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The Press Is Trump’s Enemy, Not the Left’s Friend

2017 February 20
by Ian Welsh

The enemy of my my enemy is not my friend. It often isn’t even my ally, but just someone with whom I have something in common.

Roosevelt on the Press from F.D.R. and the Press

FDR wasn’t that left wing, yet the press savaged him relentlessly. Corbyn is relentlessly savaged and lied about by the British press, and his political beliefs are basically 60s liberal with a side of anti-nuke.

The media works for its owners. As of 2000, 80 percent of US media was owned by six companies, and that percentage is higher now. The media serves the interests of the people who own it and anyone else’s only incidentally and insofar as those interests don’t contradict the owners. Furthermore, and at this point, almost all journalists and editors in the US media are Ivy League grinders.

Such people are deeply, personally, offended by the idea that someone like Trump, who just does not know how to act and who is rich despite being everything that parses as incompetent and gross to them, is President. Trump is not part of the club; despite being rich, he never has been. His father was rich, he was rich, but he comes across as nouveau riche, a parvenu, without taste or class. And his followers, in whose company he revels, are culturally beyond the pale to virtually anyone who was conditioned in an Ivy League school, and who jumped through all the hoops to get into an Ivy League school (a process which requires the unfortunate subject to be a grind and a brownnoser from elementary school all the way through high school).

Just as the intelligence community’s opposition to Trump does not make them good guys, the press’s opposition to Trump does not make them good guys. For all the screams about “fake news,” the worst purveyors of false news in the past 20 years were the mainstream media who sold the Iraq war for George Bush; with the most prestigious newspaper in America, the New York Times, making the flagship effort.

As a result, by the time Iraq was invaded, 72 percent of Americans thought that Iraq had been involved in 9/11 and a majority thought they had WMD and were a threat to America.

Now that’s fake news.

The media has been relentless in mocking any real left wing candidates as well. Kucinich, who ran for president multiple times, was treated as a joke. Oddly, he had been a successful mayor–he was both a successful legislator and a successful executive, but somehow he wasn’t credible.

For anyone who wants a better, more egalitarian world, with greater welfare for all and true respect for democracy, the best case scenario of the Trump/media fight is for them to destroy each other, and the media to be even further discredited, so that it can be broken back up into thousands of pieces. Even in that state, the majority of media outlets will be the enemy of all decent, kind individuals. However, that way they will be less powerful, and there will be room for a larger minority to advocate for something other than oligarchy and empire and all the evils that flow from both.

Remember, it is a rare person or institution that doesn’t serve the interests of whoever controls it, and if you cut a person’s paycheck, you are paying for control over that person. That is literally what the check is for, and if the person doesn’t act in the interests of their owner, they get fired.

The media is not your friend. They are the bought and paid for workers for oligarchy. That is their job. On the side, where the oligarchs don’t care much, they may do some good, but if “good” and “pushing the interests of their owners” conflict, they will always side with pushing the interests of their owners.

Trump cut the TPP. Trump wants to renegotiate NAFTA. Trump wants huge tariffs on various countries. He wants to kick out undocumented immigrants, who work for bad wages in shitty jobs for people who don’t want to pay enough for people who aren’t scared of ICE to do the job.

There are oligarchs who support Trump’s plan, to be sure (see Fox, various others), but there are plenty who don’t.

That doesn’t make Trump’s plans good, nor by itself does it make them bad. It just means that giants are fighting above our heads. To them, we are ants, and ifm while they fight each other, they happen to step on some ants, that isn’t important to them.

Trump: Not your friend. Media: Not your friend. Intelligence agencies: Not your friends. This is true even if part of their current interests happens to coincide with yours.


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44 Responses
  1. Max Osman permalink
    February 20, 2017

    You seem to still be angry at the fact that candidates who couldn’t unite their party lost.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 20, 2017

    What? I endorsed neither Clinton nor Trump, and I don’t regret that.

  3. Huntly permalink
    February 20, 2017

    Should we equate President Trump’s use of Twitter to FDR’s Fireside Chats?

  4. February 20, 2017

    @Huntly Seems like a bad analogy, because tweets seem more intended to instigate rather than re-assure, and because they’re just too short to provide bandwidth which rises to the level of educational. Somehow, I don’t think “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself” FDR would have been a fan of Trump’s tweets.

    A very interesting ex-CIA dude named Robert David Steele has been pushing his plan for Trump to radically reform democracy, and it includes a call for the creation of what he calls “Trump TV”. Think more youtube than tweets.

