Thursday, November 10, 2016

Orange is the New Black

Pollsters and pundits were not shocked by Tuesday's election results, despite their alleged shock over the results. Nor were the media outlets who hired them.  They may have hoped otherwise, even believed otherwise, but they knew better.  Anyone who wanted to get down into the weeds of the polling constructs could find the same election indicators that outliers like the LA Times and IBD found on their own.  The data was hiding in plain sight.  The pollsters and their corporate media voices didn't make an honest mistake on this one. They flat out lied.  Big time.  They lied to themselves.  They lied to their listeners and readers.  And they lied to America.  The effort was intentional, not accidental. Trillions of dollars were at stake. Suits on the top floor were involved.  TV careers and credibility also were on the line.  When you saw them tear up on TV as the results came in, you may rest assured they were weeping for themselves.  Poor Martha Radditz, so willfully committed to the narrative.  Same for Rachael Maddow and her peers.  They aren't to be pitied for their sorrow.  They grieve over their exposure and their willful naivete.

My only surprise is that they promoted the ruse right to the bitter end.  I thought they would start re-positioning themselves a week earlier.  And in a sense they did.  In the week leading up to the election, they dutifully reported that the polls, surprisingly, had tightened.  Eh?  What?  People change their minds that quickly?  They're that fickle?

"The stupid ones do," implied the pundits.  "There's lots of them, enough to move the needle from twelve to nearly zero in Salt Flats time."

"In a country this size?  That many stupid people who care enough to vote?  A ten to twelve percent swing in a matter of days?  We're talking, what, a million people?"

"Uh...yeah...big country.  Lots of fly-over territory.  Farmers and such."

"But to zero?" ask the uninitiated.  "That big a swing?  For what reason?"

The reason had to be an event that immediately changed the opinion not just of dolts but of educated partisans of all persuasions. Something definitive. Earth shattering.  Of such magnitude that no one could doubt the truth of it. And the media's answer was...wait for it...the "non-revelation" revelation by FBI Director James Comey just days before the election.  Yes, James Comey.  All by himself.  The same James Comey who in October said there was nothing to see in the Hillary email scandal, but who later notified Congress, as he promised, that new information had arrived that had not been anticipated. That's interesting information to partisans on either side of the divide.  It makes them dig their trenches deeper, but it doesn't make them change their minds.  But a game changer for undecideds? Really?  If so, they don't deserve to be called "undecideds."  That gives them too little credit.  Unless the term "undecideds" refers to Hillary's "deplorables," along with the Bernie holdouts, all of whom are deplorable if you don't get their vote, there's not much of a swing vote left. Apparently, due to the fickleness of deplorable and inadequately under-educated white Americans who work for a living and pay taxes, the poll numbers tightened dramatically.  Otherwise, who are the swingers?  Racism, anyone?

David Harsanyi, senior editor at The Federalist, takes a kinder and more apologetic tack with corporate media, despite his unsparing analysis.  He writes:

"In all their vast coverage of agitated right-wingers, it may have escaped the attention of many in the media that over the past eight years the Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left on an array of issues. It’s now a party of cultural imperialists and economic technocrats who want to rule through fiat. It is a party more comfortable coercing Americans who see the world differently than in convincing them. It is a movement propelled by a liberal punditry that’s stopped debating and resorted to smearing millions they disagree with."

I agree with his analysis but not his valuation.  You think it "escaped their attention," David? Seriously?  They didn't notice?  

Puhleese.  You all but call them what they are.  And nicely done.  But why not go the extra step? I know.  Friends. 'Geesh.  Can't live with some of them, can't kill them.  You parsed their perfidy with skill and acumen. But those virtues have little cash value unless they serve a higher good.  And the higher good requires that one take an unapologetic stand, like Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms.  God help me, I can do no other.  That sort of resolve.  Most deplorables understand this. They are forced to live it daily. Socrates took a scalpel to the sophists of his day and quartered them without mercy or equivocation. It's a dangerous but honorable step to take, audacious as it is, if only to define one's character. Cocktail friends are not indispensable.  Be their gadfly.  And be ostracized if need be.

