Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Don Lemon on Trump's Speech in Phoenix

It's a few months into the future. Trump has nuked the world back into the Stone Age. (This is a very optimistic post, because, as Carl Sagan told us all decades ago, any nuclear war will likely result, not in the Stone Age, but in the eradication of all life on Earth: people, cockroaches, bacteria, viruses, everything.)

A few former journalists are sitting around in front of their cave after the day's unsuccessful search for food. There are no journalists anymore, only former journalists, because there is no television, radio, Internet, newspapers or magazines. There is no time right now to even think about trying to start to re-create such things, because the few surviving people are much too busy doing things like looking for food and trying to make weapons out of sticks and rocks before they're eaten by the few surviving man-eating carnivores.

These former journalists are proud. Hungry at the moment, but proud, because they never violated their sacred principles of "objective journalism" by warning their viewers and readers that Trump would most likely kill most or all of them if given the chance. Off the air, off the record, not in print, amongst themselves, they were pretty sure that Trump would end civilization if his political power were not checked soon enough. But they never let their viewers and readers know that they thought so, the same way that they never let their viewers and readers know how much they despised Trump. That would not have been "objective journalism" as they knew and revered it.

There were a few exceptions to this "objectivity." For example, Keith Olbermann spoke as directly about politics on air to his viewers and his did off the air to his personal acquaintances. Actually, sometimes Keith spoke even more directly and clearly on air, because he thought it was important. And from 2015 to 2017 Keith minced his words especially not at all when it came to Donald Trump and the clear fact that Trump was crazy and that a crazy person shouldn't be President of the United States.

But after a career of such directness about political things, Keith went from hosting his own hour-long prime-time show 5 nights a week on MSNBC, to losing that gig in 2011 and going to Current TV until 2012, and then from 2013 to 2015 he had a sports show on ESPN, but a show on which he had promised ESPN that he would not mention politics at all, and then in 2016 and 2017 he went back to speaking plainly and directly about politics, but he was only doing it on a podcast for GQ. Big-time political journalism had made it as clear as could be that anyone who spoke in public as clearly about politics as Keith did had no place in big-time political journalism. Keith violated the principle of "objectivity," of "letting the viewers make up their own minds," and doing everything possible to make sure that they didn't have too much to work with when making up their minds. Everything Keith said was completely accurate, of course, but that was not the point!

All of the above is my sarcastic reaction to the alarmed reaction by many in political journalism to the way that CNN's Don Lemon reacted to Donald's speech, which was full of lies and an embarrassment to the US, by saying, on the air, as the host of his own hour-long prime-time news program, that it was full of lies and an embarrassment to the US.

Every speech Trump has made as President has been full of lies and an embarrassment to the US. The 94% or so of America's political reporters who aren't idiots or Republican tools, or both, should have been reacting constantly the way Lemon reacted last night, since long before he was elected.

Well. Thank goodness that at least a few journalists, here and there, now and then (under extreme circumstances, mostly), are re-thinking the "objective journalism" nonsense.

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