    “Interesting” means patriot + systems thinker + radical + outside the box + honest + plausible.

    http://phibetaiota.net/2017/02/robert-steele-memorandum-for-the-president-warning-on-american-spring-riots-eight-actions-to-make-america-great-again/

    A recent interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeeD_CbmtpI&t=2721s

    Steele has specifically pointed to Twitter as being inadequate to the media capacity he seeks to be created.

  5. Willy permalink
    February 20, 2017

    Apparently you ruined your whole articles point for some partisan readers by using Kucinich as an abused left politician. I, on the other hand, thank you for your even keel in your writings.

  6. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 20, 2017

    Twitter is an attempt to sideline the media as FDR did with radio, thru the fireside chats, yes. It is probably insufficient, but bear in mind there is an alternative right wing media, plus the Washington Post and Fox and so on. (His 15%+)

  7. Pelham permalink
    February 20, 2017

    Having worked as an editor at four major newspapers for more 30 years, I agree wholeheartedly with everything Ian says. Journalists absolutely work for their owners.

    But we should also be aware of the fact that major media — the press — are concentrated in the blue islands nationwide and cater to those audiences. It is a matter of survival as well as inbred inclination.

    However, this leaves us with no nationally important newspaper or media outlet of any sort based in Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan or any other inland state or locale. So there is no responsible, vetted, established, old-media voice that truly represents the mining, agricultural and manufacturing regions or that provides anything like a clear read of populist sentiment nationwide.

  8. February 20, 2017

    “Trump, who just does not know how to act and who is rich despite being everything that parses as incompetent and gross to them, is President”-Ian

    ^Is that the reason they(the press and many liberals) are offended when Trump insists his intelligence briefings be kept to a few pages?

    Given the “expert problem” (Experts making decisions without skin in the game and assuming they know what other people are thinking.) within the intelligence community, wouldn’t a wise President be highly skeptical of their advice/information?

  9. atcooper permalink
    February 20, 2017

    For folks who think things would be better had Bernie won, this Russia phobic hysteria would still be occurring. It seems no mistake that just as a socialist is ascendant, the well to do start seeing spies everywhere. Please keep that in mind when the bastards are trying to press your fear buttons.

  10. February 20, 2017

    The old forces of the Democratic party lost – even though Trump was as bad as we thought he was. The about was this means for Bernie and Hillary.

    ( Fon d’partikulur – 14 https://symbalitics.blogspot.com/2017/02/fon-dparticular-14.html )

  11. S Brennan permalink
    February 20, 2017

    As is so often the case; Ian’s statement reflects the human condition with clear, unflinching accuracy…and as is so often the case, I agree with Ian:

    =====================================

    S Brennan permalink
    February 17, 2017

    C[xxxxxxxx] W;

    While I voted for Trump to keep the she-demon from starting a war with the Russians [which she surely would have done] and the faint hope [now dashed by Schumer] of infrastructure investment, I have to disagree with point “If they hate Trump… that means he’s on our side”.

    The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend…as America’s dalliance with radical Islam starting in the late 70’s has so often proven.

    That said; watching so called “liberals” willingly, publicly and frequently fellate the CIA, calling for a Staci-state and attempting a war with Russia tests the limits of Orwellian doublespeak as today’s so called “liberals” would be, in a sane world, referred to as fascists. And I don’t mean that as insult, just an attempt at an accurate description based on their observed behavior.

  12. Willy permalink
    February 20, 2017

    “Trump: not your friend. Media, not your friend; intelligence agencies: not your friend.”

    Facts are our friends, though many will wreak havoc on hope and fear. Yet the rubes still unwittingly play the kleptocracy’s game and are still easily steered to believe in their own ‘facts’. Their two cultures haven’t gotten to the point yet where Pravda is read ‘between the lines’ with intent-content ignored. It appears that a general disrespect for the MSM is increasing, but as always with the status quo hardwired rubes, painfully slowly. And obviously with this new concentration of illicit power it’s more complicated. Still… is there a way to speed up that process? A sort of radio free Europe which breaks through the haze?

  13. Billikin permalink
    February 20, 2017

    The mainstream media were not Trump’s friends, but he played them like a fiddle. I saw Chris Matthews on CSPAN say that the media informed the public well and thoroughly about Trump. (In context, that meant that their coverage was largely negative.) But negative publicity, while it may have bothered Trump personally, did not bother him strategically at all. He manipulated the media into giving him a whole lot of free publicity. They repeated and broadcast his messages, in order to criticize them. Matthews made his remarks on a panel discussion that was not, according to its title, about Trump, but the panel talked about little else. The media does not have to be your friend for you to take advantage of it. (And the media is not a monolith, anyway.) This is not rocket science.

