Michael Tracey
Dec 31, 2016 · 4 min read

The Trump “era,” such as it exists, is going to be a constant lurching from ginned-up crisis to ginned-up crisis. The real crises — and there will be many — are sure to get drowned out and ignored, because all energy will be consumed by the phony, ginned-up crises, which can evidently be prompted by a mere tweet. Trump has the capacity to launch the entire U.S. media into an instantaneous frenzy whenever he wants, simply by tweeting something trollish, incendiary, or weird. And the media has shown absolutely no ability to treat his tweets with any circumspection; instead, they eagerly feed into the frenzy, partly because it’s good for clicks/ratings, and partly because they lack the analytical acumen to do anything but. It’s perhaps time to accept that the media will simply be incorrigible in this regard, and figure out what to do knowing that their constant crisis-lurching mode will be our “new normal.” That said, I’ve offered a guide for dealing with Trump’s tweets, and I urge any media hack reading this to take heed:

None of us knows where this is going to lead. Very likely some combination of Trump’s trolling instincts and the media’s propensity to egg him on will result in a conflagration of unknown proportions, diplomatically or otherwise. The next world crisis could well come about as a result of some stupid, flippant Trump tweet at 2:00am.

Naively, I had once held out hope that by now the post-election Trump mania would have at least begun to wane, Democrats would be in the very early stages of coming to their senses, and we’d enter a period somewhat resembling normalcy. Wrong. The mindless, throbbing hysterics are worse then ever, egged on by a lazy media who parrot Government Claims re: Russia without even a smidgeon of critical scrutiny. They subordinate their critical faculties because their number one, overriding objective is to Hurt Trump, and if that means stoking a New Cold War under bogus, farcical pretenses — so be it. They don’t care. They are unwell. A lot of them have literally been driven crazy by Trump. Constant, daily, unremitting hysteria will do that to a person eventually, and social media (namely Twitter) only amplifies the effect.

The last 36 hours have been worse than I’ve ever seen regarding groupthink, rash conclusion-drawing, jettisoning of any hint of skepticism, and just the overall mass panic that we’re all used to at this point. We should have no confidence whatsoever that anything will improve, given the media’s horrible track record, as well as Trump’s inclination to troll them at every opportunity. It’s like a dysfunctional marriage; they’re both secretly in love with each other, but they express it through rage-fueled outbursts and petty fights.

The Russia stuff will only continue and dominate the discussion around Trump; his opponents will latch onto it, notwithstanding how ridiculous it makes them look. Liberals will herald their newfound love affair with Neoconservatives like Evan McMullin and David Frum, who would like nothing more than to spend the next 6 months investigating Trump’s “ties” to Putin and use that as grounds to impeach Trump, or at the very least use it as a launching pad for a GOP primary challenge in 2020 (beware Tom Cotton). It’s all downhill from here, folks.

Liberal media organs such as Mother Jones have incentives to feed incessant cheap Trump hysteria. It’s in their business interest to do so. They’ve been playing up the “HILLARY WAS ROBBED BY THE FBI AND PUTIN” narrative, and feverishly promote every unsubstantiated Russia claim, because they know that’s what their audience wants. This impulse is ultimately destructive. It’s going to mire Trump’s ostensible “opposition” in irrational, fuming BS for the foreseeable future, which will do nothing except empower Trump. (Notice you don’t see Bernie Sanders running around screaming about Russia, presumably because he correctly perceives the whole thing to be BS.)

So, it’s a really bad scene. I don’t know what to tell you.

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mtracey

Michael Tracey’s Personal Stylings

Michael Tracey

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Roving journalist

mtracey

mtracey

Michael Tracey’s Personal Stylings

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