July 6, 2017

Do "Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote"?

I just finished reading "The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote," by Sharyl Attkisson. About half way through I was saying "This book would make a lot more sense if Hillary Clinton had won the election," because the  "shady" operatives Attkisson scrutinizes (notably David Brock) were working to elect Hillary, and Trump was on his own, making it up as he went along.

I imagine that Attkisson had already done the majority of the work that went into this book before she had to account for the fact that Trump won. The activities she describes are important to understand, but they don't "Control What You See, What You Think, [or] How You Vote," because Trump got elected.

We weren't limited to mainstream media, which are (as Attkisson describes in detail) passing along propaganda generated by political operatives. We could go to Trump rallies or watch them on YouTube. We could read Trump's tweets and retweet them. We could read and write on Twitter and Facebook and blogs (often ripping into the MSM propaganda). The "shady political operatives and fake news" were not controlling what we saw and certainly not what we think or how we vote. That's what they wanted to do, and they threw (and are still throwing) a fit that we didn't restrict ourselves to the propaganda they wanted to feed us, but in 2016, more and more people decided what MSM were serving is toxic.

It's still very useful to read Attkisson's account of how those people operated. It worked to some extent, it might have worked if the GOP candidate had been anyone other than Trump, and it's important to figure out how it failed, because there will be efforts to re-rig the corrupt system to get it to work again somehow.

In the second half of the book, Attkisson does address how Trump beat the system that had seemed so formidable. Here's a sampling of how she incorporated the Trump phenomenon into the thesis of her book (and I think she did this much better than the book's subtitle suggests):
Wildcard is the name of a fictional superhero in Marvel comics. He was unpredictable because he didn’t have just one superpower. He could copy the superhuman powers of anyone else. It was impossible to foresee what he might be able to do from one moment to the next. He became mighty among men. Amid all the attacks, Trump proves as incalculable as Wildcard. A bully one moment, kindhearted the next. Brash and unapologetic. He’s savvy yet reckless, reliable only in terms of his unpredictability. There’s no way to accurately poll his popularity or place odds on his voter appeal.

He throws the whole “establishment” into disarray. His strengths and vulnerabilities fuse together and manifest as an erratic character that strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies; they cannot eliminate him because they can’t begin to understand him....

In fact, I think Trump was elected partly because of the smears. He was put into office by supporters steeled by criticism from Clinton, who had called them “the basket of deplorables... Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.” Seeing themselves mischaracterized in the news media, Trump’s supporters learned to view the media’s criticism of Trump with skepticism. With dislike for and distrust of the media so widespread, perhaps the most effective thing the press could have done to thwart Trump would have been to embrace him. But they just couldn’t see it...

If Democrats believe they can create and own an anti-fake news campaign and use it to crush Trump, they once again sorely miscalculate. Trump begins flagging incidents of what he views to be fake news in the mainstream media. To an outsider, it almost looks like toddlers slinging peas at one another: as fast as reporters manage to call out Trump for supposedly committing fake news, he hits them back with his own examples of their supposed false reports. Pretty soon, Trump has effectively co-opted the phrase. At a news conference on January 11, 2017, CNN reporter Jim Acosta tries to ask a question and persists when Trump doesn’t call on him. “You are fake news,” Trump declares, pointing a finger at Acosta. “It’s all fake news. It’s all fake news,” Trump tells reporters at a February 16, 2017, news conference. A week later, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he tells the cheering audience, “I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake.”

The wild card.

173 comments:

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Leftists only know how to rig, cheat, and lie. It's what they do. It's in their DNA. We see it now with the left's coordinated scream about how the GOP's health plan will literally kill millions of people.

David Begley said...

"because there will be efforts to re-rig the corrupt system to get it to work again somehow."

On the job! That's what all of the fake news about collusion with Russia and Trump was all about. Fake news got Mueller appointed and the investigation has begun. Investigations!

rhhardin said...

Trump isn't unpredictable or wild card. He's doing what normal people do.

The commentators are thinking soap opera women. Only commentators and soap opera women are surprised by Trump. The didn't know they were so far out of normal.

rhhardin said...

The false narrative is that normal people are far out of the mainstream.

Ralph L said...

The MSM has been parroting "horrors" handed to them by the plaintiff's bar for decades, probably beginning with Ralph Nader in the 60's.

It isn't just that they're biased, most are lazy, too.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Soap opera men heart Trump. He's normal, but w/ cleaner carpets.

btw- speaking of healthcare and the left's giant lie sold to us by the left and their media:

"The ACA includes a penalty on employers that fail to provide “adequate” insurance for full-time workers. Thanks to the ACA, hiring the 50th full-time employee effectively costs another $70,000 a year on top of the normal salary and benefits.

Many business owners have described how this penalty prevents them from hiring and has caused them to reduce work hours to below the full-time threshold. ACA supporters dismiss these statements as “mere anecdotes” not corroborated by national sampling and statistical analysis. But did any of them rush out to gather the national samples, especially after Jan. 1, 2016, when the employer penalty took full effect?"

How Many Jobs Does ObamaCare Kill?

Ralph L said...

The Soviets didn't know how to react to Reagan's unpredictability, and right off the bat they were impressed by his strength/stubbornness during the PATCO strike.

rhhardin said...

Soap opera men are into math and physics.

traditionalguy said...

Live by Old Media's arrogant false narratives, and you die by a weaponized false narrative killer championed by DJT and a vast internet New Media supporting cast. It turns out the Old Media are the ones who are stupid as shit.





rhhardin said...

Soap Dish (1991) was good.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Soap Opera men post nonsense on blogs.

rhhardin said...

The old media are into making money, and in news only soap opera women will watch, so that's what you get. It can't change or they go out of business.

The best you can do is drive them out of consideration as serious people and move public debate elsewhere.

It's the entertainment choice of soap opera women, is all.

Danno said...

Although a President has the bully pulpit, it doesn't work very well for a conservative with today's media jackals. So Trump uses a newer social media tool, Twitter, to go around the media and "tweet like a bird" while dropping birdshit on them as he passes.

Hagar said...

It would have worked just fine with anyone but Trump as the Republican candidate.
It still works. Just listen to them when a "reporter" asks them a question about GOPeCare!

rhhardin said...

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/13/nyregion/diana-s-death-resonates-with-women-in-therapy.html

Great NYT story by Jane Gross.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Creating news/a narrative:

Nooses are showing up in DC. Why do these things always happen in the most leftwing cities?
Anyway, so the news created is that its Trump's fault. If someone points out that these things are almost always fake hate crimes, they say "no, they are never fake hate crimes. The SPLC tells us so".

Laslo Spatula said...

We can seek out different pictures than those provided by Elite Media, but they are still ever-present, like Wallpaper, covering every available surface.

Wallpaper on the walls, Wallpaper in the Airports, Wallpaper in the bars, Wallpaper in the scenes of movies and shows.

And you just can't paint over it.

From the Internet:

"Wallpaper is generally applied in rows, so when it's painted over, the seams where these rows line up will often show through the paint. In addition, most wallpaper is textured, some quite noticeably, and the patterns and textures in the paper may show through the paint. Finally, the moisture in the paint can loosen the wallpaper's adhesive, causing sections of the paper to bubble or detach from the wall..."

We are mere Renters in Society: we are not allowed to remove the Wallpaper: our Landlords won't allow it.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Iowahawk says the media should step back and consider who is the laser pointer and who is the kitten.

Mike Sylwester said...

How does Attkisson define the political expression smear?

I understand the expression to mean that political dirt on one person is smeared onto another person.

A good is example is how in every Presidential election, CNN smears dirt from David Duke onto the Republican Party's candidate. CNN reports that Duke intends to vote for the Republican candidate and then uses its televised interviews to ask the Republican candidate and all other prominent Republicans about Duke's intended vote.

In this manner, CNN smears Republicans with dirt from David Duke. In my memory, CNN has done this during every Presidential election in recent decades.

Of course, CNN is not the only entity that does this particular smear, but it is a prominent example.

This smear tactic reminds me of how Martin Luther King continually was smeared with dirt from Communists. If a Soviet newspaper praised King or if a Communist marched with King, then King was needled by his haters to denounce Communism publicly. That tactic was called "smearing Martin Luther King as a communist".

traditionalguy said...