  14. Billikin permalink
    February 20, 2017

    Newberry: “The old forces of the Democratic party lost”

    Right. Starting in 2009. The Democrats have been losing for so long, and from such a strong position, that it is hard to believe that it is because of incompetence. They don’t really want to win. That is, major Democratic donors, as a group, prefer Republicans.

  15. Will permalink
    February 20, 2017

    “giants are fighting above our heads….”

    What an apt way of putting it Ian. I remember reading a blogpost years ago that chided efforts on behalf of Republican activists to reduce trust in the institutions of the nation. I remember the fellow saying how dangerous this was and that once lost this institutional trust could not easily be regained.

    I think he was right but too constrained in his view. The fact is that most of these large institutions (the media, the political parties, governmental bureaucracy, our political and academic “elite”, etc) lost the public trust because they were, in fact, untrustworthy. These institutions forsook the duties they had been entrusted with and cashed it in. Literally.

    As you said these institutions are epic in scale. The forces that have been unleashed on our society are just as epic. Trust in government and the institutions of society sounds so nebulous that we forget it one of the things that binds our nations together. This nation is so fragmented and divided that without a common bond of this sort what is it exactly that holds it together?

    As an example: There is a small but vocal movement to pursue secession in California.

    Be honest, if that were put to a vote from the REST of the nation would it be approved? Same for Texas or New York. I think it likely that the rest of the nation would rejoice at the prospect of splitting the blanket with them.

    These forces may be a long time in coming but they pack a punch when they get there. We’ve seen these giants become not just unresponsive to the needs of the nation as a whole but actively harmful. We have a big job in front of us if the damage is to be undone. And don’t kid yourself, these giants that need slain are spread across the political and economic spectrum.

  16. Chuck Mire permalink
    February 20, 2017

    University of Washington professors are teaching a course on bullshit:

    http://callingbullshit.org/syllabus.html

    So very important in the Age Of Trump

  17. S Brennan permalink
    February 20, 2017

    This cracks me up:

    “professors are teaching a course on bullshit…so very important in the Age Of Trump”

    8 years* of Clinton’s bullshit, 8 years* of Cheney’s bullshit, 8 years* of Obama’s bullshit, 2 years* of Hillary’s and Chuck is under the delusion that within weeks we’ve started a new age of bullshit…give-me-a-break…sheesh.

    *still dishing it out

  18. February 20, 2017

    Trump’s bullshit is a great worse … but it is the young the will feel it.

  19. S Brennan permalink
    February 20, 2017

    Stirling S Newberry says:

    Clinton deconstruction of FDR/LBJ’s financial-regulations/social-safety-net and massive incarceration of blacks pales in comparison to what Trump has wrought in one month

    Stirling S Newberry says:

    Bush/Cheney’s Iraq war, abrogation of the ABM treaty and nascent police state pales in comparison to what Trump has wrought in one month.

    Stirling S Newberry says:

    Obama/Hillary’s regime change wars in Lybia/Syria/Ukraine, bail out of the financial criminals that destroyed millions of Americans lives, his protection of the rating agencies who engaged in financial fraud, his massive incarceration of those who spoke out against in the Occupy movement and finally his work to enlarge Bush/Cheney police state in to a digital Staci State pales in comparison to what Trump has wrought in one month.

    S Brennan says:

    Stirling S Newberry’s bullshit is pretty effing deep and the young who are deluded by his bs will be blindsided by reality.

  20. someofparts permalink
    February 21, 2017

    “However, this leaves us with no nationally important newspaper or media outlet of any sort based in Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan or any other inland state or locale. So there is no responsible, vetted, established, old-media voice that truly represents the mining, agricultural and manufacturing regions or that provides anything like a clear read of populist sentiment nationwide.”

    What about these guys?
    http://www.mcclatchy.com/

  21. someofparts permalink
    February 21, 2017

    “It seems no mistake that just as a socialist is ascendant, the well to do start seeing spies everywhere. Please keep that in mind when the bastards are trying to press your fear buttons.”

    Somebody has already tried that on me. He expected me to be hysterical over alleged Russian election hacking. I told him that I thought throwing Presidential elections was the Supreme Court’s job.

