After several years of writing about media bias and identity politics, I realized something pretty big that’s since clouded my every social and political thought. Today’s Democrat Party is a joke that would cease to exist if not for the unwavering support of the massively powerful corporate media.
Long before this revelation, it always amused me when people like Resistance Jake Tapper or others in the media would claim: “We don’t choose the stories. The stories choose us. All we’re doing is reporting what’s going on in the world. That’s our job.”
It amused me because they literally write the headlines. They choose exactly what stories to cover. As has become painfully obvious to anyone with a pulse, they also choose the narratives attached to those stories and how every twist and turn is characterized throughout the 24/7 news cycle.
If you couple those realities — that the media are nothing more than Democrats’ marketing arm, and that they’re responsible for deciding what we talk about and how it’s characterized — it becomes really hard to take “the news” seriously.
Yet I feel like I’m on an island under the weight of that reality. That’s because after watching our nation spend three years dignifying the preposterous notion that Donald Trump is a Russian spy who stole the 2016 election, I’m now watching us do the exact same thing with a fevered focus on hearsay witnesses to a phone call that we’ve all already read the transcript for.
It’s maddening. And every conservative media person and outlet, and every Republican advocate and official, and every Trump supporter and team member is just playing into the media’s (i.e. Democrats’) hand.
They don’t necessarily believe they’re going to impeach the president. They just want us talking about it nonstop because that means they’re controlling the narrative. Even if we’re “winning” the conversation, it’s still the conversation they want us having. This conversation is a disruptive cloud over Trump world and can slowly chip away at the stamina of any Independents or Democrats who might have been leaning toward working with or supporting him.
The good news is I think it’s having the opposite effect. I think most people see through the charade. As such, President Trump may very well gain support from one-time naysayers who might now sympathize with the persistently attacked, duly elected president of the United States.
But the vast majority of people, from long-time Trump supporters to recent converts, point their fingers at the Democrats as the primary source of the problem. And that’s just not accurate. You must know your opposition to defeat your opposition, so we must get our heads around the reality that it’s the powerful media, not the feckless and otherwise-toothless Democrats, who are our greatest enemy and threat.
Some people say the media aren’t biased. They say they’re just doing it for ratings. But if that’s the case, why isn’t U.S. Attorney John Durham’s name as widely recognized as former special counsel Robert Mueller’s was?
From the moment Mueller was appointed special counsel, the media wouldn’t stop talking about him. Every story they focused on, guest they had, and discussion they moderated was centered on Mueller and what he might or might not be doing and what that might or might not mean for Trump and everyone around him. Also flying in the face of claims that the media are just in it for ratings, every aspect was always characterized in the most negative terms possible for President Trump, his team, and his supporters.
But now we’ve got Durham doing a similarly massive and sensational investigation with nefarious national implications as far-reaching as Mueller’s, with exponentially more evidence-based plausibility, and they never even mention the man’s name, let alone what he’s working on. The focus instead is on what people you’ve never heard of thought about a phone call you already read the transcript of.
Imagine I told the world that you approached me on the street, beat me up, spit on me, and then walked away. And the whole world believed me. Then you released a video that showed the incident: I was walking down the street, you approached me, we chatted, shook hands, then went our separate ways.
Now imagine the media pretending that video didn’t exist. Instead, they spend the next several months breathlessly trotting out “witnesses” who claim to have heard about the incident and back up my story. Rather than accept the actual evidence, the media has the whole world ignoring it and focused like a laser on people who back up my lies about what you did.
Pretty infuriating, right? Well that’s what’s happening with the Ukraine phone call nontroversy.
The president of the United States is allowed to qualify the absence of corruption before handing over taxpayer dollars to a foreign nation, and running for president on the Democrat ticket doesn’t absolve someone from culpability in any such corruption. Full stop.
But the media are pretending not to understand any of those simple realities. They’re pretending the transcript doesn’t exist and that we need the opinions of unelected bureaucrats to tell us what happened. They’re pretending that President Trump doesn’t get to guide his own foreign policy. And they’re pretending that being a Democrat candidate for president is itself exculpatory, and that anyone who scrutinizes that candidate’s bad behavior is guilty of something possibly criminal and definitely impeachable.
Every minute of every day that we talk about the “Ukraine phone call” and the ridiculous “impeachment inquiry” attached to it, we’re letting the media win. We’re ceding the national conversation to them, regardless of how good we might feel about “winning” it.
Pretend you’re starving for food. You want to talk about getting yourself some food, but I take the conversation somewhere else by telling everyone you like to kick puppies. So you offer gobs of evidence that you don’t like to kick puppies and, as a result, everyone ends up believing you and thinking I’m a liar. Nice work. Now we can talk about getting you some food. Right?
Wrong. Because next I say that I was mistaken about the dog thing, but I have good evidence that you like to step on cats. In a sane world, at this point people wouldn’t believe me and we’d all talk about getting you some food.
But that’s how powerful the media are. Because now, instead of talking about getting you some food, we’re going to spend the next several months making you prove that you don’t like to step on cats. You might win that conversation also, but in the meantime you might die of starvation.
For most Republicans and conservatives, “starving for food” means celebrating individual liberty and renouncing the socialism that kills it, judging people by the content of their character rather than by their so-called identity, “draining the swamp” that for decades has served itself at our expense, and putting America first instead of attacking it or apologizing for it. None of those things will happen if we keep playing the media’s game.
It will take a strong, coordinated, major push from Republicans, conservative media, and the grassroots. But if we keep dignifying the notion that the feckless and wildly out-of-touch Democrat Party would have a leg to stand on without corporate media (they have to have lie about the application and mission of literally every policy they pursue), and we don’t recalibrate our firepower and ferocity entirely on that media, then all we’ll end up doing is dying of starvation a little more slowly.
We can’t let that happen. We must stop playing the media’s game.
Hrand Tookman is a Cleveland, Ohio native with a background in interpersonal communications. He writes with an objective of exposing media bias, and inspiring unity in defiance of so many forces today that thrive off of division.
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