Attkisson gives an historical report of the days when CBS was transitioning from investigative reporters to a Totally Obama Controlled Propaganda Shop. The power of Government imposed Propaganda memes is the Issue. She experienced its flowering. But it began with the Clintons Mafia. See, TWA Flight 800 by Cashill for the way this works. The base of it all is Presidential control over the FBI and the CIA.

Matthew Sablan said...

"With dislike for and distrust of the media so widespread, perhaps the most effective thing the press could have done to thwart Trump would have been to embrace him."

-- The problem is that they *did* embrace him, when he was a useful tool to wield against Republicans. Just like they did with Romney and McCain. Trump was just prepared for when they turned on him because that's what scorpions do, something neither of the two people I mentioned and would have preferred were able to do effectively.

Ralph L said...

Is it about time Bill Clinton decried "the politics of personal destruction" again?

MadisonMan said...

I'm reading a long book now, but will put this one on my list. I've stopped taking my work laptop home -- very liberating!

Nothing I've read in the past 8 months has made me sad that Hillary is not President.

Hagar said...

What Trump understands, and the GOPe does not, is that as long as he is the candidate they have to write about him, and he can to a large extent control what he gives them to write about. He does not have to play their game.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Exactly. The media and Hillary wanted Trump, so they paved the way for him until he won the primary, only to turn on him as the campaign moved along. (not taking away all credit from Trump - Trump was saying the things many Americans were longing to hear.)

The manipulation calculation by the press/DNC was set.

rhhardin said...

Curiously,

jane gross
@janegross

Recovering New York Times journalist. Founder New Old Age blog. Author of A Bittersweet Season (Knopf/Vintage) Lecturer.


It did seem to me that the article would never be published in today's NYT.

bagoh20 said...

The left simply has no imagination. Although they can easily believe things that are not true, they cannot imagine what is possible when you embrace opportunity and possibility rather than force outcome. They don't understand the magic of freedom, real freedom.

Ralph L said...

he was a useful tool to wield against Republicans.
I was all but certain from the way the media covered him constantly before the primaries that he entered the race just to scuttle the Republicans' chances.

bagoh20 said...

I think she meant "schmear", but sometimes editors don't get your point.

rhhardin said...

I just bought four books of seminars of Derrida.

A vast amount of unpublished material published.

Tommy Duncan said...

About half way through I was saying "This book would make a lot more sense if Hillary Clinton had won the election..."

Shady media and politicians was the poison, Donald Trump was the remedy.

The left was fighting a conventional war. Trump was using asymmetrical warfare. Clinton wildly outspent Trump and lost. Trump used twitterkrieg.

Chuck said...

Do people really think that Donald Trump is bad for the mainstream media? That he is a MSM-killer?

Trump is the best thing that ever happened to them. MSNBC has gone from a cable news basement-dweller to challenging for Number 1:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/business/media/msnbc-rachel-maddow-andrew-lack-ratings.html

And speaking of the Times, their digital subscriptions are up 40%.

Trump Tweets are catnip for the mainstream media. Maybe, it is by design. I sure don't claim to know. It could be that keeping the whole country talking about Trump's Tweets distracts everybody from the subject of healthcare reform. Or not.

What is clear, is that Trump isn't doing anything, to "destroy" any mainstream media. (I don't like "MSM" as a broad category; we'll use it for the p.c./left-leaning broadcasters and newspapers.) If Trump has altered any media landscape at all, it has been to divide and diminish the conservative media. The Fox News Channel is now divided between its small group of real journalists (Chris Wallace, Bret Baier) and the monkey butlers like Hannity, Bolling, and "Judge Jeanine." The American Spectator is at war with itself. NRO; the WSJ editorialists; they are all divided.

rehajm said...

The left simply has no imagination

They certainly can't imagine resources are finite.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I was all but certain from the way the media covered him constantly before the primaries that he entered the race just to scuttle the Republicans' chances."

-- I'm almost 100% convinced that Trump, in part, entered it because of all the jabs he got from comedians and such, and even President Obama, and then once he was in, well, Trump never loses when he can win, and so he played for keeps.

I'm not a fan of Trump, but Trump played by the New Rules. Hell, even when he was given a soft ball like, "What do you like about Hillary?" he actually played nice and gave a good answer about traits he actually respects. He played the media perfectly, and I think that, more than anything, is why they want to destroy him.

Frankly, the media probably thinks they'll gin up enough anger that someone will primary him to split the Republican base -- but who would be dumb enough to do that?

Todd said...

rhhardin said...
Trump isn't unpredictable or wild card. He's doing what normal people do.

The commentators are thinking soap opera women. Only commentators and soap opera women are surprised by Trump. The[y] didn't know they were so far out of normal.

7/6/17, 8:08 AM


Sorry to break this to you but "they" still don't. That is part of what is driving them. The absolute knowledge that their [group] destiny was STOLEN from them by a band of deplorable. There MUST have been Russian involvement, how else to explain it? Sure there are always some (i.e. a few) right wing extremists out there but they are small and in the shadows. There is NO way there are enough of those "others" that actually think and feel "that" way to cause this current reality to be. So it MUST be the Russians! It absolutely CAN'T be that WE are mistaken in our beliefs and world view! Impossible! We have all of the credentials and all of the education and everyone WE know thinks this way and it just FEELS right! Damn those others (and the Russians)!

narayanan said...

Let me suggest and recommend "“Extremism,” or The Art of Smearing by Ayn Rand" as preparation and review/summation to readers - both before and after reading atkisson's.

Rand herself was victim of smear by National Review under Buckley.

lawyerdad said...

There are many valid criticisms to be made of the media, but the argument that the "mainstream media" works, lockstep, in support of Democrats or the left just makes no sense. What about Fox networks? Sinclair? WSJ? Countless conservative-leaning newspapers? They weren't working for Hillary. We've got a free market, and the media doesn't simply ignore conservative customers because every reporter and editor is trying to hide a liberal agenda.

Yes, many in the media clearly despise Trump. But consider that they do for the same reason half the country does: he is, frankly, a pretty disgusting person, and doesn't even try to hide it. For those who don't have the same political agenda he does, it's not so easy to overlook the coarse tweets, the juvenile name-calling, the pathetic fights with celebrities, the groping (or, at a minimum, the pride of having the power to grope). Most of us are looking for something to be proud of in our president, but he has only been giving us reasons to be ashamed. Just PRETEND to have some dignity, for God's sake!

Instead of convincing yourself that everyone in The (undefined) Mainstream Media is colluding to set the entire American population against Trump, and that the MSM is thus at fault for all of Trump's problems, consider the possibility that we should expect the bare minimum from our president--the one person with the power to temper this conversation.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Matthew S wrote..
I'm almost 100% convinced that Trump, in part, entered it because of all the jabs he got from comedians and such, and even President Obama, and then once he was in, well, Trump never loses when he can win, and so he played for keeps.

When Seth Myers cut Trump down, Trump sat in his seat - calculating. Bad move, Sethy boy.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There are many valid criticisms to be made of the media, but the argument that the "mainstream media" works, lockstep, in support of Democrats or the left just makes no sense. What about Fox networks? Sinclair? WSJ? Countless conservative-leaning newspapers?"

-- All of those you listed pale in comparison to the vast bias shown, universally, by other news agencies. Fox News was a reaction to that. Even if you consider that, Fox News routinely does a better job of presenting both sides than CNN and others. While Fox News has a stated, clear editorial bias, they are clear about it. CNN and NBC and ABC lie to you about their biases.

Chuck said...

lawyerdad:

Well said. Not only is there a very healthy and powerful anti-Obama, anti-Democrat, anti-Clinton, anti-liberal media industry; but Trump might owe his political existence to the Fox News Channel. (I happen to agree with Bill Kristol, in that Trump's formula for attention-seeking saw him getting help for MSNBC and CNN and others, for purposes of the GOP primary. But Fox was Trump's surrogate campaign communications wing.)

Snark said...

I haven't read the book so can't comment on it, but as an aside that might be interesting to some of the leftish persuasion there was an exposé-styled piece on Sinclair Broadcasting (who produces and broadcasts the author's Sunday show) on the last John Oliver Tonight. It was fascinating to me to contemplate the reach and impact of a company I had never heard of.

Matthew Sablan said...

Fox was Trump's campaign communications wing only in-so-far as the commentators there were not universally anti-Trump. There were some very vocal never Trumpers on Fox. It's kind of unfair to paint them as universally pro-Trump.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It was fascinating to me to contemplate the reach and impact of a company I had never heard of."