    Beyond that that I told him about Mark Blyth’s presentation on Global Trumpism and strongly encouraged him to watch it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkm2Vfj42FY

  22. atcooper permalink
    February 21, 2017

    The correlation between the Russian hysteria and Bernie’s ascendancy, and it is just correlation, wouldn’t have even occurred to me without the news that Bloomberg was looking to run, maybe, if the nominees weren’t to his and his friends tastes.

  23. Jill permalink
    February 21, 2017

    I notice that US citizens are extremely politically confused. I hear Republicans tell me that Democrats like Obama and Clinton are Marxist. I wish! I have no idea how two candidates who have done everything they can to allow the banking industry to engage in all sorts of illegal and economy ruining behavior are “Marxist”. Those two are the epitome of crony capitalists.

    Of course, most Democrats seem to think Obama and Clinton are socialists. They believe they are good people. I don’t know how starting seven wars, drone killing civilians, to include the deliberate targeting of weddings and funerals during double taps, the selling of white phosphorus to Saudi Arabia for use on poor Yemenis, etc. constitutes being a “good” person.

    I see right hating left, left hating right. I see everyone hoping for a savior and few people caring about what having a savior (mother or father figure to fix everything) means. It means– fascism.

    We got this confusion in large part due to the MSM promulgating lies. The MSM is ready to serve up wars, economic ruin, environmental catastrophe through lies of omission and commission. They have made certain our people are not informed. More importantly, they have made certain we are misinformed.

    Trump isn’t a friend of most of his supporters. The left wing isn’t their friend either and that is something I find utterly shameful. Our population needs to get informed and act with altruism towards others. That is the only way out. No wonder these qualities are blocked at every turn by the powerful.

  24. realitychecker permalink
    February 21, 2017

    Thank you, Ian, for once again showing yourself to be one of the best available voices doing non-hysterical analysis and description of our changing political landscape.

    We have been brainwashed , very deliberately, for decades, to address every issue solely in binary terms, i.e., “This is good, so that is bad, which side is my team on in this issue? That’s where I stand, too.”

    We have been like immature adolescents in this regard. Voicing strong opinions without even having the capacity to evaluate all the non-binary factors present in each context.

    Granted, it is immensely more complex and more difficult to have to make judgements about many factors in a given issue discussion, rather than just two. But many in the world have been so situated as to have developed these skills long before now, and to a much higher degree than we are likely going to be able to do in the immediate or near future, so we had best waste no time in getting started in the catching-up process that is clearly going to be necessary from now on.

    Every player has its own peculiar interests that it will always seek to promote, and they will not be identical with the interests of any other players, although there may be substantial overlap, either built-in or temporary in nature. To understand a non-binary world, we must become adept at putting ourselves mentally inside the skin of each player and striving to see things from their POV, not to judge it, but to be able to understand and predict the behavior that will flow from that POV.

    The old, automatic team affiliations are for fools only, going forward. And we are all going to have to suffer through an awkward period, as we try to stumble forward far enough to escape the limitations of our “binary-only” brainwashing. All of us.

  25. February 21, 2017

    It is good that the old paraphrase what they think the young should be thinking … heaven for bid we get a new thought from the new generation.

    ( https://symbalitics.blogspot.com/2017/02/love-and-war-16.html Love and War – 16 )

  26. S Brennan permalink
    February 21, 2017

    Stirling you are the one trying to con kids into accepting your world view by false declaration and obfuscation of history.

    In my retort above, I am simply putting history of the last 3 presidents in front of those who were not there and letting them choose what they will. They can choose to believe your falsehoods, or they can examine the millions upon millions killed by the last three presidents and compare it to Trump’s ACTUAL performance.

  27. realitychecker permalink
    February 21, 2017

    I’m with S. Brennan on this one. (Dog help me lol.)

  28. seff permalink
    February 21, 2017

    In fact Trump was conditioned in an Ivy League school, Penn, and he jumped through the most important routine hoop for Ivy League success, having enough family money to donate a million or so. If Trump did not assimilate (and he didn’t, it was suitcase school for him,) that’s because most dominant-class students base their identity on their private secondary schooling – college acculturation runs off them like water off a duck’s back. It was shrewd of him to stress his college, the least elitist element of his Bildung. It will be interesting to see his net effect on Penn’s ranking in the amusingly subjective US News and World Report rankings.

