Reading this long column by James Pinkerton the other day got me thinking about how strange things seem today, compared to not so long ago. Pinkerton used to be on TV a lot when I bothered watching cable news. He would be the libertarian, as well as contrarian, guy on the panel of a current affairs show. That was the standard model for current events programming. They would rustle up some columnists and have them talk about issues presented by a moderator. Maybe they would add some shouting to punch it up a bit.
That seems like a long time ago for the simple reason it seems so quaint and innocent. When a guy like Cal Thomas or Bob Novak moved to TV, they brought with them a long history of opinion writing. You knew where they were coming from most of the time. They still wrote columns for newspapers and they had seen a lot of politicians come and go, thus giving their opinions a salty flavor. Even the lefty chat show guys were old newspaper men, who had seen and heard it all.
The point being is that even though the news was biased and the balance on the chat shows tilted to the Left, you knew where everyone stood. Bill Press, for example, was crazy as an outhouse rat, but his opinions were his own. When he got into a heated argument with his conservative co-host, you knew it was a bit of an act, but it was also a fight they had had a thousand times over beers at their favorite DC watering hole. The point here is the news has always been biased, but it was on the level, for the most part.
This election has made clear that the mass media is anything but on the level. It’s not just biased, it is manufactured bullshit cooked up by schemers in league with members of the ruling class. The Michelle Fields hoax is a great example. Fields, according to her bio, has never actually worked as a reporter. She popped out of college a few years ago, wiggled her ass at the right guy and got cast as a “journalist” on-line and on TV. She’s too young to have opinions worth having so she may as well be an actress, hired to play a role.
That’s pretty much what she is, as she is willing to have whatever opinion you will pay her to have, even if it is the opposite of what she said yesterday. Fields is by no means an oddity. The Wikieaks dump revealed that Louise Mensche has been secretly working for Hillary Clinton. Mensch has been passing herself off as a conservative and crusader against political correctness. It turns out that it was all an act. As the linked new piece notes, immediately after the truth was made public, she was on Twitter playing a new role.
It’s not just the TV tarts pulling this stuff. CNBC has a guy they kit out as the avuncular professor names John Harwood. It turns out he was in cahoots with the Clinton camp to rig the news in their favor. Hilariously, CNN was giving Clinton the debate questions in advance so she could not just prepare for them, but prepare how to act surprised by the question. That’s so typical of how the Clintons operate. Somewhere, in Hillary’s things, is the fourth nail intended for the Crucifixion.
Of course, none of this is being covered by the main news outlets. As I write this, the New York Times has a couple of stories about a rumor about the rumors of rumors of Trump being rude to a woman on their front page. Nothing about the Wikileaks stuff. The Post has the same made up story about Trump and a story about how vexed the Clinton camp is over their e-mails being released.The official newspaper of the Imperial Capital cannot be bothered to cover the biggest scandal since Watergate. It’s as if it never happened.
This is just another aspect of the tsunami of bullshit that is the major media today. It’s not that they color the news or that they make up stories. The actors posing as a journalists on TV can be written off as grifters working the system so they can land lucrative TV gigs. There’s no excusing what appears to be an organized and coordinated attempt by major media to suppress the news. If you want to know about Wikileaks, you have to go to the alternative media or read through the database of released documents on your own.
It is one thing when the news is slanted. People adjust to the bias. We are in a strange age in that the mass media is entirely made up. None of of it is on the level. It’s layers and layers of manufactured stories, crowding out real news, to the point where it is impossible to take any of it at face value. You can’t even be sure the people in the stories are real. The Clinton campaign is planting child actors in crowds, posing as adorable local kids, to ask questions. Our public life is now less authentic than professional wrestling.
Is this the result of the breakdown of pubic trust? Are we just seeing the logical result of a ruling class that no longer has any trust in the people whom it rules? Maybe this is just the natural end of a mass media age. No one knows, as this is the first time one has existed. Maybe in the fullness of time, we’ll know that mass media cultures always decay into a liar’s ball, where nothing is on the level, nothing is what appears to be and the only thing you can know is no one can be believed. Perhaps this is what Hell is like.