for understanding empirical reality should be unreasonable. Unfortunately, in the mainstream US news media and the 24/7 cable news cycle, this is too normal.
Bill Moyer cautioned about this in 2008 (emphasis added):
Our media institutions, deeply embedded in the power structures of society, do not provide the information we need to make our democracy work. In other words, the consolidation of corporate media is a corrosive social force. It robs people of their voice in public affairs and pollutes political culture. And it turns debates on deep issues into a screaming match of polarized opinions promulgated by partisan apologists who trivialize democracy while refusing to tell the truth about how our country is being plundered.
Our mainstream media are ultimately accountable only to boards of directors whose mission is not life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of our republic, but the enlargement of the leaders of company and shareholders.
The self-proclaimed mandate of these organizations is not to hold public and private authorities to account, but to aggregate their interdependent interests. Their reward is not to help fulfill the social pact embodied in the notion of “We the people”, but to manufacture news and information as profitable consumer goods.
Although he writes for The New York Times – one of the “go-to journals” in the United States, and therefore a spokesperson for elite power – Charles Blow is one of the few political commentators who has always said “The truth in power” about Donald Trump. Writing last week, Blow put the glove down and made the following clear observation about the role of racism in the campaign of Donald Trump and the Republican Party in general:
In their minds, whether explicitly or implicitly, America is white, Christian, straight, and male dominated. If you support Trump, you support his bigotry and racism on some level. You can’t have a puppy and not collect poop.
And accepting racism is an act of racism. You are condemned by your complicity.
I’m not used to dancing around a problem; I prefer to call it that. I prefer to illuminate it with a bright light until it fades. Supporting Trump is indefensible and it makes you an outcast like him.
I would like to take Charles Blow’s observation a step further and turn it into a call to action. Every Republican should be asked by family members, peers, neighbors and others if they support Donald Trump. Members of Congress and the Senate, as well as local officials, should also be asked the same question by their constituents in person, by mail, by phone and by other means. If the answer is “yes”, the next question should be “why?” The closing question should then be: “Are you a racist?” If a person answers’ no ‘then you have to ask them,’ Why are you still a Republican? How can a “decent” person belong to a political party whose champion is a sexist racist fanatic?
These are not easy questions to ask. They can be greeted with hostility and defensiveness. Some people may in fact be made to support Donald Trump out of spite, because such fundamental questions of personal character and morals are too much for them to bear. But in a time of political crisis, these questions are essential, even more so for members of a political party whose members so enthusiastically and hypocrisically swear at others with right-wing slogans of “personal responsibility”. It is high time that Republicans and conservatives in the movement stood on the same level.