  29. atcooper permalink
    February 21, 2017

    His taste is an awful lot like someone who has never seen a rich persons house would think a rich persons house looks like. That’s the big tip off. The second is the kinds of associations he likes to keep. His preferred associations are not the waspy types, but rat pack types.

    Hard for me to get upset at his flagrent norm breaking. He’d stab you in the gut, not the back. The rattlesnake, not the poisoned apple.

  30. FdG permalink
    February 21, 2017

    In Bourdieu’s terms, Trump belongs to the part of the dominant class that is heavy on economic capital. The poorer segment of the dominant class substitutes cultural capital.

    At the time Bourdieu wrote, cultural capital meant recognizing Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand and things like that. Now, the mass variant of high culture means performing NPR/NYT opinions and intonations. But for the influential bit of the dominant class, Saint Grottlesex or Academy education produces omnivorous detachment, interpreting high and low culture with the same impartial objectivity. So Trump’s cheesy persona is not necessarily a liability among the haute bourgeoisie. They figure if Trump wanted couth he would have bought some.

    CIA’s attack on Trump essentially reprises its vilification campaign against JFK, with educated lumpen drafted into the role Texas holy-rollers played in ’63: noisy menacing hostility that serves to explain the purely bureaucratic coup d’état.

  31. Hugh permalink
    February 21, 2017

    I agree. It seems each day I witness some new example of the media or Trump jumping the shark. I saw Morning Joe a couple days ago where “Joe” was lambasting Trump for his idiotic remark about Sweden. Gotcha! Thing was, for his part, he talked about Trump looking for a new NSA head, confusing the NSA (big government spy agency) with the NSA (government position, National Security Adviser). Joe then went on to grandly conclude, “As Jesus said, those who live in glass houses should not cast stones,” mistaking a proverb for Scripture. What he was probably going for was the story of the adulteress who was to be stoned, John 8:7:

    So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her

    I should point out too that the poster child arrivistes and nouveaux riches were the Clintons. Compared to them, Trump was old money. For me, the difference between the two is who is willing to play ball with and, more importantly, be properly deferential to, the Establishment. Ultimately, Trump is playing ball, but he isn’t being deferential. Anyway, not a big deal because it’s all propaganda, and propaganda is not about consistency (or facts or logic) but instilling a message in an audience.

    Finally, just wanted to say that nepotism plays a big part in who shows up in the media. Somebody above, for example, mentioned Chris Wallace, Mike Wallace’s son. Or even as in my reference to Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski is Zbigniew Brzezinski’s daughter.

  32. Willy permalink
    February 21, 2017

    Trump has one helluva shady ass background (if various media sources are to be believed). But I’d hope that trying to rate the Trump administration on whether he’s progressing or regressing things like national “deep social failure” or “collective intelligence” would be important to the sanest consumers of a particular media outlet. Unfortunately, reporters have to be able to get inside to get the scoop. And this often means being “inside”.

  33. Some Guy permalink
    February 22, 2017

    Hard to believe this needs to be said, but I’m sure it does, so good on you for keeping on saying it Ian.

  34. chris collins permalink
    February 22, 2017

    Fine line here. We need information to judge what happens in the world. Outright attacking the media at every turn seems a bad idea, leaves to much of an opening for state run media. Really we should be encouraging them to question each other.

  35. Peter permalink
    February 23, 2017

    @CC

    I think the last time we received real honest information from the media was when Walter Cronkite told us we were losing the Vietnam War. We need a source for accurate reporting of important news stories and issues but that mostly doesn’t exist with our present agenda propagandists.

    Outright and repeated attacks on the corrupt media are the only way to keep everyone from being conditioned and directed by their constant assault on reality. This is the deep state media.

  36. Reuben Thomas permalink
    February 23, 2017

    “my my” → “my” (first line link).

    “Furthermore and this point” → “Furthermore at this point”?

  37. MojaveWolf permalink
    February 24, 2017

    One of the best posts on a needing to be said subject that should be obvious but apparently isn’t that I’ve read in a long time. Major thank you.

  38. Dean Ascioti permalink
    February 25, 2017

    I second MohaveWolf’s comments. Frustrated that us ants are being played.

  39. Tom Robinson permalink
    February 25, 2017

    The New York Times is now my ally, Ian, if not my friend. Their ineptitude in the run-up to the Iraq War is huge, but what about publishing the Pentagon Papers? For me, their history is checkered, but not suspect.