-- Isn't it amazing people are always able to find shadowy organizations whenever they need a boogeyman?

Big Mike said...

I've been considering buying this book (yes, Althouse, I'll use your portal) but can someone clarify something for me? What does Attkisson mean by "supposed fake news"?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

"There are many valid criticisms to be made of the media, but the argument that the "mainstream media" works, lockstep, in support of Democrats or the left just makes no sense. What about Fox networks? Sinclair? WSJ? Countless conservative-leaning newspapers?"


Fox is the grand example of the left's OMG! there's a news channel that isn't totally in the tank for the democrat party. Ban FOX!
Nothing holds a candle to the millions of eyeballs that watch the Alphabet channels. The alphabet channels are dedicated biased pro-democrat and anti-Republican. They are biased beyond repair.

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, WaPO, NYT, LaTimes etc...

(not to mention Glamour, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, Huffington Celebrity)

Chuck said...

Matthew Sablan said...
Fox was Trump's campaign communications wing only in-so-far as the commentators there were not universally anti-Trump. There were some very vocal never Trumpers on Fox. It's kind of unfair to paint them as universally pro-Trump.

And CNN has Jeff Lord. MSNBC has Hugh Hewitt; now being given his own show.

But I'll say this Matthew; it's a bit hard to find enough pro-Trump bodies from among the informed, educated, politically experienced commentariat. You can easily find liberals who hate Trump, and conservtives who hate Trump. It's a lot harder to find people shameless enough to defend Trump on a daily programming basis.

Hagar said...

The other thing Trump noticed was, of course, that the MSM is the only population group not immediately subject to criminal prosecution that stands lower in the public esteem than the politicians themselves.
Hence, being detested by and reviled in the MSM is a plus for him; not a negative.

Snark said...

"-- Isn't it amazing people are always able to find shadowy organizations whenever they need a boogeyman?"

There was nothing about the company that was presented as "shadowy". Perhaps what you meant was "I haven't seen the program so can't comment"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The "shady political operatives and fake news" were not controlling what we saw and certainly not what we think or how we vote. That's what they wanted to do, and they threw (and are still throwing) a fit that we didn't restrict ourselves to the propaganda they wanted to feed us

The world has shifted and the Media doesn't understand or refuses to acknowledge the change.

As many of us can remember, there used to be the Big Three in broadcasting. If you got more than three stations on your television by adjusting the 'rabbit ears' you were lucky. The national and world "news" was controlled, censored, filtered and regurgitated through a few stations, a few newspaper outlets. Sure..you got some unfiltered local news but not much else was unfiltered.

Everyone watched the same shows at the same time. Lawrence Welk right after the TV dinner on trays. Walter Cronkite told us how it is. If you lived in a city, you might have some access to an independent publication by some crazy wild eyed person or two. Everyone else, just ate up the pablum and didn't question it.

Then AM radio broke the wall a bit. The big big big change is the Internet. Young people have no idea how fantastic, revolutionary and enabling this is. Free and instant information. Communication with anyone anywhere in the world.

Trump was one of the first to really see and more importantly USE this potential means of communication. Bypassing the control of the media. Going around their censorship and communicating directly to the Public. A Public that is starved for actual unfiltered information. A public that is used to this type of communication.

The whining and pear clutching by the media isn't because Trump is a short fingered vulgarian. So what if he is? Many of us appreciate this and know people who are just the same.

The media is afraid that they have lost their power. Lost the ability to control the message, to suppress what they don't want us to know and to feed the pablum to the lumpen proletariat. They can no longer keep us in the dark and feed us the shit that they have in the past. TRUMP has broken through their wall and they are afraid, furious and lashing out like toddlers who have lost their favorite toy.

These furious children, while amusing to us and entertaining to see how easy they are to provoke, are dangerous. It is really time for a serious time out.

mockturtle said...

"Amid all the attacks, Trump proves as incalculable as Wildcard. A bully one moment, kindhearted the next. Brash and unapologetic. He’s savvy yet reckless, reliable only in terms of his unpredictability. There’s no way to accurately poll his popularity or place odds on his voter appeal.

He throws the whole “establishment” into disarray. His strengths and vulnerabilities fuse together and manifest as an erratic character that strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies; they cannot eliminate him because they can’t begin to understand him...."


She nailed it.

Rae said...

Watch the news long enough and you see the patterns of how and when and what gets covered. You can watch a news cycle form in real time, if you pay attention to twitter and the tubes at the same time.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The great thing about the Media getting all twitterpated about Trump's tweets and making them the headlines for weeks is, that many many people do not use Twitter. I don't and never will. Many had never heard of it at all.

But, when the pearl clutching media are going on and on about it, people get curious. If they have the ability, access to a computer, they check it out and are amused. Not the reaction the media wants.

The other issue is that the people who are "the media" are a closed group. All part of the same club, went to similar schools, have the same basic backgrounds and rarely if ever communicate outside of their insular bubble. Is it any wonder that they are surprised when their preferred tactics don't work? When their preferred candidate is rejected? When people reject their policies, ideas attitudes? Well.....there must be something WRONG with the people then. It surely can't be they themselves.

JAORE said...

"ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, WaPO, NYT, LaTimes etc...

(not to mention Glamour, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, Huffington Celebrity) "

Samantha Bee, all the other late night shows, Hollywood and many magazines that are not "news" magazines.

dreams said...

The media, the Dems, establishment Republicans and deep state bureaucrats are basically bubble baby liberals who have lost touch with the real world.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It's still very useful to read Attkisson's account of how those people operated. It worked to some extent, it might have worked if the GOP candidate were anyone other than Trump, and it's important to figure out how it failed, because there will be efforts to re-rig the corrupt system to get it to work again somehow.

Paging LifeLongRepublicans...LifeLongRepublicans to the white courtesy phone please.
["Any Republican would have beaten rotten ol' Hillary!" Just like terrific Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama, I guess.]

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Snark said...Was Atkinson being paid by the word? So much talking when "the man is a fucking sociopath" clearly would have sufficed. Or maybe "fucking malignant narcissit" if she was feeling expansive.

Good point; most national-level politicians are extremely well adjusted individuals--real salt of the earth folks.

Snark said...

"Amid all the attacks, Trump proves as incalculable as Wildcard. A bully one moment, kindhearted the next. Brash and unapologetic. He’s savvy yet reckless, reliable only in terms of his unpredictability. There’s no way to accurately poll his popularity or place odds on his voter appeal.

He throws the whole “establishment” into disarray. His strengths and vulnerabilities fuse together and manifest as an erratic character that strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies; they cannot eliminate him because they can’t begin to understand him....""

Was Attkisson being paid by the word? So much talking when "the man is a fucking sociopath" clearly would have sufficed. Or maybe "fucking malignant narcissist" if she was feeling expansive.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The progressive left-wing propaganda is built-into many mainstream alphabet channel television shows. All were hear from the left is - eeek scary Koch scary Murdock - but the real scary machine is the mega-corporate conglomerates that own hollywood.



Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

JAORE - yep.
Late-night comedy leftwing propaganda machine - yes - major part of "The Smear."
The smear is purposefully woven into pop culture, and it's no accident.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The world has shifted and the Media doesn't understand or refuses to acknowledge the change.

Saw a perfect example of this this morning. Chris Cuomo tweeting at ex-gov Huckabee he was fact poor because the guy they blackmailed had posted bad things. (I paraphrase.)

They cannot fathom that that is irrelevant. I think they honestly don't understand what the backlash is about. If I was Scott Adams I would say they can't understand it because doing so would conflict with the movie they have playing in their heads about how they are embattled good guys fighting the forces of oppression.

Fabi said...

"...hard to find enough pro-Trump bodies from among the informed, educated, politically experienced commentariat."

Lulz

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Oh, and DBQ has won the thread.

Dave from Minnesota said...

I think I posted this before, but……when I was a rather young lad I saved all the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinels (separate papers then) during the Milwaukee Brewers pennant run and World Series appearance in 1982. I came across these a couple of years ago while at my parent’s house.

I read through them. Wow, I had forgotten the intense hatred MSM had for President Reagan. It permeated all sections of the papers. National news. Local news. Editorials. Comics. Columnists. Even the sports section. Remember, this was before Rush, Fox News, internet of course.

