I’m very confident saying that any “reasonably” intelligent person can see that the soon-to-be-former president is a pretty awful person. I’m also confident that I don’t even have to say what it is about him that I think is so terrible.
It’s really THAT obvious.
Soon, he’ll be out of office. Whether he will be gone from the political scene is another matter. I believe he’s too influential, and is too much of a narcissist to quit politics, but that’s a subject for another time.
Yes, Trump is a malignancy that will be difficult to excise, especially considering the extent to which his cancerous influence has spread through the country.
We may not be rid of him so easily, but there are still lessons to be learned. One of these is how we reckon with the way that the media has enabled Trump and helped spread his malignancy.
I’m not talking about Fox News, either. They’ve been so obvious, that they’re generally accepted as more a propaganda and entertainment channel than a news source. Nor am I talking about relative upstart OANN; that organization’s partisanship makes Fox News seem truly “fair and balanced.”
No, I’m talking about more mainstream organizations. Most of these, to some extent, have this strange idea that being fair means giving equal coverage to both sides of what they see as a philosophical difference. Whether you call it “bothsidesism,” or “false balance,” or whatever, it’s not fair at all.
Venerable institutions like the New York Times buried Hilary Clinton in 2016 with their relentless attacks (Maureen Dowd was the NYT’s Clinton assassin-in-residence), while Trump’s numerous flaws were given short shrift.
After the 2016 election, reputable news agencies continued to abet Trump’s horribleness. Whether it was through reporting his every vile tweet with bated breath, or airing his lie-filled press conferences, the so-called “mainstream media” normalized Trump’s insanity.
In the interest of showing “both sides,” the news outlets gave column space and airtime to vile personalities. The NYT gave editorial space to extremist points of view. CNN hired the execrable Rick Santorum as a political commentator. Pool reporters continually took Trump’s abuse with little or no pushback. Numerous atrocities were reported and forgotten as the media just moved on to the next story. And when it came to grotesqueries, with Trump, there was always a next story.
Why did they do it? Readership. Viewership. Access. Ad dollars.
The media failed. They failed to do their jobs. They failed their country.
Do not forget this.
There are plenty of things that I don’t like about the NFL. I’ve written about them extensively. One of the things that really irks me is how the media covers the league. I’ve written extensively about this, too.
Sports media organizations mostly ignore the worst aspects of the league, whether it be player misdeeds, organizational misconduct, player safety, what have you. Instead, they act like de facto cheerleaders for the league, hyping the product, and glossing over the warts.
Why do they do it? Readership. Viewership. Access. Ad dollars.
I don’t kid myself when it comes to the NFL. I know it’s awful. I watch it because I enjoy the games. Sometimes I have to plug my nose, so to speak, but that’s why I call this column “Hate-Watching…” and not “Happy NFL Fun Time.”
One thing I really hate is when the people broadcasting the actual games detract from my enjoyment. There are certain people who I absolutely dread seeing and hearing on my TV. Insipid comments. Self-glorification. Telling meaningless stories and ignoring the game. Missing plays. These things drive me nuts. I put up with a lot just to try and enjoy a football game or two or three on Sunday. DON’T RUIN IT FOR ME, NUMBNUTS!
Sometimes, I think I overreact to things like this. That’s why it was so affirming for me to hear Pat McAfee’s comments this week. Without going into too much detail, he’s frustrated too, and as a former player, that means something.
Here’s a tweet from McAfee that features a clip of his comments. (I’ll include a longer video below.)
Week Eleven Picks
Winners in Bold
Cincy at Washington
Atlanta at NO
Pittsburgh at Jax
NE at Houston
Philly at Cleveland
Detroit at Carolina
Tennessee at Baltimore
NYJ at LABolts
Miami at Denver
Dallas at Minnesota
GB at Indy
KC at LV
LAAries at Tampa