    The NYT may hire lots of Ivy Leaguers and cover lots of elite weddings, but it is challenging the Trump administration at every turn. They are covering this defensive whinefest of an administration thoroughly and mercilessly, as is CNN, Politico, and the Los Angeles Times, who were all disinvited to a Spicer gaggle.

    Should I look to the reporting of In These Times or Mother Jones instead? What kind of coverage will they provide?

    On the Left I always worry about puritanism and an unwillingness to form coalitions with those toward the center. Your blanket condemnation of mainstream media is another example for me.

  40. realitychecker permalink
    February 25, 2017

    @ Tom Robinson

    Another fool heard from.

    You look to the Pentagon Papers?

    AFTER THAT, they committed the Iraq War bullshit.

    AFTER THAT, they concealed the illegal Bush wiretapping story until it could not determine the 2004 election.

    Most rational people consider later behavior to be more probative than prior behavior.

    How about that Carlos Slim is now the biggest owner of the New York Times. Think that might have a bearing on the Times’ open animousity to all things Trump?

    We really can’t afford such stupidity anymore.

  41. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 25, 2017

    The NY Times weren’t inept, they actively fit the data to the end they wanted. They are complicit in, most likely, millions of deaths (you can quibble over the exact number.)

    I am willing to form coalitions with the center, but I’d best be getting something: policies or cash on the barrelhead, because the coalition won’t last.

    This isn’t “theory” for me, I’ve actually done what you suggested, and formed said coalition.

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/lessons-for-the-resistance-from-the-bush-resistance/

    Note that unions who went in hard for Obama did not get the one thing they needed most: card check.

    For the strategy, principles and theory, read this:

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-control-of-parties-and-the-rise-and-fall-of-ideologies/

    People who cry about purity tests are why we are here. Because they were never able to insist on actual good policy, they did no more than slightly slow down the creation of this world, and this America, the America that would elect Trump.

    Trump is in part your baby if you say that left wingers shouldn’t insist on actual left wing policy (that “purity test” translated into clear English).

    Also, Mother Jones is at lest center-left. Their primary blogger is entirely a neo-liberal.

    Centrist left wingers of the 3rd way style are entirely, 100% complicit in getting here. It was Clinton, for example, who signed the bill getting rid of Glass-Steagall. It was Clinton who cut welfare benefits massively. It was Clinton and his wife who screamed about black predators and pushed 3 strike laws.

    These people are the enemy of anyone decent. You make alliances with your enemies only with ironclad guaranties YOU do not have.

  42. Tom Robinson permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Ok, points taken. That Netroots lesson is important. I just linked it on my Facebook page.

  43. Tom Robinson permalink
    February 26, 2017

    I am supportive of much of what you say, especially returning to Glass-Steagall, and really ramping up taxation of the wealthy, especially the super-wealthy.

    If not NYT, where do you get news about the current administration? The Guardian? Do you find the Washington Post more credible? Do you divorce editorial policy, or ownership, from reporting? Or is all reporting suspect because of ownership or editorial policy?

    Here’s my view of who’s responsible for the awful invasion of Iraq. The invasion was approved by most of Congress, and those representatives were elected by most of the pariticpating voters of the United States. If you’re an American and elected those representatives, or didn’t vote for someone who would have opposed the invasion, you’re responsible for the invasion. In a representative democracy, such as it is, I’m not into granting a pass for not voting or voting for the wrong representative. That the NYT didn’t help stop that invasion is indeed awful in itself, but it wasn’t the NYT that voted.

  44. realitychecker permalink
    February 27, 2017

    @ Tom Robinson

    I’m not willing to put lot of effort into showing you why it makes no sense to hold voters responsible if they were duped by the media. I’ll just say, if the messenger is known to be dishonest, focus on fixing or avoiding the dishonesty somehow.

    Free advice: Most media dishonesty is carried out, not by overt lying, which is risky for them, but rather by the deliberate leaving out of facts which contradict and undermine their preferred narrative on any issue. The simple remedy for that is to force yourself to also read sources from the opposite side of the issue. (Kinda like the Fairness Doctrine used to insure lol.)

    For example, I read the New York Times every morning, then I read Drudge. That gets me exposed to almost all the missing facts that got deliberately left out by both sides. With that info, I can do a pretty good job of putting together a coherent idea of what the truth is, or where the manipulations come in.

    Then I read other sources, like Ian, to get some detailed analysis of important issues, so as to round out my understanding of the big picture.

    Try it, you’ll like it. And you’ll understand what’s going on a lot better.

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