It brought back memories. I recall Reagan giving a televised address….circa 1985 or 86…..explaining his central American policy and what the communist backed forces were doing. The next day the Milwaukee Journal did not print anything President Reagan said. They just noted that he gave an address on Central America. But then they printed the most of the Democrat response. That is the kind of information filter MSM exercised in the old days. You had to go to a newsstand and pick up a copy of National Review or Readers Digest if you wanted to read the other side of the story.

Snark said...

"Good point; most national-level politicians are extremely well adjusted individuals--real salt of the earth folks."

Blatantly personality disordered politicians at this level of power are not the norm. Few survive being in the orbit of a sociopath without some level of destruction and harm. The whole world is effectively in it, and it's a situation of great uncertainty and, for some, profound alarm.

(Also, sorry my original post appeared after yours. Sometimes I correct spelling mistakes by deleting and reposting if it is right away. Didn't quite make it this time.)

Sample Commenter said...

There are many valid criticisms to be made of the media, but the argument that the "mainstream media" works, lockstep, in support of Democrats or the left just makes no sense. What about Fox networks? Sinclair? WSJ?

Well, it's true that it doesn't make any sense if you don't actually think about it. Try this though, why not add up the total circulation of the WSJ, against the NYT, WaPo, LA Times, etc...

Then add up total views of Fox News vs NBC, CBS, and ABC.

Get back to us then.

Chuck said...

["Any Republican would have beaten rotten ol' Hillary!" Just like terrific Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama, I guess.]

No; and you stumbled onto something really important. Trump would not have beaten Obama. Never, ever, ever. Not a chance. Obama's black turnout -- completely lacking for Hillary -- would have won the day for him. Obama's black turnout was historic. Never in U.S. history, had black voter turnout equaled, and then exceeded, white voter turnout. But that is what happened in '08 and '12.

I expect that Democrats will learn an odd lesson from '16. They need to do more (more Obama-like appeal) to turn out their black votes. But what that does, without a mixed-race/black-Harvard lawyer-raised-by-a-white-family, is anybody's guess.

Sample Commenter said...

Few survive being in the orbit of a sociopath without some level of destruction and harm.

Exactly Snark! Look what has happened to the Democratic Party from their love affair with the Clintons!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

hard to find enough pro-Trump bodies from among the informed, educated, politically experienced commentariat.

According to whom? The guy that said the Constitution is outdated because its over 100 years old? The people that passed along the info that Benghazi was caused because some guy posted a video on youtube? Or maybe the people that assured us that we could keep our health plans if we liked them and premiums would go down and healthcare costs would be contained? That assured us that we would all get great new jobs in "computers" if we passed the NAFTA treaty? Thatn illegal immigration is not going to suppress wages? That once we had enough Republicans in the House and Senate that we could attempt to thwart Obama's agenda? That Trump couldn't win the Republican Primary? Couldn't win the Presidency? That he was lying to us and wouldn't attempt to fulfill his campaign promises?

The reason people don't trust the MSM or pundits or most politicians is because they have demonstrated that they are untrustworthy.

Fabi said...

Agreed Ron -- and Dust Bunny Queen has the best moniker in the entire blogosphere!

Sebastian said...

"It worked to some extent, it might have worked if the GOP candidate had been anyone other than Trump, and it's important to figure out how it failed, because there will be efforts to re-rig the corrupt system to get it to work again somehow." Correct.

Interesting times coming: the reriggers are very motivated, not just by their usual lust for power, but also by their righteous anger at being defeated by the clown from New York and his deplorables, while the anti-rigger/anti-MSM backlash has also grown.

Fabi said...

"I expect that Democrats will learn an odd lesson from '16. They need to do more (more Obama-like appeal) to turn out their black votes. But what that does, without a mixed-race/black-Harvard lawyer-raised-by-a-white-family, is anybody's guess."

My guess is Kamala Harris.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I read through them. Wow, I had forgotten the intense hatred MSM had for President Reagan.

I remember watching his funeral and you could tell the people in the MSM from the alphabet networks were shocked and dismayed by the respect and affection the crowd was showing. They thought they had destroyed him.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If I was Scott Adams I would say they can't understand it because doing so would conflict with the movie they have playing in their heads about how they are embattled good guys fighting the forces of oppression.

And you'd be right!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Chuck said: "I expect that Democrats will learn an odd lesson from '16. They need to do more (more Obama-like appeal) to turn out their black votes. But what that does, without a mixed-race/black-Harvard lawyer-raised-by-a-white-family, is anybody's guess."

My guess is Kamala Harris.

@ Fabi.

I am afraid you are right. Kamala Harris is most likely to be the next carefully chosen, groomed token to fit into the politically and demographic slot of minority, woman.

She is a joke as a lawyer and we should be very afraid if she were to become President.

Remember this. She voted NO on Gorsuch because: No on Gorsuch, because he rules on law & not feelings Feelings are above the law!!!! Be afraid.

Todd said...

rehajm said...
The left simply has no imagination

They certainly can't imagine resources are finite.

7/6/17, 8:47 AM


Depends on the resource. For the left, oil is finite and the economy is finite (zero sum game) but there is no limit to the level of taxation or minimum wage or other peoples money (until there is, that is).

Big Mike said...

I expect that Democrats will learn an odd lesson from '16. They need to do more (more Obama-like appeal) to turn out their black votes.

Which is why Trump has been appealing to the black community for votes. And right now the black unemployment rate is lower than it has been since August 2007 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). By contrast, at its peak under Obama, the black unemployment rate was more than 9 points higher.

I'm surprised you're unaware of this, as you appear to be on top of so many statistics that are vastly more obscure.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I too remember the hatred the media had for Reagan - which is why it is now humorous to see them hold him (and Dubya) up as "good Republicans" and models of civility.

Republicans become "good" only when they are out of office and no longer wield power. The GOP Congressmen and women who still try to suck to the media should have learned that lesson a long time ago.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The media hatred of Reagan is a good reminder. It's a good reminder that the pro-D liar Stalinist hacks are long overdue for this delicious comeuppance.

Chuck said...

My guess is Kamala Harris.

I think that is a very good guess. Better and better all the time. And she is actually a good facsimile of Obama. Indian mother/Jamaican father, parents divorced, then time in Montreal (not Kenya). Steeped in leftism; Cal-Berkeley Boalt Hall Law. And just a short period of left-wing votes as a Senator in a fast career in federal politics.

She'd be horrific as president. Worse than Obama. I'd vote for Trump over her.

Ron Winkleheimer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Winkleheimer said...

An additional thought concerning people not trusting the reporters, pundits, politicians, etc. because they are untrustworthy.

Before the internet they could hide that. How would you know? They weren't going to tell you.

I remember a lecture I heard regarding information assurance from a woman who told us how she got into the field. She was public relations for a firm that did financial planning and other financial services. She got an emergency call because the local news was reporting that documents from the firm holding personal information about the firm's clients, such as income, debt, that sort of thing were unsecured and blowing around in the wind in the downtown area. Long story short, the documents were training material. And it was obviously training material because the names of the clients were Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and other Loony Tunes characters. So, she went to the news station and asked them to set the record straight. Nope. Cause financial firm fails to safeguard clients confidential records is a news story. That the local news station broadcast something that was at best misleading is not.

Chuck said...

Which is why Trump has been appealing to the black community for votes. And right now the black unemployment rate is lower than it has been since August 2007 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). By contrast, at its peak under Obama, the black unemployment rate was more than 9 points higher.

I'm surprised you're unaware of this, as you appear to be on top of so many statistics that are vastly more obscure.

Trump's appeal among black voters is like most things, a total figment of Trump's furtive imagination. His approval numbers (not even willingness to actually vote for him, but simple job-approval) among blacks is something like 13%, right?

Trump got something like 8% of the black vote. Better than Romney, but of course Romney was running against BlackLordJesus. An unfair comparison, for Romney. But altogether terrible.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Chuck

You get those numbers from the same people who said the polls showed that Trump was going to lose?

BrianE said...

The characterization of middle America as "the basket of deplorables... Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it", didn't begin with Hillary.

Had she avoided this characterization, she might not have lost the rust belt.

But she had no choice. She had to maintain her grip on the leftist base. They are a particularly vicious group and needed constant affirmation that she was one of them.

Achilles said...

"Was Attkisson being paid by the word? So much talking when "the man is a fucking sociopath" clearly would have sufficed. Or maybe "fucking malignant narcissist" if she was feeling expansive."

Brilliant. This perfectly encapsulates the arguments on the left. It is the go to when they encounter cognitive dissonance.

