The Media Is Complicit
The above tweet references the Holy Grail of the shitposting corner of leftist Twitter with which I proudly associate — The Pee Tape. Donald Trump allegedly had a night out in Russia on a visit to Vladimir Putin that involved two prostitutes and water sports. It remains the most embarrassing thing that could happen to any public figure in politics, not that pee play is necessarily bad even if it kinda unhygienic to say the least. Far be it from me to kink-shame, but the problem for Trump wouldn’t be sexually liberated people judging him hypocritically. It’d be his own base, hypermoralistic Republicans and conservatives who clutch pearls if a woman has too much cleavage. So if it is real, it should be the thing that dominates the news cycle, right?
Except the tweet above is totally true. It would drop on a Friday, inflame Twitter, and by Monday morning, it might be a punchline on the morning show circuit before it gave way to whatever variation of the Knockout Game kids are playing these days. The fact that that predictive analysis feels accurate should cause you to ask yourself the following questions:
- Why can the Trump Administration sweep explosively negative stories away so easily, and…
- How can people change the game?
These questions are answered easily. One, the Trump Administration is very good at saying “nothing to see here” and the media just smiles and nods before moving onto the next story. Two, the media has to change its strategy. The problem is, does the media even want to change?
In the ’70s, the media toppled another corrupt-beyond-all-imagination administration. Richard Nixon’s hubris left enough of a breadcrumb trail for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to break open the Watergate hotel break-in and all its implications. I don’t know what changed from then until now. I don’t want to say that now the media are celebrities, because honestly, Walter Cronkite was a household name for years by this time, and who was more powerful in his industry than William Randolph Hearst, who orchestrated the Spanish-American War for fuck’s sake. Maybe it’s the amount of money in media anymore relative to the past? I don’t know if I can make that claim accurately, so I won’t. Maybe the media has moved more to the right and lost its adversarial edge, which would jibe up with the economic assumption. I mean, even milquetoast Democratic taxation for barebones social programs would hurt their bottom line more than Republicanism does.
Regardless of why the media has stopped doing its job, the fact that it allows Trump and his administration to get away with this shit while allowing them to lead them by the nose in attack mode against anyone slightly to the left of John McCain is embarrassing and needs to change. This failure of the fourth estate is compounded by the fact that Trump actively negs them every single day of his life. It’s textbook abusive relationship behavior. He calls these outlets FAKE NEWS, and they turn around and hire his former campaign managers, run soft focus features on his family, and actively push narratives that his most virulent, fascist, Nazi supporters aren’t actually that bad and don’t deserve to be punched.
So if you want this pee tape to have legs, to have a proper hype crew outside of Twitter, you’re counting on a flaccid body of sycophants and lazy whiners to do the job for you. They won’t. They’ll refuse to, even. The media only seems like an adversary because Donald Trump is a petulant blowhard who has never heard “no” in his life because he always had enough money to make “yes” happen. Look at the way he deals with Republican Senators who don’t oppose his policies but are mad at how brusque and unprofessional he is.
Face it, America is stuck with ineffectual political opposition aided and abetted by sycophantic media. All hope is lost unless someone has the bright idea to purge these bodies of all the enablers and layabouts and start running with people who want to move left. If not, Donald Trump is going to get a second term, and the comic event of the century will end up just being another footnote while boring old White men continue to crow about Benghazi while the buffoon in chief continues to send more young men to their deaths in foreign countries while passing the buck on responsibility.