The mid-term election should tell anyone who was paying attention a few things about our country. By and large, those people who President Trump campaigned for (rally) seemed to do well in general. Those who he didn’t campaign for didn’t seem to do nearly as well.
America is a fragmented country. There are regions containing conservatives, mainly in the fly-over areas between the coasts, and the big cities contain masses of liberal voters. The chasm in America is basically between those who favor self-reliance and those who feel it is the function of government to be a perpetual nanny.
Normally, or normally until a few years ago, the media would arbitrate and provide both sides of political issues; that is no longer the case. What happened during the President’s recent news conference brought the media to a new low. Those of us that have even a smattering of journalism training have been taught that we are to report the story; not become the story. In a narcissistic world of TV news personalities, that admonition has gone by the wayside.
Jim Acosta, the boorish White House reporter for CNN accused President Trump and engaged him in a back and forth which was more about getting soundbites for CNN’s evening shows than garnering any real information. Once he was finally relieved of the press microphone and had made a complete ass of himself, the baton was picked up by an NBC reporter who took the same accusatory tone. As a result of the drama and boorish behavior, Acosta lost his White House press pass.
A press conference is for listening to the speaker’s talking points and then asking questions; not manufacturing a stage show for TV outlets. There needs to be stringent ground rules established for news conferences; question all you want, but if the reporter wants to argue, his press credentials should be pulled. Acosta is just a belated start; there are more who attend White House news conferences and try to make themselves the center of attention with rude and obtuse behavior. I have the feeling that this rancorous behavior is by design and geared towards sound bites on the evening news.
Admittedly, it doesn’t take a great deal of agitation to get under President Trump’s skin but a consideration most folks don’t take into account is that Trump is the first president to receive this degree of media animus. Many reporters weren’t impressed with Obama but there was never the accusatory, argumentative, demeaning tone during his rare press conferences. His responses ran for minutes, and rarely, if ever addressed the question; but still he was extended a degree of respect, and with questions not confrontation.
Trump is hated by about the same number of people that adore him, and probably for the same reason, he gets things done and doesn’t really care whom he offends. His minions love his earthiness and the liberal elitist hate him for the same reason.
The vast majority in the media, or at least those whose name appears in written op eds or whose face appears on a TV screen, hate Trump. The people applying the makeup, working the lights, cameras, and hauling equipment may not share their animus but have no voice with the imperial press.
We live in an era where people, especially the liberal/socialist left, but not exclusively, seem to be unable to disagree on any issue without resorting to vile, personal attacks on one’s character, intelligence, and motives. This is the new America, the new normal, and in all likelihood, will ultimately lead to a complete collapse of our nation.
This insanity cannot continue, we cannot allow it to continue. I’ve said more than once that the United States is at a crossroads, we can continue to digress until we fragment into obscurity; or we can come together and discuss our national problems in an adult and reasonable manner. The time to change is now!
Have a good week. Bill Shuey is a freelance writer in Quincy, Florida.