Richard Dolan said...

"That's what they wanted to do, and they threw (and are still throwing) a fit that we didn't restrict ourselves to the propaganda they wanted to feed us, but in 2016, more and more people decided what MSM were serving is toxic."

True, but still quite an amazing revolution. Sometimes it pays just to stop and pause, to consider where we've been and where we're going. Once a large section of the population rejects the once-dominant narrative as "the propaganda they wanted to feed us," it's pretty clear that the glue holding the larger community together has already started to give way. The key is what it gives way to, since tearing-down is always easier than building-up. It's very hard to have a cohesive community if the members of it cannot even agree on what they are looking at. Finding the words to describe the reality we all inhabit is harder than one might imagine, especially when you remember that those words have to ring true even to the purveyors of all that toxic propaganda (a description they are quite likely to think describes your views rather than theirs).

Fabi said...

I big time agree with DBQ and Chuck -- she would be horrendous, and they are grooming her hard.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I find it amusing that people who supported Hillary accuse Trump of being a sociopath.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
I big time agree with DBQ and Chuck -- she would be horrendous, and they are grooming her hard.

Actually, didn't Sen. Feinstein just this week say about a Harris presidential candidacy, "But she just got here!"?

It's true. But Barack Obama had just gotten there too.

Achilles said...

Kampala Harris would be good against the deep bench.

She will be bad against Trump.

Ray said...

Advertising is moving to the net. MSM is supported by advertising. Newspapers are dying with lots of layoffs.

Drudge, Breitbart, etc are growing and are much more conservative than Fox.

Trump is hitting the MSM's credibility, and this will impact their ability to influence and change the culture.

Bannon I understand is focused on the culture war challenge.

My forecast is we will all be surprised by the impact of Trump on the direction of the US culture by the time he ends his term of office.

rhhardin said...

Choose the sociopath less taken.

Sample Commenter said...

a total figment of Trump's furtive imagination

Trump's imagination may be a lot of things, but it's not "furtive."

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I will be greatly surprised if the Democrat nominee is not Kamala Harris.

I think the establishment strategy is to obstruct Trump as much as possible, get him out of office early if possible, if that cannot be done try to prevent him from running for reelection. Because they want to run a woman minority against Pence.

Pence appears to be a nice, normal guy who really lives his faith. He would get creamed. Nice, normal guys are not what is needed at the moment. Was Patton a nice normal guy?

Jack Wayne said...

"Instead of convincing yourself that everyone in The (undefined) Mainstream Media is colluding to set the entire American population against Trump, and that the MSM is thus at fault for all of Trump's problems, consider the possibility that we should expect the bare minimum from our president--the one person with the power to temper this conversation."

This was one of Obama's favorite tropes - "We're better than that." But consider this - to be better than human is to be superhuman. Which means to be inhuman. I've had enough of Presidents like Bush and Obama who pretended to be better than that. They were mannequins, they were inhuman. I like our human President just fine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Chuck

See.....it isn't beat up on Chuck "all" of the time :-D

(/pats Chuck on the back for making points without Trump bashing)

Achilles said...

Malala Harris is a rich target for someone who actually wants to beat her in an election.

Chuck said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
@Chuck

You get those numbers from the same people who said the polls showed that Trump was going to lose?

Fuck off. It was Gallup, just a couple of months ago, that polled Trump's job approval among blacks at 13%. I forget who pegged Trump's 2016 black vote at 8% but that number has never been much in doubt.

And the pre-election polls for Nov. '16 were pretty much right. Within the margin of error. Clinton had a 3-4 point lead nationally. (Final result was Clinton by 2.1%)


Dave from Minnesota said...

"I expect that Democrats will learn an odd lesson from '16. They need to do more (more Obama-like appeal) to turn out their black votes. But what that does, without a mixed-race/black-Harvard lawyer-raised-by-a-white-family, is anybody's guess."

Obama was the ultimate Democrat candidate for today's Democrat party. In October of 2008, I stopped in a liquor store in a black part of Des Moines, and there was a voter registration table set up. The black people thought he was one of them (vs a guy who just had black skin because his mother was banging a Kenyan foreign student 9 months before he was born).
But he was....what was the line? Clean shaven, well spoken? He is skinny and has a great voice. So the white folk love him too. People that wouldn't be caught dead going to a Juneteenth day event in the "scary part of town".

And very liberal. A lefty who pledged to "fundamentally change America". See Sotomayer.

M Jordan said...

Sharyl Attkisson was the only person to appear on Fox News so-called All-Star panel and correctly call Trump as the next president. She did it twice when no one else was even giving him a chance. I recall a gasp when she threw all her Candidate's Casino money on Trump, the only person to do it in the entire election cycle.

She saw what the "pundits" couldn't see bcause of their bias blinders. She won my admiration as a result.

Chuck said...


Trump's imagination may be a lot of things, but it's not "furtive."

I can't recall when I have been corrected any better, or any more cleverly, than this. Well played.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Ron W, correct.

Bush 43 won primarily due to bad Democrat candidates. Especially Kerry.
2008...Republicans ran a partially disabled war hero who was very moderate. Got beat.
2012...Republicans run a boy scout who would be a great administrator (vs political animal) and got beat.

Imagine quiet reserved Pence debating a SJW with 2 or more checkboxes promising free college, free health care, free money to women (by going after businesses).

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Please note, I did not insult or attack Chuck in any way. I merely asked him a question. A question he had a perfectly reasonable answer to.

I would reply to Chuck that a 13% approval rating (if correct) is not the whole story. As TEH DONALD demonstrated, the Presidency is won in the electoral college. So, measuring his approval rating in rust belt states after a couple of years would be more useful than declaring he has a 13% approval rating after four months in office.

But he told me to "fuck off" so I won't.

dbp said...

Nothing vexes like cheating and still losing.

This explains the MSM temper-tantrum that has been on-going since election day.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I recall a gasp when she threw all her Candidate's Casino money on Trump, the only person to do it in the entire election cycle.

Ann Coulter predicted Trump would be the next president right after he declared while she was on Bill Maher's show. Maher and the other guests laughed at her.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Not sure how this comes into play, but both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Washington Post recently had guest columnists write about how the Democrat party needs to tone down the far left activism if they want to win. Things like men in the women’s bathrooms. Free college for all. The was on the Little Sisters of the Poor. Really only the most liberal and in-your-face policies.

The response in the comments? Holy F. No. The Democrat activists are bent on moving the party as far left as possible. One said that Sanders and Warren are actually Eisenhower Republicans. +
You could say this is good (for conservatives and libertarians) as it would make it hard for them to get elected. I say its bad as Democrats will get back in power. And the next time it will be these people.

Chuck said...

And I gave you the fucking answer to your fucking question, Ron.

You get your question from the same people who think that Trump had the biggest electoral win since Reagan?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/02/16/reporter-called-out-president-trump-his-faulty-electoral-college-math/KHswU4UHapBvLjLgemBt7M/story.html

Matthew Sablan said...

"Actually, didn't Sen. Feinstein just this week say about a Harris presidential candidacy, "But she just got here!"?"

-- And Bill Clinton thought Obama should be getting them coffee.

Robert Cook said...

"Leftists only know how to rig, cheat, and lie. It's what they do. It's in their DNA. We see it now with the left's coordinated scream about how the GOP's health plan will literally kill millions of people."

Hahaha! Don't ever pretend political skullduggery is ever limited to any one political party. People will think you're lying or a child.

As to whether the GOP's misnamed "health plan" will "literally kill millions of people," that seems an exaggeration. Tens of thousands per year is more likely. After all, that's how many people per year were estimated to die in America each year for lack of health insurance before the ACA was passed. Even though the ACA was a corrupt handout to the health insurance companies, it did help thousands of people who could not get insurance before get insurance, and so to the degree it has mitigated unnecessary deaths, it has done a good job.

Now we need to implement national health insurance for all.

Dave from Minnesota said...

R Cook, and it caused me to ring up thousands of dollars of credit card debt as I was buying my own health insurance until very recently. Obamacare ordered me to purchase a Cadillac health plan that covered all sorts of things I didn't need nor want:

-mental health coverage
-inhome care
-free birth control pills
-abortion coverage

Chuck said...

Bush 43 won primarily due to bad Democrat candidates. Especially Kerry.
2008...Republicans ran a partially disabled war hero who was very moderate. Got beat.
2012...Republicans run a boy scout who would be a great administrator (vs political animal) and got beat.

