What Greta Gerwig’s 'Little Women' misses.
The Democrats and the Media, or “The Committee to Re-elect President Trump”
I meant what I said a year ago:
“…almost every opportunity the mainstream media has had to moderate or qualify themselves in relation to the Russian collusion narrative has been rejected in favor of all-out attacks.
They had better be right.
Like most American cultural and civic institutions, the old media is already distrusted by historic numbers of Americans, but has not yet been dealt a knockout blow. If it turns out that there was no collusion, CNN has become the Ivy League version of InfoWars.
Trump has already begun to wrest the #fakenews spear—hand-forged for use against him by titans like Obama, Clinton, CNN, and the New York Times—from their hands. The question is whether he’s able to drive it right through their beating hearts over the next year on the matter of collusion. Their hands are wrapped around his so tightly it looks—and, if he is right, will continue to look—as if we are witnessing a kind of old media seppuku.
It is the fact that they are waging total war against an active opponent in the White House that makes this a potential last stand: regardless of the usual obfuscation in the aftermath, if it turns out old media is wrong about Russian collusion and digital media, its collapse will be complete. It will diminish over the next few years, to be re-processed and subsumed forever into a new digital landscape.
For most Americans, the results will be deeply unsettling, but mesmerizing: like watching the old family car catch fire, crackle, and melt as it goes up in smoke.”
The car has caught fire. No doubt 30-40% of the nation expected to see St. Robert Swan Mueller III personally put the Orange Bad Man in cuffs for everything from soliciting micturation to daring to fire St. James Brien Comey Jr.—never mind conspiring with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to steal the 2016 election from Hilary Clinton the Gray in order to become the Orange Bad Man of the United States of America.
It’s ironic that conspiracy theory maestro Alex Jones was banned by legacy digital media companies even as CNN sounded increasingly like Info Wars. CNN went “all in” on their own conspiratorial narratives, and will never be regarded the same by the American public. Info Wars was at least entertaining—the digital news equivalent to professional wrestling.
As I’ve also said repeatedly over the last year, CNN will likely either go out of business or be bought up and completely overhauled in the next few years. MSNBC is second place because it doesn’t pretend about who it is or what it does. CNN, which doubled down on the collusion conspiracy while continuing to pretend to being the sole objective cable news channel, has thus been doomed to third place. And third prize is—you’re fired.
Elsewhere, bratty Harvard Law grads get jobs at the New York Times because and not in spite of performative racial temper tantrums that fall flat with all but a tiny percentage of the population (the recently miseducated elite). The news relentlessly focuses on divisive identity politics, through the lens of identity politics. Instead of asking real questions and making new hires to reflect the obvious lessons of 2016, the American media energetically doubled down on on fist-clenching resistance.
But its brain activity remained strictly low energy.
Anti-Trump fervor and the hatred and revenge-based energy that identity politics provides are almost all that’s left, and thus the fires had to be stoked daily at full steam. At least one of the two might be an outdated fossil fuel—an increasingly unsustainable resource.
A media that prostitutes itself to the demands of the Left is decades old news, however, even if it is less trusted now than ever. As with the Kavanaugh fiasco, the real culprits are the politicians who shamelessly pushed the collusion narrative from the start, and the government officials who aided and abetted them.
And yet again, they failed.
The wildest part of it all to me is just this: the Democratic party took an unpolished, scandal-prone President who hijacked the Republican party and rendered him bullet proof. He’s been galvanized. Dipped in zinc.
After suggesting he worked with a foreign enemy of the United States of America for three years, what the hell are you going to throw at him now? And who’s gonna believe you?
From the start, when Obama and Clinton rolled out the narrative, it had a hare-brained “the deplorables don’t like Russia” and a too-clever-by-half “anything to delegitimize the election results” sheen to it. Think about how simultaneously arrogant and dumb the gambit was—and thus representative of our pathetic, ham-handed leadership class.
They could have addressed—God forbid—real political issues, or actual political disagreements. They could even have focused on making a scandal out of something much less exotic, like tax returns, instead of going for an all out national disinformation op.
Then again, our fearless leaders are often in their 80s, or the scions of dumb wealth and even more moronic fame. The youth are generally highly ranked ignoramuses and obvious hot house flowers. They lack prudence, or, in modern language, the higher level predictive capacity of the frontal lobe.
Kamala Harris is not dumb, and she may be sacrificially stretched in a series of politically correct purity tests to hold the fracturing coalition together one last time, but the Left’s 2016 rivening will not be long now—if not 2020, in 2024.
What the Right and Left become is still a wide open question; the leaders of the right have been at least temporarily dethroned, and those on the left will be soon to follow. The revolution has only just begun.
Meanwhile, the media and the Democratic party are busily committing repeated acts of public self-harm.
I don’t want to minimize the very real possibility that President Trump sabotages himself, or the certainty that the feckless and confused Republican establishment does its best to sabotage him.
But right now mainstream American media is at its lowest point in the history of the last century, the Democratic party is about to rip itself into pieces in their primary season from hell, the last parts of the administrative state the Right respected are wholly discredited, and Donald Trump is basically bulletproof.
As a friend suggests, maybe we should rename the Democratic Party the “Committee to Re-elect President Trump.”
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.