I pit the Mainstream Media Normalization of Donald Trump's Presidency

Saw an Associated Press article making the rounds this morning. You may have seen it at any one of the hundreds of outlets who picked it up. The headline of the story that encapsulates the first two years of the presidency - an administration rife with unfettered corruption and unprecedented turmoil - reads as follows:

Trump’s presidency has changed Washington, defied convention

:smack: :mad: :smack: :mad: :smack: :mad: :smack: :mad: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :smack: :confused: :rolleyes: :confused: :smack: :eek: :mad: :rolleyes: :confused: :eek: :smack: :smack:

This bile is just the latest and most egregious example of how the mainstream media, in the same nonsensical way it equated nothingburger butter emails and Trump’s many, many, many, many legitimate controversies (using the most charitable word possible), bends over backwards to normalize this presidency. Because despite having a news network that has zero objection to cheerleading and even leading the President by the nose, other mainstream media outlets seem incapable of handling a president who lies all the time (heaven forbid they come right out and say he lied about anything).

Even his recent trip to Iraq, he is hailed for literally the least he could do. He took two years to visit the troops. When he did so he lied to them about a pay increase, may have given away a covert Navy Seal deployment, broke the law in giving out MAGA hats, encouraged military personnel to break military regulations by wearing the fucking hats, politicized the event and gave a rambling response about the flight. It was a complete disaster of a visit. Yet some media outlets breathlessly give him an A+ merely for showing up somewhere other than Mar-a-Lago.

This presidency is a flaming shit show in every way. The media has an obligation to point that out. It does not have an obligation to normalize the behavior and actions of the president. It has an obligation to tell the truth about this flaming shit show, not candy coat it. It can say “Trump lied” when he lies. Fuck your hand-wringing, your false equivalencies.

And definitely fuck your stupid idea that being fair means that demonstrably false notions get equal standing with the inscrutable facts that counter them. We’ve seen it in climate change especially, and a scientifically illiterate nation feels confident that the uneducated oil-company shill’s views have just as much validity as a hundred scientific papers published by a thousand climate researchers.

Defied convention? Fuck off, AP. And take the rest of the mainstream media jackholes with you.

Oh and anyone who still thinks there is a “liberal media” can go to hell where Sean Hannity’s most punchable face will spout bovine excrement at you for eternity from within punching distance of his most punchable face but you are unable to punch it because your arms are as tiny as your brain.

Did you read any of the article beyond the headline?

Maybe it wasn’t as harsh as you wanted, but sometimes op-ed pieces strive to avoid bias and opinion and go with straight-ahead facts.

2nd para:

Conservative news outlets frequently use examples of liberal bias in their diatribes. I think this piece wanted to avoid being an example in an effort to get past the conservative thought process to automatically dismiss anything that looks like liberal whining. Remember, Trump won largely because of pushback against what’s perceived as liberal elitism.

He has a point though. The media DID enhance and assist and normalize and promote Trump every step of the way. He played them and abused them and they begged for more.

And too many of them still do (aside from those that are just his deliberate personal shills).

Beyond the title, that article is a scathing rebuke of Trump. It’s actually a pretty decent summary of some of the more egregious things Trump has done. It’s impossible to list all of the egregious things. It would take a book or several. But they list the myriad ways and the myriad arenas Trump has made the Office of the President less credible and less respectable, from the domestic stage to the international stage, from policy to social civility.

They even have a quote from Newt Gingrich which seems to question the necessity of the nastiness.

Given how things have turned out, that’s not a good reflection on Trump or his base.

With the amount of egregious things Trump says and does on a daily basis, it would be difficult to keep up the level of outrage without becoming less credible. I’m guessing he counts on that.

I’ve been watching some debates of people in the media who discuss whether giving Trump any attention is just adding to the crazy. While on the other hand, he is the President, and not covering him is not covering the news. They’re in a bit of a stalemate situation.

Sh*t Trump Says?

Candy-Coated Flaming Shit. Yum! Soon to replace Fruit Cake as the seasonal ‘Go-To’ confection.

Hilarious (or infuriating, depending on your view) review on that book at Amazon.

The reviewer claims to have bought the book on a $5 sale to perhaps leave out on the table for their Trump hating friends and relatives. But the person claims to be a harcore MAGA supporter and says the President is the “greatest”. He gives the book 5 stars. Interesting juxtaposition.

If Trump is fruitcake, we can regift him back to Putin. He can’t very well admit he gifted us Trump in the first place. :wink:

People don’t read past the headline, first of all.

Second of all, it did point out some negatives… But look how it couched them!

The lede: “Mr. Trump went to Washington. And he changed it.”

Well, mission accomplished then? For MAGAts that’s a feature, not a bug. “Changed” it? Quite a charitable way to say what he has actually done. Would they say a murderer “changed” hi victim? I mean, he did - the victim went from alive to dead. That is a change! But maybe there are more useful, less ambiguous words to use.

“In his first two years in office, President Donald Trump has rewritten the rules of the presidency and the norms of the nation’s capital, casting aside codes of conduct and traditions that have held for generations.”

That sure makes it all seem so noble, doesn’t it?

“Taking a wrecking ball to decorum and institutions, Trump has changed, in ways both subtle and profound, how Washington works and how it is viewed by the rest of the nation and world.”

Again, how is this critical? This is that bullshit “balance” at work.

“Trump himself believes his unpredictability is what holds Americans’ attention and fuels his success.”

Etcetera, ad nauseum.

And it says “fact-challenged” and “inaccuracies” when it should just say “lies” and “more lies.” The media just can’t say the president lies, a really small word that perfectly encapsulates Trump. They can’t call him a liar. No idea why.

Imagine if they wrote similar articles about Hitler (yeah, yeah, Godwin, bite me).

“He rose from earlier failures as an artist to become a powerful speaker… His methods were unconventional… He changed the way people view the world… And how about that cute mustache of his!”

Seriously, none of you read these things? Maybe your browser is broken or something? Maybe you’re numb to it all by now?

btw, there are places where people are trying to keep track of all the egregious stuff that’s going on. But it’s a monumental task in every direction.

There’s a subReddit called Keep Track where people try to log all the stuff that’s not normal. The amount of topics to keep track of is dizzying in itself. Check the sidebar for the partial list.

Then there’s a subReddit called TrumpCriticizesTrump where people post the current thing Trump has tweeted and the contradictory one where he has criticized that exact thing in the past. I don’t recall a day when I haven’t seen a contradictory one.

Probably for the same reason you can’t call someone a liar in the other forums. It’s difficult to prove prior knowledge and intent, and without that, it’s not factual. I’ve seen some stories where they have proved prior knowledge and used the word “lie”, but chasing down the prior knowledge, the intent and the possibility it might just be a memory lapse is not really worth the trouble.

If news services starting using the word “lie”, it would make for an interesting stat to see how many times in a newscast the word got used.
Safe to agree that he lies more than not? That would be a whole lotta “lies”, then.
I’d imagine that the only viewers who’d have a problem with such a development would be the slightly more obtuse ones whining about “MSM getting nastier and nastier by calling him a lying liar all the time now.”
It would also bring about, I’m sure, a significantly larger number of folks who are just plain fed up.

They should start making it worth the trouble much, much more often now, not just for journalistic veracity but also to just start waking people the fuck up.

One of the most thorough I’ve seen is Amy Siskind’s weekly list. The lists of the first year have been published in book form, and she also has a podcast for the list now.

She started it because, as she says at the start of every week’s list:

Hey guess what - THEY DID!!!

Click the link above to read the media quotes that normalized Hitler. My personal favorite is this one:

That was from the Washington Post in 1939. Honestly, how fucking different is that from how the media falls over itself to praise those moments when Trump clumsily does the bare minimum of what could be expected of a president?

Hitler was only a little racist. Trump “read from a teleprompter and wore a nice suit” so he’s presidential.

I mean, the journalism school at NYU seems to get it. This isn’t overly complicated.

I pit the normalization of irony meter abuse. :mad:


“…some historians believe Trump’s administration is the most corrupt since at least Warren Harding’s, of 1920s Teapot Dome fame.” Seems pretty, I don’t know, unfettered.

Oh again.

Unprecedented. (And that was from almost four months ago.)

Now, run along.

In fact that’s exactly the kind of bullshit he and his base want to hear.

There are two ways the media have been enabling Trump since the beginning:

  1. Characterizing him as: “shaking things up,” “out of control,” “outrageous,” “unprecedented,” “breaking the norms,” etc etc etc. These cliches just feed into the bullshit notion that both Trump and his followers like to believe that he actually is changing anything for the average person–when he is not. This conceit only supports Trump.

  2. Feeding the troll (because Trump is a troll). When Trump wants attention (or to distract the public) he says something “outrageous,” and the media go crazy by reacting to the outrage, which only amplifies it. Meanwhile, his base loves it.

They need to focus entirely on his hypocrisy and his corruption. Editorialists should just belittle him.

It doesn’t do any good to wail and bemoan every time Trump does or says something racist, which was the primary media response to Trump in the beginning. That just amplifies him and makes him stronger with his only support. Of course he’s racist, and of course he’s a pathological liar. Instead, the media should just begin with those facts as givens, and be clear about that from the start. Then they should spend their energy on exposing his hypocrisy and corruption, and belittling him.

The OP is right: even if the article has some critiques of Trump, the cliches about Trump as “changing Washington” only buy into the bullshit narrative he wants to project. Trump hasn’t changed Washington–he’s just made it swampier.

There’s also What The Fuck Just Happened Today? whose founder explains at the “About” link:

They started by normalizing his idiotic campaign. They gave him the biggest platforms to speak from, not because he was a worthy candidate, but because he generated views for their networks, websites and newspapers.

Amen. They covered him more than he deserved and treated him more seriously than he deserved. During the primaries, one of the networks left a Hillary speech and treated us a view of an empty podium as we breathlessly waited for Cheetolini to show up. They stayed with him as he hawked his consumer products rather than turning the cameras off. He was big ratings and they were addicted. Now western democracy may fall due to their greed.

They did that in 2011 as well. That year Herman Cain got more media coverage than any other GOP hopeful. Fortunately credible stories of Cain’s untoward treatment of female humans came out so we dodged that bullet.