Bush 43 ran against ordinary Democrats. And had the advantage of much of the nation not wanting a third Clinton term, in 2000.

McCain and Romney had the misfortune to run against BlackLordJesus. McCain in particular had to run as something other than a third Bush43 term, like Al Gore tried in 2000.

I have never thought it useful to navel-gaze about what McCain should have done or what Romney could have done. Romney is the Best President We Never Had. The big problem was losing 60 Senate seats to the Dems in 2000.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Even though the ACA was a corrupt handout to the health insurance companies, it did help thousands of people who could not get insurance before get insurance, and so to the degree it has mitigated unnecessary deaths, it has done a good job."

-- How can you tell what people were saved due to the ACA, what people suffered due to losing money, what people suffered due to losing their doctors/preferred plans? Especially given that many of the penalties were pushed off, while the advantages moved forward, so any data you draw is inherently biased, sort of like trying to determine any rate, and artificially limiting the window to the most beneficial to the argument you want to make.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Chuck, I recall watching a McCain - Obama debate (the first one I think). McCain did horribly. He looked like an old man who had never debated a political foe before. He said his rehearsed lines and was not able to counter Obama's assertions. Obama came across as an internet troll. But a well spoken one.
I could have done a much better job than McCann did.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump isn't unpredictable or wild card. He's doing what normal people do."

You're kidding right? But then, maybe not. Many people, "normal" and not-normal, are childish, impulsive, short-sighted, self-serving, ignorant (and ignorant of what they're ignorant of), and foolish. Maybe Trump is doing what normal people do.

readering said...

I'll wait for the paperback when she updates to include targeted Russian fake news efforts that appear to have done the trick.

Matthew Sablan said...

"He looked like an old man who had never debated a political foe before."

-- McCain made the same mistake he made with Reid; he assumed that because he respected the other person, they respected him.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'll wait for the paperback when she updates to include targeted Russian fake news efforts that appear to have done the trick."

-- This sentence is unclear; it sounds like you believe that the targeted Russian fake news did the trick, but Trump is still president and won the election, so clearly, Hillary Clinton's campaign talking point about Russian interference failed.

Gahrie said...

Now we need to implement national health insurance for all.

Then what? Free internet because the internet is a right? Free cable television because cable television is a right?

When do we skip ahead to soma?

Robert Cook said...

"R Cook, and it caused me to ring up thousands of dollars of credit card debt as I was buying my own health insurance until very recently. Obamacare ordered me to purchase a Cadillac health plan that covered all sorts of things I didn't need nor want."

If that's true--and I don't understand how ACA could compel someone to buy a cadicallac plan--that's the part of ACA that makes it a corrupt handout to the health insurance industry.(No surprise, since it was cooked up originally by the conservative Heritage Foundation, and first implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts).

That's why national health insurance is needed, to remove these financial burdens from citizens and employers alike. (No, I'm not under the misapprehension national health insurance is "free," I know it's paid for out of our taxes--just like the military, whose budget is bigger than nearly all the other countries in the world combined--so we will not really notice it in the way we do when we must pay premiums and co-pays and so on and on.)

Gahrie said...

But then, maybe not. Many people, "normal" and not-normal, are childish, impulsive, short-sighted, self-serving, ignorant (and ignorant of what they're ignorant of), and foolish.

Sure are. Around here we call them Democrats.

Robert Cook said...

"Sure are. Around here we call them Democrats."

Yep. And around here they're also call Republicans.

Anywhere you go they'll have different names and affiliations, but if they're people, they're going to be people, unfortunately.

cubanbob said...

Chuck I make three predictions today; Harris will be the next AA Democrat candidate ( a reboot of their last success), you will reluctantly vote for Trump and the Black Perfect Storm voter turnout that Obama had will not be reprised.


tcrosse said...

There must be a whole slew of manuscripts in desk drawers with titles like "How Hillary Won the White House". Think of all the President Hillary childrens' books that will never see print.

Chuck said...

cubanbob said...
Chuck I make three predictions today; Harris will be the next AA Democrat candidate ( a reboot of their last success), you will reluctantly vote for Trump and the Black Perfect Storm voter turnout that Obama had will not be reprised.

I am glad that they are only predictions. (They are eminently reasonable predictions.)

Because if they were proposals for a bet, I will flatter you by saying that I wouldn't take the opposite side of that bet.

Martin said...

I am about halfway through the book--which is really journalism, not academic research, and must be taken on its own terms.

While Atkisson spends a LOT of pages on David Brock, she is clear that the smears and astroturfing and lies come from both directions. She mostly confirms what I had already concluded--everything you read or see is planted by somebody, for the purpose of manipulating you emotionally, mostly to be angry, to give money, to participate in flame wars. EVERYTHING.

She lays out the predicates--national political journalism is now all about reporters, editors and publishers ingratiating themselves to sources, who will feed them stuff based on knowing the media will play it as desired. That is how one succeeds in one's career, and the obverse is that if one is fair and balanced no sources will give you anything because they don't trust you to play it as intended.

All the incentives are for the media to be whores to their sources, which they have clearly and inarguably become. So, for example, Chuck Todd's wife being a big Democratic consultant is not an ethical problem for him or his employer. Rather, it confirms to Democrats and his employer that he is a reliable avenue to plant stories, so he will continue to be given material. Thus, to talk about journalistic ethics and integrity as we used to understand it is completely beside the point.

As such, I now do not follow the minute-by-minute "news" lies nearly as much as I used to. I can check in a couple of times a day, at a few places on the Internet that I don't exactly trust as much as I think I know their agendas so I can discount what they say and by comparing those with different agendas, maybe approximate reality.

I would suggest that the "smear merchants" and astroturfers really do CONTROL almost all of what you get in the media--but people are developing filters such that controlling the message does not necessarily mean they control YOU.

Which brings me to Trump's election... the media memes were so utterly wrong and disconnected with reality that people in flyover country stopped taking them seriously.

Or to Groucho's question, "Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" they started to answer, "My own eyes, f**k you very much."

Then, post-election, the media did not think through what had happened and why they could not control the electorate, and respond by trying to re-establish their authority, but doubled down on the strategies that had just failed.

Now, it seems much of the political/media/chattering class, both sides but much more the Left than the Right, is having a psychotic break. CNN is Patient Zero.

Parenthetically, I will add that it appears that the Democratic/media strategy has been to goad Trump into missteps, and the way he handled firing Comey may have been evidence they were beginning to succeed. But the recent CNN cock-ups, in particular, seem evidence that Trump is trolling them right back via his tweets, and having his own successes.

Robert Cook said...

"...both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Washington Post recently had guest columnists write about how the Democrat party needs to tone down the far left activism if they want to win."

Oh, brother! I'd hardly say the Dems are exuding any sort of "far left activism," much less excessively so. The reason Dems are losing is because people don't believe them. The Dems may make mildly inclusive and progressive promises, but they never deliver. They govern as Republicans, serving the wealthy elites and shitting on the people they claim (and promise) to help. (Hillary is more right wing at heart than Bush, I'd bet!) Obama was an Eisenhower Republican, though with less substance than Eisenhower. The Dems need to tone down their lies, hypocrisy and obvious devotion to their rich masters.

The Dems have impeached their own credibility with their transparent dishonesty. They will start winning again when they demonstrate they will fight for what they promise they'll fight for, or when the ruin brought on by the Republicans is so apparent that voters will say "fuck it!" and take their shot with the Dems again.

Frankly, both parties are bankrupt of ideas and integrity and serve as butlers to the elites who own the country.

n.n said...

they don't "Control What You See, What You Think, [or] How You Vote," because Trump got elected

They do but with progressive returns. The multidecadel effort to manipulate perception forced saturation and strained credulity.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed...

Snark said...

"Brilliant. This perfectly encapsulates the arguments on the left. It is the go to when they encounter cognitive dissonance."

No. It's not a political argument in any sense. Sociopathy has a well defined set of defining attributes and Trump has a decades long public and private record with which they can be compared. Implying it is a political argument is the political argument.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I really don't understand why Chuck is so upset with me. It is a puzzlement.

Dave from Minnesota said...

R Cook....I disagree. Lets use one example. California is banning state travel to South Dakota because SD is allowing Catholic Charities to refer homosexual couples to other adoption agencies instead of doing homosexual adoptions themselves. Or actually what would happen is Catholic Charities would shut down. Democrat run California considers the world's largest charity to be a hate group because of the above.

