Trump bids adiós to 20th century heroes, media gatekeepers
WASHINGTON, January 17, 2017 — The election of Donald Trump has brought history to an end for some. Like the Hillary Clinton supporters who huddled and wept in silent shock at her New York City headquarters on election eve. Or the confused and furious media who cannot believe Americans ruined their Hillary-is-a-shoe-in-for-president-and-we’ve-got-the-polls-to-prove-it narrative by electing Trump president.
Or the earnest souls who surrounded America’s state capitals, beating drums, holding signs, singing songs and chanting chants, hoping members of the Electoral College would abandon their sworn duty to state voters and the United States Constitution.
The other losers are the heroes of yesteryear. Sen. John McCain for one. In the summer of 2015, he was horrified when thousands of people attended a Trump rally in downtown Phoenix.
“It’s very bad,” McCain told The New Yorker magazine, angry that Trump made a point to bring a man on stage whose son was killed by an illegal alien. “This performance with our friend… is very hurtful to me. Because what he did was he fired up the crazies.”
Trump’s response to McCain was short and sweet. “He [McCain] was a war hero because he was captured… I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain, the “maverick,” is an on-again, off-again darling of the mainstream media. The New York Times endorsed him for president in the Empire State’s Republican primary of 2008.
But the Times ran a fake news story accusing him of having an extramarital affair after he clinched the GOP’s nomination for president.
Over at MSNBC, the admiration of host and uber-liberal Chris Matthews never wavered for the Arizona maverick. “We were all rooting for you, by the way,” Matthews told McCain campaign aide Steve Schmidt, “And a lot of us in this business like John McCain a lot.”
McCain, the hero, has never been able to expand his appeal outside the bubble of the entertainment-media complex – and the Copper State’s desert wastes.
Meanwhile, Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis advanced the latest media narrative on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
Back in 2010, Congress made Obamacare the law of the land to “find out what was in it,” to quote then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She and Lewis walked around Capitol Hill to gloat at the thousands of tea party protestors outside.
Pelosi accused tea partiers of shouting racial epithets at Lewis and spitting at him. But the pair were surrounded by media cameras and thousands of individuals with digital devices. No such bad acting was caught on camera.
The late conservative activist Andrew Breitbart even offered a $100,000 reward for any video evidence backing up Lewis and Pelosi’s charge. No one came to collect.
In his book “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World,” Breitbart wrote:
“The silence over the hundred-thousand-dollar challenge was a tacit acknowledgment that the Congressional Black Caucus and Barack Obama don’t have the stomach for doubling down. They got caught [in a lie] … The other half of the strategy was built into the N-Word Capitol Hill Walk was the desire to incite an overreaction, or even violence. The media did their part by labeling and slandering the tea partiers as racist knuckle-draggers.”
Lewis used his “hero” status to lend credence to the lies. And that is certainly the case concerning Lewis’s whopper about Trump’s electoral illegitimacy.
But unlike the usual tongue-tied GOP politician, Trump doesn’t suffer fools, even heroic ones promoted by the fools in the media. And so, Trump skipped the media filter and took directly to Twitter:
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
Republican John McCain and Democrat John Lewis are kindred souls. Two “heroes” who earned their laurels in the struggles of the 1960s. The former, a P.O.W. tortured at the hands of his communist North Vietnamese captors. The latter, a denigrated and abused civil-rights organizer in the Jim Crow South.
But the election of Donald Trump signals that the wounds of Vietnam and the injustices of Bull Connor’s South have all but healed.
The electorate has moved on, even as the two Johns, McCain and Lewis, hold the glories and grievances of the past in a tight death grip.
And that brings us to the third and most disappointed loser of 2016, The mainstream media.
When a few media outlets released information from a dossier filled with unsubstantiated sexual allegations about Trump, the president-elect lashed out at them, CNN in particular:
“CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!”
As New YorkTimes media critic Jim Rutenberg noted, “Mr. Trump remains a master media manipulator who used his first news briefing since July to expertly delegitimize the news media and make it the story… The news media remains an unwitting accomplice in its own diminishment as it fails to get a handle on how to cover this new and wholly unprecedented president.”
Unnamed sources in Trump’s transition team say the new administration will kick the nattering nabobs of negativism out of the executive mansion and shove the White House press corps to the west and across a parking lot to the Old Executive Office Building. It’s further rumored new media, that is to say bloggers, will grace an expanded Washington press pool.
Writing in Slate, Robert Reich, who served as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, said, “The White House ‘press room’ contains work stations and broadcast booths, and a briefing area for presidential news conferences. Reporters have had a work space at the White House since Teddy Roosevelt was president, in 1901.”
Reich insists Trump’s diminishing of the press “could neuter our democracy.”
In reality, “neutering” the press was a supreme democratic act accomplished by the voters last November.
Almost two decades ago, there was a debate as to when the 21st century would begin: was it January 1 of 2000 or 2001?
The answer is January 20, 2017. That’s the day America says goodbye to the tired heroes and illegitimate media gatekeepers of the 20th century. That’s the day Donald Trump moves America into the 21st century by becoming its first post-partisan president.