60 long, dark nights for America: Nothing is lamer than a person who says ‘lamestream media’

by awindram

Sixty long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “. is unwatchable. Their news on me is fiction. They are a disgrace to the broadcasting industry and an arm of the Clinton campaign.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “North Korea’s decision to conduct another nuclear test is outrageous and unacceptable.”

Daily election article of interest: Why Is Trump Gaining On Clinton?

Jesus, only sixty more nights now. I mean, obviously, that is still a ridiculously long period of electioneering to go – a UK general election, by contrast, is a sprightly four weeks of campaigning – but in just under two months this election will be over, there will be a President-elect, and everything that is now so terrifying about it in the abstract can be terrifying in actuality.

Tonight’s incoherent election thought before bed, that last mentation before sleep, is Trump and his appearance on Russia Today, a news network that is directly funded by the Russian government. In addition to consistently peddling Putin’s agenda in the West and propagating conspiracy theories, it is also now the convalescent home for former CNN anchor Larry King (hey, Larry has to pay the alimony bills somehow) and it was on King’s show that Trump spoke, and considering some of the laudatory language Trump has used about Putin it was certainly an interesting choice of network for him to appear on.

But in a lot of ways Trump makes sense on Russia Today, it feels like a natural outlet for him, more so I would argue even than Fox News. It’s a place for those most tedious of people, the self-styled outsider and “truth seeker” who is ready to cast aspersion on institutions and “official” stories. Say what you will about Fox, but it is strongly supportive of political institutions provided their party of choice is in charge. They are are rabidly partisan and binary, whereas the likes of Russia Today present something more nebulous.

There’s odd, peculiar parallels that keep cropping up in global affairs at the moment, partly the result of intense cynicism and distrust against mainstream media sources, but they keep on surfacing and I’m finding them unsettling. It is almost as if that old left-right axis is meaningless now. It is credulity that is interesting me now, and where an individual finds it. Increasingly, it seems there is a large number of people who have read just enough, but at the same time far too little Chomsky, and who react only with incredulity to mainstream news seeing it as tarnished, that it is controlled by select billionaires and that elites within the main parties kowtow to their wishes. While such cynicism certainly isn’t without merit, it is contrasted by a credulity around fringe publications and blogs and news networks owned by foreign governments who do not allow in their own countries basic press freedoms.

I start these silly daily blog posts with a tweet I find interesting that one of the two candidates has sent out that day. Over the last few days the Trump tweet has been an attack on CNN. He doesn’t like their coverage of him so he seeks to discredit them as a news source to his supporters. Look above at today’s tweet – what they report is “fiction” and they are “an arm of the Clinton campaign.” The takeaway that a number of Trump supporters will take is CNN is not to be trusted, but Russia Today is.

I see so much similarity with Trump and his supporters on this and Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Obviously, politics are far apart, but they both seem to display a sort of idealistic skepticism: the mainstream media is out to get their guy, the more elite centrist elements in their respective parties are upset at losing control and will collaborate with the press to undermine him. And if you can’t trust CNN or the BBC or The New York Times or the Guardian then who can you trust? Like Trump, Corbyn has always been happy to appear on Russia Today, indeed he can go one better than that as he has received up to 20,000 GBP for appearances on the Iranian government’s Press TV.

It’s a disturbing trend that people have so little faith in the mainstream that they are prepared to believe a new station that was complicit in the forced confession of a tortured journalist as Press TV did. This Sunday sees the fifteenth universality of an attack that a significant minority of Americans believe was undertaken by their own government. I only see that minority growing further. On the same day Donald snr spoke on Russia Today Donald jnr tweeted this – a link from infowars, that bastion of 9/11 Trutherdom. This is somehow an acceptable source for a close team member of a candidate’s team to tweet out. Oh, to go back to those innocent, quaint days of the primaries when the Trump campaign would be merely citing an unfounded sex scandal involving an opponent in the National Enquirer rather than the genuinely unhinged craziness of Infowars.

 

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