Now, should we talk about the boy who was using the girls locker room in Virginia Minnesota. Dancing around in front of the little girls, lifting his skirt up and grabbing his penis in front of them? The school superintendent said there is nothing they can do about it due to Obama rules.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The school superintendent said there is nothing they can do about it due to Obama rules."

-- They may be forced to allow someone into a restroom based on their declared gender, but the school could punish them for lewd behavior. If one of the little girls was being vulgar and upset the others in there, there'd be punishment. This sounds like the school superintendent is looking for an out and grabbing a convenient excuse.

Sample Commenter said...

Sure Snark, we get it, liberalism is the One True Faith.

William said...

The first six months of the Trump presidency has been successful, but his poll numbers do not reflect that fact. The constant battering he takes from the media has had an effect. I think most people approve of the actions Trump has taken and the personnel he has appointed, but they still feel there's something disreputable about the man.......One discounts the cable news stations in the same way one discounts the commercials. It's the product placement that gets you. Political correctness permeates every movie, sitcom, crime drama , and late night comic you see. There are some exceptions, but the MSM controls most of the pulpits, megaphones and whipping posts in our society. I wonder how things will go for Trump when he sets forth a policy or initiative that proves to be a failure.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Matt...that is my impression. The most common phrase said by a school principal or Super is "we may get sued", and last year transgendered trumped women's rights.

There was a lawsuit (on behalf of the girls), but I believe after the November election the boy was removed from the locker room.
What I found most amazing is how this story was barely reported.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "And the pre-election polls for Nov. '16 were pretty much right. Within the margin of error. Clinton had a 3-4 point lead nationally. (Final result was Clinton by 2.1%)"

The pre election polls were a joke because...we don't have one Nationwide vote.

We have individual state votes, which Trump and his team understood.

I love how the schmucks who got everything wrong, everything, just a few months back are attempting to reposition themselves as "experts" again.

The reasons you were wrong before are the reasons you are wrong now and, since you have demonstrated no ability to adapt to any of the new realities, you will be wrong again in the future.

As Noonan wrote, we are being condescended to by our inferiors.

Todd said...

Snark said...
"Brilliant. This perfectly encapsulates the arguments on the left. It is the go to when they encounter cognitive dissonance."

No. It's not a political argument in any sense. Sociopathy has a well defined set of defining attributes and Trump has a decades long public and private record with which they can be compared. Implying it is a political argument is the political argument.

7/6/17, 11:48 AM


Sorry but wrong. It IS a political argument because the "field" that describes the condition is political. All fields are to some degree but the "softer" sciences are more susceptible because the foundational facts are less facts and more "current understanding" and the evaluation of these facts and understandings is left to mere humans (with their own biases) to assess.

2 + 2 is 4. That is a fact. Whether someone is or is not a sociopath often can not be determined with ABSOLUTE certainty due to the nature of the evaluator, evaluatee and the actual "evaluation".

Drago said...

Martin (from above): "Which brings me to Trump's election... the media memes were so utterly wrong and disconnected with reality that people in flyover country stopped taking them seriously.

Or to Groucho's question, "Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" they started to answer, "My own eyes, f**k you very much."

Then, post-election, the media did not think through what had happened and why they could not control the electorate, and respond by trying to re-establish their authority, but doubled down on the strategies that had just failed."

Precisely.

Drago said...

Snark is just a few decades behind the last few waves of leftists abusing psychiatry and science to label their political opponents insane.

There is no easier prediction to make and be proven correct than to assert the left will attempt to criminalize "wrong think" and abuse science to arrest political opponents.

Todd said...

Dave from Minnesota said...

What I found most amazing is how this story was barely reported.

7/6/17, 12:20 PM


Why do you find that amazing? Half of the "news" business is determining what not to show/say. The other half is how to slant what they do have to show/say.

Had this been a trans-boy in the girl's locker room who was picked on by the girls, it would have been front page news. Because the story showed the "preferred" narrative in a bad light, smothered with a pillow.

Similar to how any story of a gun used for self-defense is either ignored, down-played, or twisted.

Can't have "just the facts" getting in the way of a good narrative...

Bill Peschel said...

Ann wrote: I imagine that Attkisson had already done the majority of the work that went into this book before she had to account for the fact that Trump won. The activities she describes are important to understand, but they don't "Control What You See, What You Think, [or] How You Vote," because Trump got elected.

It doesn't make Attkisson wrong. Trump won despite the smear campaign. We've seen repeatedly how the media thumbs the scales and wrecked campaigns.

Put it this way: It's like the argument that "money doesn't buy elections" because we can point to candidates who didn't win despite spending buckets of cash. But just to run effectively, you still have to have a goodly amount of money.

That means running to someone who's willing to give you money, who of course wants something back.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cook: and I don't understand how ACA could compel someone to buy a cadicallac plan--that's the part of ACA that makes it a corrupt handout to the health insurance industry.

In the sense that ALL of the Obamacare plans forced you to buy coverages that you didn't need, they are Cadillac plans. If you didn't buy you were fined....ooooops....I mean taxed.

With Obamacare you were no longer able to keep a rational catastrophic coverage plan which is really quite adequate for many people. As a person with no children, the likelihood of having a child LONG past, no illnesses, no prescriptions I had a high deductible,, low premium catastrophic plan that also covered a couple of wellness things, like an annual check up. I coupled that with an HSA account and put the money into it that I would have had to pay for a full coverage plan....and took a tax deduction. If I came down with a catastrophic illness, I would be covered and be able to supplement the out of pocket with the HSA. IF I don't get ill, I have an HSA which I could use later in retirement for medical or NONmedical purposes.

I agree about the corrupt handout to the insurance industry in some sense, However,the badly written and poorly implemented program literally bankrupted some insurance companies and because people decided they would rather not be insured the risk pool became heavy with the very sick and the very old.

Ted Cruz has a good idea. Allow companies who offer the "government approved" plan to also offer other choices......you know.....like we USED to have. Choice!!!! Wow! There is a novel idea.

Now if they would also allow us to have the ability to buy across state lines and have portability.

jwl said...

Nikki Haley will be first female president of United States.

Dave from Minnesota said...

DBQ...while I was doing independent contract work, I bought a bar bones coverage. I rarely get sick. I never go to a doctor. I figured in 2 or so years I'd be back in Big Corp world. If I got hit by a car, I'm covered. That's all I wanted.

By law I had to send a large amount of more cash to buy expensive health insurance. I understand we have a problem with healthcare in the US, but I don't think I should have to pay what was basically a tax to cover those with health problems.

Dave from Minnesota said...

To go with what R C and DBQ say, yes, I understand we do have problems with health insurance companies. That doing nothing isn't an option either.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Todd...correct. Media problems isn't so much false stories, but its what is emphasized and what is ignored. NYT putting Abu Ghrab on its front page for 34 consecutive days as a way to go after President Bush.

Or the Virginia Minnesota story that I mentioned above. Only 2 MSM outlets carried it. The Virginia paper, which played it straightforward and carried the facts (which make Obama and the boy look bad). And the very liberal Minneapolis paper, which played it as fundy parents trying to ban a transgendered from the "proper" locker room.

Snark said...

"Sure Snark, we get it, liberalism is the One True Faith."

Yeah. Because that's what I said. Great translation there Helen Keller.

Snark said...

"Snark is just a few decades behind the last few waves of leftists abusing psychiatry and science to label their political opponents insane.

There is no easier prediction to make and be proven correct than to assert the left will attempt to criminalize "wrong think" and abuse science to arrest political opponents."

Or you could educate yourself on the personality disorders in question, see that Trump almost certainly is among the estimated 1-3% of the population who can be described thus, and put some serious and credible thought into how that might impact the country and the world.

Seeing Red said...

Our country's military budget should be bigger than most other countries. We are bigger than most other countries. Some of our states are bigger than most other countries.

Seeing Red said...

And a couple have signed surrender agreements which constrain their spending.

Seeing Red said...

He's certainly having an impact.

So much winning!

He's better than the previous occupant.

Seeing Red said...

Your comments are so 80s Snark.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

exiledonmainstreet said...Republicans become "good" only when they are out of office and no longer wield power. The GOP Congressmen and women who still try to suck to the media should have learned that lesson a long time ago.

