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MATTHEW BOOSE: The Great Green Media Machine
Remember Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony? By now, it feels like ages ago. At the time, the media hyped it up to be a big deal.
In just a short time, Cohen’s highly dramatized hearing proved to be entirely inconsequential. Everyone forgot about Michael Cohen and his bombshells.
This week, Congress heard from William Barr, who has had the role of Trump’s henchman kindly foisted upon him by malicious scriptwriters at MSNBC and the DNC (is there a difference?) — and if that isn’t enough political theater to satiate the gossips at the big networks and their delusional followers, they might hear from Robert Mueller too.
It’s an odd paradox that the media is so widely distrusted, yet they wield so much power to signify what is actually happening. This power to invent and disappear events is also a power of legitimation, to determine what is politically and morally acceptable.
This really is the media’s first role — not to report facts, but to narrativize — to present moral tales, to make up villains, whether the enemy is “whiteness,” Christendom, a bunch of Catholic high school boys, or the attorney general of the United States.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the media shapes not only public opinion, but public consciousness and even moral sensibility. After all, they’re the ones with the cameras and the fancy equipment.
Everything that’s “happening,” everything that is allowed to be acknowledged to have happened, is presented by them in narratives that they have written.
If the media isn’t talking about it, it’s not happening. If it is and people are talking about it, but they’re not supposed to be, then they’re conspiracy theorists.
The fall-out of the Mueller report was supposed to be a turning point. The media had been discredited at last! They had been proven to be the conspiracy theorists. Two years of patent nonsense, exposed for what it truly was all along: political, baseless, hot garbage.
But what has actually happened? The Great Green Media Machine’s appetite for nonsense has not been diminished a jot, and neither has its power to churn it out without accountability.
Collusion? What collusion? It’s all about obstruction now, and the villainous attorney general who covered it up. Barr’s a toady who just does Trump’s bidding, see — he decided to throw away an illustrious reputation to play second-fiddle to the most hated president in American history!
And just like that: poof! The collusion story is now unresolved, indefinitely. With Barr in charge, can we ever really know what happened between Trump and Russia?
Countless media outlets are now following the same smearing-William Barr-style guide: We must all take note now that Barr’s credibility is in question. His use of the term “spying” was — gasp — politically loaded! He should have used the non-political term for spying instead, surveillance (another term for spying).
This is how the media sinks their poisonous fangs in, with suggestion and innuendo, but the lie is always obvious. They have created an inverted reality all their own: Barr is supposed to be guilty of a “cover-up,” but he has done no such thing, and there is nothing for him to have covered up, anyway. It is the media that is doing the covering up — of their disgrace in the Russia hoax, and of spying that actually occurred.
Just as the media buries stories, they keep others alive past their expiration date. Two years after Charlottesville, the media is still talking about the Unite the Right rally in Virginia as if it happened yesterday. After Joe Biden blamed Trump for the outcome of the rally in his campaign launch, the media again dutifully repeated the cliché, false talking point that Trump praised white nationalists by equivocating between those on “both sides.” It’s nonsense, but they keep repeating it.
Certainly the death of a protester at the rally was a tragedy, but doesn’t this continued coverage seem a little excessive? The media doth protest too much, methinks.
The media is motivated to link Charlottesville to Trump, and to never let Trump, or the American people, ever doubt that he was personally responsible for the deadly violence that erupted there. The same political motives played out in their disparate coverage of the horrific Easter attacks in Sri Lanka and the Christchurch mosque shooting.
The media didn’t let anyone forget who was really responsible for Christchurch: Trump, Islamophobes, gun nuts — some even suggested all white Australians were to blame.
But when hundreds of Sri Lankan Christians were murdered on their holiest day of the year by Islamists, there were no similar calls for soul-searching in the Muslim community.
It was instead decided by decree from the woke demi-urge in a midnight email chain at the DNC that the victims were not, in fact, Christians at all, but “Easter worshipers.”
The media snapped to attention: “Christianity under attack? Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West,” ran one Washington Post headline.
The message here is quite insidious: not merely are Christians not under attack, but anyone who thinks so, or cares, is a conspiracy theorist, and probably racist too.
So Christians can never be victims, and to even acknowledge them by name is to identify with the great unwashed. Got it. Who are the real victims here? The Muslims fearing a backlash, of course.
Some kinds of people, like Muslims, are allowed to be victims, and others, like Christians, are not. It’s tiresome to even take note of this double standard, but it’s part of a grand cultural narrative that the media is intent on pushing.
In that narrative, certain people, the erstwhile “oppressors,” are pre-determined as having lesser moral worth. Enforcing that narrative involves not only shaping perceptions of fact, but casting moral judgment.
To even acknowledge that Christians can be victims is to mark oneself as a political untouchable. Likewise, anyone who dabbles in that stuff about the border crisis or Trump being spied on is not only insane, but immoral.
The media is now carrying out the same moral role with the Barr “scandal” that they created out of thin air, just like Russiagate, and Covington Catholic, and so many before. The slander can be read in chyrons and headlines at elite news organizations all across America: Barr is a liar. He can’t be trusted. He’s a disgrace. He threw his reputation away to become Trump’s “personal lawyer.”
This is such obvious nonsense! But it’s all the media is talking about, and they’ve taken the rest of the country hostage in their fever dream.
The Barr outrage is just their latest delusional fabrication, but it isn’t going to stop. For as long as there are villains for them to destroy, the media will be there to slander them. The Great Green Media Machine has many, many more lies to tell.
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