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Blood in the Water
Author: Raine    Date: 03/14/2016 13:46:44

This morning Paul Krugman penned a column in the NYT titled Trump is No Accident

And now the establishment is shocked to see a candidate who basically plays the same game, but without the coyness, the overwhelming front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Why?

The truth is that the road to Trumpism began long ago, when movement conservatives — ideological warriors of the right — took over the G.O.P. And it really was a complete takeover. Nobody seeking a career within the party dares to question any aspect of the dominating ideology, for fear of facing not just primary challenges but excommunication.
(snip)
For the underlying assumption behind the establishment strategy was that voters could be fooled again and again: persuaded to vote Republican out of rage against Those People, then ignored after the election while the party pursued its true, plutocrat-friendly priorities. Now comes Mr. Trump, turning the dog whistles into fully audible shouting, and telling the base that it can have the bait without the switch. And the establishment is being destroyed by the monster it created.

But back to the Republicans: Let’s dispel with this fiction that the Trump phenomenon represents some kind of unpredictable intrusion into the normal course of Republican politics. On the contrary, the G.O.P. has spent decades encouraging and exploiting the very rage that is now carrying Mr. Trump to the nomination. That rage was bound to spin out of the establishment’s control sooner or later.

Donald Trump is not an accident. His party had it coming.

Krugman is largely correct; however, his theory is based on the idea that this was basically building over the last 8 years - the Obama Presidency years. Bill Moyers's website has a more reaching theory and it's one that I agree with. This poisonous growth was planted more than three decades ago.

It is hardly a surprise that the GOP establishment and their enablers in the media are acting as if Trump, the Republican frontrunner, is a break from the party’s supposedly genteel past. Like Captain Renault in Casablanca, who was “shocked, shocked,” to find gambling in Rick’s establishment, the GOP solons profess to be “shocked, shocked” by Trump’s demagogic racism and nativism. Their protestations remind me of an old gambit of comedian Milton Berle. When the audience was applauding him, he would shush them demonstratively with one hand while encouraging them gently with the other.

Neither is it a surprise that the conservative media have been doing the same thing — decrying Trump while giving us Trump Lite. Indeed, even less blatant partisans who ought to know better, like every “thinking man’s” favorite conservative David Brooks, deliver the same hypocrisy.
(snip)
.... Let me rephrase what I said earlier: Trump hasn’t just fulfilled the Republican Party’s purpose; he has exposed it. And he also has exposed the media’s indifference to what the party has become.

Obviously, I am not saying that the transmogrification of the Republican Party happened surreptitiously. It happened in plain sight, and it was extensively chronicled — but not by the MSM. The sainted Reagan blew his party’s cover when to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 he spoke at the Neshoba County Fair, just outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been brutally murdered in 1964. He wasn’t there to demonstrate his sympathy to the civil rights movement, but to demonstrate his sympathy to those who opposed it. This was an ugly moment, and it didn’t go entirely unnoticed in the media. In fact, David Brooks would later be moved to defend the speech, which invoked the not-so-subtle buzz words “states’ rights,” and to act as if Reagan had been slandered by those who called him out on it.
(snip)
I don’t think the media would deny their indifference. They would say they don’t take sides. They’re neutral. They just report. Partisanship is for Fox News and MSNBC.

Of course, this is utter nonsense. Accurate reporting means taking sides when one side is spouting falsehoods. I am still waiting for the media to correct the GOP pronouncements that Obamacare has cost us jobs and sent health care costs skyrocketing – both of which are screamingly false. I am not holding my breath.

But even if it were true that the media are not referees, not taking sides against extremism is just another way of taking sides by legitimizing extremism and making it the new normal, which it now is – so long, apparently, as you don’t shout it. In any case, objectivity is a rationalization. We know the media are afraid of a right-wing backlash. We know that they protect themselves by insisting that our two major parties are equidistant from the political center – more nonsense. And we know that every story is framed by its political consequences, not its human ones. We see that every day.


Neither article mentions what happened to Phil Donahue (fired) and the Dixie Chicks (blacklisted for speaking out against the President) during the Bush Administration following the attacks on September 11, 2001. The media treated that with the same kid gloves they did after Reagan's 1980 speech in Mississippi.

Now, we have not just Trump, but - equally frightening: his supporters. They are the people who hear the dogwhistle and feel comfortable just letting all the hate be shown out in the open. It has been said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This time sunlight does not seem to be working, the monster is too far along in its growth process.

There is blood in the water.

Ben Shapiro and Michelle fields have both resigned from the highly partisan conservative website Breitbart after Ms. Fields was attacked at a trump Rally. Their employer blamed her and him instead of reporting what was in fact, an attack.
Breitbart has been riven by internal strife in recent days after Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, allegedly grabbed Fields and yanked her away from Trump as she was attempting to ask him a question after a press conference in Florida. The Trump campaign denied the incident, despite considerable evidence to the contrary.

Breitbart published a story casting doubt on Fields’ account, appearing to side with the Trump campaign over their own reporter. Joel Pollak, a senior editor-at-large at the organization, ordered staffers to stop defending Fields. One source with knowledge of the situation said some staffers who publicly defended Fields had been threatened with firing.

“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion,” Shapiro wrote in his resignation statement. “Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski.”

This morning, NPR felt pressure to clarify a column written by Cokie Roberts, former journalist for the media outlet. (NOTE: the column was written in February, clarification was today.)
Roberts, often described as a "founding mother" of NPR, left her position as a full-time staffer in 1992 for ABC News. She continued to appear regularly on NPR as a news analyst for almost two decades on a contract basis. After the change in title from news analyst to commentator, listeners may have noticed little, if any, difference in her role.

Roberts remains closely identified with NPR and presents commentary most Mondays on Morning Edition.

Roberts' column was published Feb. 26, and she did not flag its contents to NPR executives. It came to their attention after Roberts sharply questioned Trump during a March 9 appearance on MSNBC.
(snip)
"Our journalists have clear instructions," Oreskes wrote in his memo, sent to staffers Monday morning. "We do not support or oppose candidates. We don't advise political parties. We gather the news and seek as many points of view as we can. Cokie's role has evolved into being one of those points of view."

In the Morning Edition interview for broadcast Monday, Greene asked Roberts: "Objectivity is so fundamental to what we do. Can you blame people like me for being a little disappointed to hear you come out and take a personal position on something like this in a campaign?"

"If I were doing it in your role, you should be disappointed," Roberts said. "Or if I were doing it covering Capitol Hill every day. I can't imagine doing that. But the truth is [that commentary] is a different role. And there are times in our history when you might be disappointed if I didn't take a position like that."

Krugman is correct in saying that the GOP built the Trump Monster that is now destroying the party. That said, the media's desire to appear neutral when it comes to the GOP is finding itself being destroyed by its inability to stand its ground.

This is dangerous and the sharks are circling.

Peace and Love,

Raine

21 comments (Latest Comment: 03/14/2016 20:05:33 by Mondobubba)
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