That's called "strange new respect." It can happen in a different temporal order, too: look at John McCain! He was a media darling--an independent-minded maverick!--for years as he criticized Republicans...right up until he became the Repub Presidential nominee, at which point he instantly became an old, unstable, out of touch, grouchy, dangerous, radical racist man. To his everlasting discredit he and his team apparently honestly believed the Media would treat him fairly based on his prior great relationship with the Media generally. Anyway now that he's regularly criticizing Trump the Media's back to puffing McCain up again.

Snark said...

"Your comments are so 80s Snark"

Thank you. Like Ronald Regan, my Althouse comments are perpetually the best of times.

https://youtu.be/LeYn_W14zTU

Seeing Red said...

Except you'd be right in the thick of it trashing Reagan.

Achilles said...

Snark said...

Or you could educate yourself on the personality disorders in question, see that Trump almost certainly is among the estimated 1-3% of the population who can be described thus, and put some serious and credible thought into how that might impact the country and the world.

What you and the media fail to realize is that you will not separate Trump from his supporters like this. It didn't work with Reagan and it wont work with Trump. They are different from other Republicans, and particularly the Bushes. When you attack Trump like this you attack us. You attack his supporters at the same time.

Not only that you alienate other sane people who do not support him but who will not countenance your tactics. They see the parallels between you and the Stalinists who labeled political opponents as insane. You people are not bashful about discussing re-education camps.

Long story short nobody is going to cry when the stalinists get wiped out.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Hoodlum on McCann. I knew a liberal gal. We paled around together in 1999-2001. Several times she said "if you guys would run John McCann, I'd vote for him". She even spoke almost affectionally about him.

We kept in contact and I reminded her about this in 2008. She got upset with me.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...That's why national health insurance is needed, to remove these financial burdens from citizens and employers alike. (No, I'm not under the misapprehension national health insurance is "free," I know it's paid for out of our taxes--just like the military, whose budget is bigger than nearly all the other countries in the world combined--so we will not really notice it in the way we do when we must pay premiums and co-pays and so on and on.)

You're wrong about the scope of the problem, Robert, but putting that aside I'd like to address your quick assertion that people will not "really notice" having to pay for "national health insurance." Even if that's true, that's not an argument for it! You want to say that our current military budget is much to large. Ok. Do people "really notice" what the military costs them, individually? No, of course not. Do people therefore demand that the government take all reasonable actions to minimize waste, fraud, and abuse in the military budget? No, they don't--they don't feel the cost directly so they don't have any incentive to support minimizing that cost.

This is one of the classic problems with socialist systems, Robert: when provision of a good is socialized the incentive of any individual person to economize (both in terms of their use of that good and the production of that good generally) is lost. If I don't know what it actually costs when I use the emergency room--because it costs me nothing, say--then why would I make an economically-rational (for the system) choice of when to use the emergency room and when not to? I'd just make a decision based on my own convenience.
If a national health insurance program just covers me, what incentive do I have to shop around, use the correct program/policy for my needs, etc? I just get the same coverage as everyone else, and none of us care what the costs or untilization rates, etc are...and we have little incentive to care if the program itself is working well (from an economic cost/benefit perspective) since we don't "feel" the cost directly.
Market prices serve a number of very important functions, and conveying information to all parties is one of the most vital of those. When you lose the market and you lose prices, you lose all of that information and you lose the incentives that information gives to individuals. The fat cat elites, your long-time enemies, get to make all the decisions and people won't be able to modify their own individual behavior in response to their own individual preferences (using cost, etc as a guide).

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Dave from Minnesota said...Hoodlum on McCann. I knew a liberal gal. We paled around together in 1999-2001. Several times she said "if you guys would run John McCann, I'd vote for him". She even spoke almost affectionally about him.

I would actually have voted for Webb (against Trump). Whatever that's worth.

donald said...

Ya know what's disgusting, not to mention evil? Using the apparatus of government to attack citizens for political purposes, just like Barack Hussein Obama used the IRS to attack American citizens.

Go fuck yourself lawyerdad you bag of human garbage. Mebbe you should get a little perspective.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

lawyerdad said...There are many valid criticisms to be made of the media, but the argument that the "mainstream media" works, lockstep, in support of Democrats or the left just makes no sense. What about Fox networks? Sinclair? WSJ? Countless conservative-leaning newspapers? They weren't working for Hillary. We've got a free market, and the media doesn't simply ignore conservative customers because every reporter and editor is trying to hide a liberal agenda.

What is the ideological makeup and/or party affiliation of journalism professors in American universities, lawyerdad? Same question for journalism students/majors. What's the percentage of those same groups that live in urban and/or "blue" cities vs not?

This particular bias problem has very little to do with Trump. The lack of Media objectivity has become more noticeable lately (under Trump), but the problem certainly preexisted Trump.

hombre said...

Chuck (channeling Schumer) wrote: "But I'll say this Matthew; it's a bit hard to find enough pro-Trump bodies from among the informed, educated, politically experienced commentariat. You can easily find liberals who hate Trump, and conservtives who hate Trump. It's a lot harder to find people shameless enough to defend Trump on a daily programming basis."

Is this the point at which the patronizing tone of the GOPe renders it pointless to attempt to distinguish their talking points from those of the seditious progressives or the leftymediaswine? I say yes.

Your blather is particularly ballsy on this site, Chuck, where it is likely that the vast majority of commenters are at least as well-informed, well-educated and politically savvy as you are, but are unencumbered by your narrow-mindedness.

antiphone said...

Go fuck yourself lawyerdad you bag of human garbage. Mebbe you should get a little perspective.

A little perspective indeed, "Donald".

antiphone said...

What is the ideological makeup and/or party affiliation of journalism professors in American universities, lawyerdad? Same question for journalism students/majors. What's the percentage of those same groups that live in urban and/or "blue" cities vs not?

Journalism professors are not exactly running the media. It might be more instructive to look at the group of "experts" who furnish the quotes on every subject that pops up in the news. Corporately funded think tanks get a big return on investment by maintaining a stable of television friendly talking heads to steer the conversation in whatever way protects their interests. In return the media outlet gets slick content quickly and cost effectively.

Drago said...

Snark: "Or you could educate yourself on the personality disorders in question, see that Trump almost certainly is among the estimated 1-3% of the population who can be described thus, and put some serious and credible thought into how that might impact the country and the world."

The entire left is dysfunctional.

Your time would be better spent explaining to your leftist idiot pals that they cannot alter their biology just because they "want to".

Robert Cook said...

"The first six months of the Trump presidency has been successful, but his poll numbers do not reflect that fact."

Perhaps the people are not perceiving his presidency to have been "successful" in these first six months. I think the people are on to something.

Seeing Red said...

It depends on what one wants out of him. I love the winning!

Seeing Red said...

The WSJ's editorial page may be conservative, but the rest of the paper isn't.

Seeing Red said...

It seems Robert hasn't read the latest article on Medicaid and Obamacare and cost.

Big Mike said...

I see that CNN's latest flub is to assert that the wife of Prime Minister Duda snubbed Trump when he extended his hand for a handshake.

Except she didn't. She had been moving towards Melania and shook Melania's hand before shaking Donald's.

So I will reiterate my question from 9:05: why does Attkinsson write "supposedly fake news"? Once one gets past the box scores in the sports section, is there anything we can trust to be objectively true?

tcrosse said...

Perhaps the people are not perceiving his presidency to have been "successful" in these first six months. I think the people are on to something.

President Trump has been very successful at not being Hillary Clinton. As for the polls, why is he not 50 points ahead, you might ask ?

Drago said...

Cookie: "Perhaps the people are not perceiving his presidency to have been "successful" in these first six months."

Thats why those "accurate" polls had Hillary at 97% chance of winning.

Perhaps the views of "the people" are not being accurately captured. Perhaps that's by design.

It's not like we have recent examples of that.

None at all.

antiphone said...

I will add that it appears that the Democratic/media strategy has been to goad Trump into missteps, and the way he handled firing Comey may have been evidence they were beginning to succeed. - Martin

I agree with a lot of what you say but Trump doesn't need any goading to make what you call missteps. He knows his audience and for him it's all professional wrestling. Professional wrestling doesn't require real competition, the underlying knowledge that it's fake gives the audience permission to indulge in fantasies of violence that would otherwise be psychologically repressed by their sense of morality.

Robert Cook said...

"Perhaps the views of 'the people' are not being accurately captured. Perhaps that's by design."


Keep hope alive, baby, keep hope alive!