The Democrat Party's shift didn't go "unnoticed" by any of the media's mouthpieces.  To suggest otherwise is actually an insult to those very people you apologize for.  The shift went unnoticed?  By them?  The well-educated and ever-astute pundit class?  I see it through a different lens. On election night, as the results poured in, those pundits you reference were virtually disrobed in public. They no longer could hide their lies. The obvious bias that conservatives had complained about for years -- that Bernie loyalists had just come to learn in infuriating detail through the Wikileaks disclosures -- now was laid bare on TV.  They lied, plain and simple.  There are many ways to lie. Feigning shock and disgust is but one of them.

If I watch or read corporate media news stories in the future, it will only be to see what they have learned from the experience.  They have been exposed for who they are.  What comes next?  

In a sense, Trump's election might work as perfectly for them as Obama's election worked for Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, et. al.  There'll be plenty to talk about among those who fear Trump.  But who will be listening?  The loyalists?  Maybe so, but not as many as before.  Credibility has been lost.  ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and to an extent FOX News stooped to MSNBC levels in their Trump coverage and/or support of Hillary.  I'm not sure they can resurrect themselves in their current format.

I give a pass to Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and the FOX and Friends morning crew.  The stakes were high.  Reputations were on the line.  Viewers paid attention to nuances.  These TV personalities navigated quite well between the Scylla and Charybdis of Trump v. Clinton.  Their fingers were on the pulse.  They weren't dissuaded by lies.

Not so with the NY Times and WaPo or their acolytes in cable and network news.  Foreign journalists have become a more reliable source of political information in the U.S. than our own mainstream press.  Many in our fourth estate traded their birthright for a bowl of porridge.  Why?  Well, many reasons that date back over many years, and not all of those reasons are as lamentable as this one: they are LIARS. I don't say that out of spite.  Those days ended long ago for me.  And I'm not generalizing about all mainstream journalists and pundits.  But I have been immunized to the lies of those who lie to make a living.  And I submit that their intentional malfeasance is a fact, as subject to empirical verification or falsification as is sunrise in the east.  The aforementioned media outlets made a conscious effort to lie. They did it to influence the election, as surely as they accused Russia of doing the same, but without unfalsifiable verification. Russian interference was just part of the big lie.  They made it sound like a fact.  Liars gotta lie.

I wasn't nervous about the election.  Trump was going to win, as my sources indicated.  The process was entertaining, however, and not without intrigue.  I admit my eyebrows rose when, late Tuesday night, I saw that Florida's Broward County had not reported all precincts after the votes in all other Florida precincts were in.  That's the county where the Supervisor of Elections has been accused of massive voter fraud.  Were Broward officials waiting, I wondered, so see how things played out in Wisconsin and Michigan before determining how many votes they needed to write in for Hillary? Or were watchdogs slowing things down for safety's sake?  Same for Atlanta, GA, where massive fraud was found several years back among educators who doctored their students' test results.  When certain media refused to call Georgia early, my antennae went up.  My penchant for cynicism began to stir.  Cynicism is a passion on par with love and hate, only subtler.  I was intrigued by the vote reporting, the states that got called early versus those that didn't.  There were differences of opinions on the news networks.  And some states voted differently than I expected. Virginia had new voter registrations that I thought would break for Trump.  And their raw numbers were up, including first-time voters.  Nevada, too.  I'll be looking to see what happened in those states. I saw empircical evidence that Trump would win by a larger margin in the general.  Oh, well.  I was wrong.  It's not the first time.  Mea culpa.

So how will corporate media position themselves post-election?  Will they shield the Clintons as more investigation is done into Clinton Foundation operations and pay-to-play?  Will they fight for Obama's reputation?  Or Obamacare?  Or global warming, open borders and the TPP?

Personally, I don't care how they position themselves, except that I'll occasionally tune in out of curiosity.  Otherwise, I have moved on.  There's better information available on the internet. More honest, accurate and reliable information.  Yes, crazies can be found online.  And liars of different stripes. One learns how to wade through them.  The comment section is a helpful addendum. You are known by your readers.

I will not waste any more breath complaining about bias in the media.  I simply don't care anymore. Those folks are no more useful than my appendix -- which, by the way, I also parted with. 

Please regard this message as a shout-out from the deplorables.

Time to move on.