The Media Is Berating Trump For Being Insufficiently Aggressive — Why?
Michael Tracey

I’m not as sure as you about the motives of “the media.” But the motives of some individual reporters and editors are very clear. “The media” might want a “ salacious scandal-in-the-making which could eventually bring Trump down,’ but to individual reporters, this scandal is a means to an end: As always, these people want attention, want to be important, want to be recognized, and they want to make money and become famous. That’s true of all writers.

(This of course emphatically includes YOU. You are not only part of the media — you are also, in fact, and without any indication of a sense of irony, writing about the Russia thing. Clearly, you also “ can’t resist screaming Russia, Russia, Russia over and over [and over]again…” The fact that your critiques are of the media coverage of the events and not the events themselves does not place you off of the bandwagon. You are obviously along for the ride — and have assumed the perennially annoying role of ‘backseat driver.’)

I am, of course, jumping on said wagon, in order to point out that your recursive assessment of the media coverage of the Russia “scandal” is awful journalism. You cannot simply criticize coverage of something like this by first assuming, without evidence, that there is nothing to the story. Asserting the proposition that this story is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” sure does make it easy for you to adopt a tone of singular superiority, but it does little to clarify the reality that there is indeed a story here, regardless whether or not “the media” are overly focused on it.

In fact, you not only fail to clarify reality, you actively obfuscate it. Without any evidence — with, indeed, the exact same absense of data that burdens “the media” — you take a position far more unwarranted than the suspicions voiced by many journalists, because you do not question, or allege, or cite sources, you simply state, as though the word of Trump is all you need to draw conclusions, that this matter is a “ruse,” that Democrats see it only as a “ way to weaken Trump,” and that journalists (other than you) are

“Berating Trump For Being Insufficiently Aggressive.”

HUH? What? WTF??? Really?

OK, first off — the other objectionable things Trump is doing should be getting coverage (though your suggestion that the travel ban fiasco didn’t get covered is as ludicrous as Trump’s assertion that “the media” didn’t cover dozens of terrorist attacks). But to just conclude, a priori, that the Russia story is a “ruse,” is “ a farce that has gotten increasingly outlandish,” and that “the media” want Trump to be belligerent with Russia, is the essense of poor journalism. Good journalism, even opinion and editorial, asks questions when information is lacking. Good journalism asks people — even “Democrats” and “the media” — what motivates them, and how they see something like this. Good journalism does not — repeat, DOES NOT — resort to hyperbole and self-serving histrionics (such as characterizing “the media“ as being “unsatisfied with the avoidance of nuclear war as a desirable policy aim”). This was such a monumental piece of journalistic feces that I feel the need to disinfect my brain after having read it. Bad enough that you presumptuously attribute outlandish thoughts (see: “strawman”) to people. But in order to elevate your presumptions of ill-conceived journalistic motives to a level that supports your portayal of yourself as superior, you create a strawman that could “ lead to some kind of disastrous diplomatic blow-up or lame-brained military confrontation.”

In short, you call the Russia story a farce and a ruse, but then go on to irresponsibly, unethically, thoughtlessly, and ignorantly support Trump’s altogether stupid and alarming pretense that there is a danger of actual nuclear war if the USA should fail to appease Russia in any matter, or if the POTUS should voice concern with Russian actions or voice an intention to continue to support our allies. (And heaven help us if the POTUS should be concerned enough about allegations of Russian interferance in our election to actually support an investigation into the matter). Never mind that our two nations have managed to live through the Cold War, Vietnam,Cuba, Reagan, Kruschev, Putin, Obama, Rocky III, etc, for 70 years of antagonistic relations, without ever even coming close to nuclear war.

In spite of this history, suddenly Trump is suggesting that we should fear “nuclear holocaust” That his policy concerning Russia is meant to avoid the apocalypse (and therefore, by implication, anyone who disagrees is risking, or intentionally attempting to manifest, Armageddon). And in a manner that reeks of lapdoggery and alarmist pandering, you cynically play along, calling this notion “obviously commonsensical” and “almost not needing any justification.” The very assertion by the POTUS of the possibility, even plausibilty of “nuclear holocaust” as a consequence of a refusal of appeasement should Russia threaten the security of a member of NATO is both politically immoral (manipulative, opportunistic, etc…) and extremely irresponsible. As you say: “But Trump utters it, and we’re supposed to believe...” At least you threw in the word “almost.”

Had you done the job of a journalist, and asked questions, you might have discovered the actual concern that most people (including Democrats and the media) have about this matter: A foreign power likely attempted to sway our election for their own purposes, and it has been alleged, with some significant plausibility, that the eventual victor in that election colluded with this foreign power. And if this is not so, then allowing the suspicions to fester in a context of perceived cover-up would be profoundly detrimental to our nation. The worst of this would fall, in fact, on Trump himself, who would serve his term as POTUS under a dark cloud of suspicions that imply illegitimacy, if not treason. He cannot effectively govern until and unless these suspicions are put to rest and shown to be without validity.

The fact that he and his supporters and advisors seem to prefer the dark cloud and are openly resistant to the shedding of investigative light on the matter only throws fuel on the fire. The fact that you, while pretending to be a journalist with the moral high ground sufficient to criticize “the media” for pursuing this “ruse,” do not seem to comprehend the role of a free press in a Republic, nor appear to grasp the great and true value of investigations: By gathering information, we can either expose malignant behaviors OR reveal unfounded or maliciously contrived suspicions for what they are.

I wonder — What is your motivation for wishing us all to ignore this “ruse”? It damn sure isn’t nuclear holocaust avoidance. Is there a reason besides just wanting to be a special little boy and get attention? If not, here you go:

Atta boy!

Happy now?