With the news getting crazier by the day, major American media outlets are in desperate need of a check-up from the neck-up. Democratic operatives would be wise to take note as well since they so often craft their message for media approval rather than for the voters who will deliver victories for them. While the media has no duty to oppose the Trump Administration they do have an affirmative duty to protect themselves as the 4th Estate. In doing so, they must project the reality of who our government leaders really are and what they are doing. Many of us were pleased and relieved when they finally cut the b.s. and started calling Donald Trump’s lies lies, but it took them about five years to get there. This awkward media dance dates all the way back to his ‘birther conspiracy’ days. As it stands, they are still unwittingly helping Donald Trump every day simply by the words they say to him and about him.
While television news executives and newspaper editors fret over the appearance of anti-conservative bias, Trump has been openly hostile and even threatening to them. And with the fate of American democracy hanging in the balance this is no time for weak-minded rationale or limp-d*ck responses. The language that the media uses consistently when discussing the conduct and character of Donald Trump and his historically corrupt administration has been self-defeating and counter-productive. And they have no clue how much they are helping him and his minions push his fake image and false messages to his MAGA hat wearing political lynch mob.
As ridiculous as it is, Donald Trump has sold himself to the fools who follow him as an obscenely wealthy businessman who just happens to be a real tough-guy who loves a good fight. Of course to Donald Trump what counts as a “fight” is just words tossed around on social media, chants made at his rallies, comments made to hapless reporters, or occasionally empty threats written by doofus attorneys trying to win his affection by doing his bidding. In Trump’s world its all hot-air. They call it “hitting hard” or “fighting back” but no fists are ever thrown, no knucks are ever bucked. Its ALL talk with him. His whole life has been an exercise in conflating his fantasies with any reality that he could get everybody else to buy into and accept as true- just ask the Forbes magazine writer who first reported Donald Trump’s lie that he was a billionaire in 1984. That lie was the seed that grew for 32 years into Trump being elected president. His tool for accomplishing that amazing feat was his crude yet effective language. And language matters because words have more than mere meaning. Words have an energy of their own that often has greater impact on the mind than the actual meaning. Language matters far more than many of the lazy writers, preening panelists and timid politicians with the largest platforms seem to realize.
So to them all, I give the following instructions:
1- Stop comparing Donald Trump to a “mob boss” because he loves it. In all the movies mob bosses are powerful, tough, masculine, verile and volatile- all of the things he loves to pretend he is.
2- Stop saying that Trump’s opponents are “bringing a knife to a gun-fight” because Trump loves the image of being a gun-fighter. He is only aided by the image as a ruthless and deadly gun-slinger with a “kill or be killed” mentality.
3- Stop saying that Democrats need an especially pugilistic candidate to beat Donald Trump because he is a “street-fighter.” A “street-fighter” is characterized by undeniable guts and conviction neither of which can accurately be attributed to the spoiled, whiny little bitch that Donald Trump has always been. We all know that Trump would rather eat cat-shit with a knitting needle than actually engage in a street fight so the media needs to stop pushing that line and the Democrats need to stop buying it. All the Democrats really need is a competent and courageous candidate to kick his fat ass out of the Oval Office.
4- And please stop saying Trump has “slammed” this person or “blasted” that person because those action-hero sounding verbs suggest physical prowess. We all know damned well that Trump has no physical prowess- regardless of the lies he gets his doctor to tell the world. The only thing that Trump has ever “slammed” has been a bucket of KFC and the only thing he ever “blasted” was his gold-plated toilet when he was done.
But let’s not stop there.
5- Also stop calling Trump and his minions “thugs” because, thanks to the late hip hop star and film actor Tupac Shakur, “thug” is now a label that is far more likely to yield rewards than rebukes. It suggests aggression and reckless abandon- exactly the characteristics that those in Trumpland promote and celebrate.
To be sure, use of these terms and phrases are only part of the way that the media enables and empowers Trump’s march to total control of the American mind. Correcting your own language only goes so far if you invite people onto your airwaves that will continue to spew that bile. So if the media really wants to show some backbone and responsible corporate citizenship, they can no longer invite a shameless liar like KellyAnne Conway for on-air interviews.
They can no longer invite a shameless huckster like Anthony Scaramucci on their air to sell his Trump-exculpatory books. They cannot allow the likes of Lindsay Graham and Mick Mulvaney and Mark Meadows to come on their shows and play the role of Trump enthusiasts without being grilled about every detail of their attacks on Trump before he won the GOP nomination. They cannot allow administration officials to tell outright lies about kids in cages, building the wall, or the billionaire tax-cut that gave us the trillion dollar deficit. This could go on all day but the point is made. In sum, the media has to stop speaking and acting like Trump’s punching bag or paid sparring partner. When somebody takes a shot at you, even if it is just with words, you better throw punches back or they own you. And once they own you, they win and you are always the loser.