Will the Media Continue its Gullibility and its Dereliction of Duty?

by Egberto Willies –

Donald Trump played the media for fools during the Republican primaries, throughout the general election, and even before he decided to run for anything. We cannot forget that the birther movement was given legs by a media incapable of policing itself against the fallacies emanating from celebrities.

For what specifically are Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, or other empty vessels newsworthy? The traditional mainstream media are content to cover idiocy, lunacy, and silliness. It’s in that light that they are covering Donald Trump’s latest distraction. Former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the national anthem while the NFL employed him is old news.

But Donald Trump needed a red, white, and blue issue with racial connotations to excite his base. Most importantly, he needed an explosive new issue to change the conversation from a failing Trump administration to a subject that should not be controversial. The traditional mainstream media were ready to oblige. After all, this was the same media willing to give the president more than $2 billion of free air time to spill his bile.

What’s ironic is that the media acknowledges that Trump is playing them. Instead of doing their job to filter noise from the news, they just acquiesce to the president’s smoke and mirrors. Recently, Chuck Todd, the “journalist” who hosts NBC’s Meet the Press, made it clear they were being played but still modified his show to cover the the kneeling “story.”

Chuck Todd early in the Meet the Press program points out that soon after Trump heard that John McCain would not vote for Trumpcare, the Graham-Cassidy bill to ‘repeal & replace’ Obamacare, he went on the attack on an entirely different subject. He decided to tackle one with racial connotations, Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

In other words, the media knew that Trump was playing them. And what did they do? They became willing participants in the complicity. And Todd admits it.

“The White House thinks this is a good political fight,” Chuck Todd said. “They were not unhappy when they found out our format was going to be a little changed this morning; that we were going to make this a big segment. They were not unhappy.”

There are various degrees of shame here. How can the media who is supposed to watchdog the politicians acknowledge they are being played by the president, accept it, and continue the charade? Todd said they changed their format to make the Kaepernick story a large part of the segment. Is that not journalistic malpractice?

So why is Donald Trump latching onto this issue? He knew a gullible media would take the story and run with it. After all, there is the entertainment factor: the NFL brings a bunch of eyeballs and clicks from people who are not the usual candidates for political news. More importantly, sending the media off to put together panels and interview trolls and indoctrinated Trumpians sucks all the energy out of the newsroom.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Harvey decimated large sections of the Houston Metropolitan Area and Southeast Texas. Many Texans feel their government is failing them.

Hurricane Irma decimated large parts of the Florida Keys, many towns in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and many islands in the Caribbean. Many of these residents feel forgotten.

Hurricane Mary decimated more of the Virgin Islands and laid waste to much of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is becoming Trump’s Katrina. But that has yet to be reported by most outlets, as they are preoccupied with frivolities.

Americans are about to get a shock when they see their health insurance premiums in October. Is the media raising any alerts that could have mitigated it?

The media should be talking about Donald Trump and his administration sabotaging Obamacare. Americans will feel the brunt of that sabotage in October. They should be talking ad nauseam about the disaster, and pain American citizens are going through in Texas, Florida, the American Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. They should be admonishing a president who is self-serving, incompetent, lacking a moral compass, and devoid of empathy for his lack of leadership toward real problems afflicting the country.

Instead of making Kaepernick a story he compels them to cover, the media should flip the card and use his smoke and mirrors tactics to illustrate his ineptitude. That is the job the media must do. But they continue to fail, and that has a material impact on every American.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos