Last night before I put down The Star Beast and fell into dreamland I wondered to myself: “What will I write about tomorrow?” There didn’t seem to be anything especially pressing or interesting.
And, lo and behold, I was right! It was 4:30 in the morning, with most of the country asleep, but there was Trump:
“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”
Oh my goodness, how the Fake News crowd hated that one! From left to right, from Chuck Todd to Chris Wallace, how they howled and screamed in pain! Because the truth hurts. Where was Chuck Todd during the run up to the Kosovo war – in a Trappist monastery? He can’t be unaware of the catalytic role played by CNN in ginning up that conflict.
Yet that’s nothing compared to the chutzpah of Chris Wallace, who demanded to know “What wars have we started?” The truth is that it’s hard to list any recent wars Fox News hasn’t had a huge hand in starting, beginning with Kosovo and going on down the line – from Gulf War I to the invasion of Iraq to Libya, Syria, and all the way to the present day, where fresh calls for new conflicts are too commonplace to even be noted.
My favorite response to Trump’s tweet, however, came from Bill Kristol, who tweeted a quote from Thomas Jefferson lauding the freedom of the press – and is anyone surprised that the leading advocate of militarism in the US is hailing the First Amendment because it protects the media’s “right” to lie us into war.
Whatever else, Trump is right or wrong about, he is correct about the dangers posed by our media – not any and all media, per se – which has nearly always been in the War Party’s pocket. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out, war serves their purposes both ideologically and in terms of the bottom line.
The same media that lied us into Iraq – the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, etc. ad nauseam – is now telling us that the President of the United States is a Russian asset. Should we believe them? Their record tells us we should turn our backs and cover our ears. In response to the laughable assertion that Trump is “demonizing” the media, some anonymous wag on Twitter – who calls himself/herself “Russian Bot” – laid out the sickening record of our “free” media in the run-up to the Iraq war, arguably the worst disaster in the history of American foreign policy.
Instead of providing a check on power, our “journalists” see themselves in a partnership with the powers-that-be, protecting and validating the privileges and “expertise” of the political class, and generally integrating themselves into the structure of domination that is the American empire.
None of this should be at all surprising. After all, our “journalists” and the politicians and bureaucrats…