The accursed false equivalency of American Media

False equivalency is American corporate media’s idea of fairness.   If you have a speaker, a climate scientist, describing the looming climate catastrophe that is already killing and displacing people, you also must have a political person, a public relations type, explaining why all the alarmist scientists are completely full of shit.   This passes as presenting “both sides” of the issue here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

That there is often little or no truth on one side, and overwhelming empirical evidence on the other, means nothing to the corporate bottom line types who present everything we see on every network.  The main thing is that corporate media presents both sides of the “argument” and treats each side with respect.   We see it now with Trump’s petulance over his fucking wall on the southern border, (a wall that would take years to build under the rosiest scenario because countless eminent domain cases would have to be settled before the hundreds of miles of land would even be available to build on).  Good people on both sides, on many sides, if American mass media is to be believed, have convincing arguments and compromise is the only solution.

The president was never a CEO, he never had to work with a board of directors, never once had to compromise about anything.   He inherited a privately held family business from his ruthless, law-flouting father.   He leaned autocracy from demanding, indomitable Fred Christ Trump himself.   As the head of Fred Christ’s empire he was accountable to nobody but the father, who gifted him a modest $400,000,000, much of it tax free, and bailed him out many times when his bad business decisions blew up.  If any detail of the NY Times report on Trump’s father’s criminality in creating fraudulent tax dodges to pass on a vast, largely tax-free fortune to his self-made son had been in any way actionable in court, the blockbuster headline lawsuit would have been filed months ago. [1]  

The president is used to zero-sum stand-offs featuring winners (him) and losers (anybody who opposes him).   Drawing these lines in the sand has always worked for him, except in cases where he had to declare bankruptcy, or was forced to pay $25,000,000 to settle a suit about a fraudulent university he set up.    Even those losses the Artist of the Deal chalks up as wins, because it never personally cost him a dime, and because, in the case of his fraudulent university, his business entity paid pennies on the dollar (25 of them) and never admitted shit, plus he was elected president, by an historic Electoral College margin not seen in several years, so, suck it.

So this is not a man who knows how to make a deal, nor does he care about making deals.   He has never needed to make a deal, except to negotiate the price for using his family name as a brand for marketing.   He is good at that, has had his father’s family name on so many things, including colossal buildings.

He shut down the government because Congress would not agree to make him look good.   He might as well have shut it down because Congress stubbornly and nastily refused to lock Crooked Hillary up.   Lock her up or I’ll shut down the government, the poor and working people you say you care about will be the ones to suffer, not me, not anybody I know.   I can shut the government down for a year, I don’t care.  LOCK HER UP!   I won’t say it again, losers.

Yet look at virtually any mass media discussion of this “issue”, the president’s unilateral, unnecessary Congress-ignoring government shut down over the building of the wall his audience has been chanting about for years, and you will find people, reasonable moderates like John Kasich, taking pains to assign blame to both sides for this impasse.   The Democrats, you see, are also refusing to compromise, it’s not only this “unusual” president who is being intractable.  The Democrats could agree that Hillary will forfeit her passport and wear an ankle monitor while Congress debates locking her up for the rest of her life.  But– NOTHING.  So you see, both sides are at fault here for the gridlock the president blurted, on live TV, that he was proud to own, should it come to that.  He said he’d assume the mantle and would not blame the Democrats.

A Republican bill to keep the government open for thirty days while negotiations continued was sent to the president with unanimous approval in the Senate.  The president was poised to sign it.  Then the right wing media sphere went ballistic. More than one powerful right wing woman pundit stared into the camera and addressed her audience of one, accused the president of having no balls, no penis, not a drop of testosterone if he “caved” on his base this way.   Not one to be manipulated, he immediately vetoed the bill.   Then blamed the Democrats for the shut down.

In the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections we heard a lot of scary noise about an army of thousands of illegal aliens marching to overrun our southern border, a massive caravan of mostly women and children determined to destroy our constantly threatened nation.   They were not armed, if you consider tuberculosis, leprosy, AIDS, malaria, pimples, dysentery, necrotizing enteritis, polio, cancer and all the other highly infectious and deadly diseases they were deliberately bringing, along with rape, drugs, decapitation, stabbing, shooting, castration, strangulation, etc, not to be arms.   The hysteria over this caravan was hyped around the clock prior to the 2018 election.  We were in danger of immediately being overrun by drug dealers, gangsters and terrorists, some even Middle Eastern!!!

Since then, silence, we hear nothing about the “caravan”.   The reason?   The vast majority of these poor devils pose no threat to anyone, are taking great risks to flee hellish conditions in Honduras, Guatemala and other dangerous places, seeking safety, the asylum many of them are entitled to under US and international law.

As for the “humanitarian crisis” the president spoke of during his address from the oval office the other night, he is the creator and perpetrator of it.   

I don’t have much faith in the Democrats, a largely corporate party like the Republicans (although not yet captured by far right extremist “ideologues” and sponsors), but if you believe this crisis is a bipartisan one, you should shut off your TV and cancel your cable subscription and internet service.   Go to the nearest Trump rally, there is always one nearby, and shout “LOCK HER UP!   LOCK HER UP!!!!” until the president adds that to his list of demands for reopening the government so that hapless government workers can pay their bills and poor people don’t end up starving and evicted from their homes en masse.   It will simply not stand, reopening the government, and you should not rest, until fucking Hillary is locked up!!!

 

[1] I note that the Times detail-rich story on the source of Trump’s wealth came out the same day the Mohammed Bin Salman ordered slaughter of Jamal Kashoggi was being carried out in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, a mere five days after Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about Brett Kavanaugh.   So much news, so hard to present both sides of all of it!

 

 

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