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Sharks and Clowns and Nerds

For most people who watch (which is almost everyone) the world of TV appears to be an exciting and glamorous profession where attractive people perform for the entertainment of the great unwashed AND the rich n' famous by acting in comedy/drama [crying, screaming, blowing shit up, singing songs, shooting people, pleading for their lives, kissing and cracking jokes for the laugh-track] or capturing "reality" [documentary shows, game shows, reality TV, talk shows and late night comedy] or the strange hybrid of the two called #FakeNews. I felt that way myself until I worked for a major television network in the mid 90's and tried my hand at making the machine run more efficiently and promote the corporations product. One morning, a few month on the job, I walked into the company elevator and surveyed the pasty, haggard suite clad executives headed to the upper floors sharing my ride and thought to myself, "you know what, I could be working at an insurance company in Hartford and it wouldn't be any different than working at this media company." These mass media companies are corporations - just like any other corporation - and what goes on at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or FOX News is no different than what happens at other corporations owned by gigantic conglomerates in different industries like Banking & Finance, Energy, Health Care, etc. The office buildings look the same, the company cafeterias look the same, the art in the lobby looks the same, the rugs, desks and lighting looks the same - the people who run the company look the same because they are the same. And in no department of the media corporation is this more true than in the Newsroom which creates a series of "packages" (news lingo for reports) that are served up to the viewing public by "anchors" (news readers) to shape public opinion and pronounce what's important to the corporation.

Just like Trump Tower
As loyal KOTCB blog readers already know, I am a big fan of the Paddy Chayefsky film "Network" and love the opening of the movie which shows the buildings that house "The Big Three" + the fictional UBS network around which the story revolves. Soulless glass and steel emblazoned with the corporate logo, just like Trump Tower, which churn out a product called information. I will note with a smirk that the trailer tag line for "Network" is "Television will never be the same" which, in hind sight, is the saddest and most inaccurate prognostication in motion picture history. Howard Beale was assassinated by a militant terrorist on live TV and it took 40 years for the American public to realize what happened but in that time television remained the same and spread that sameness across the fruited plain. When the truth of the fictitious Beale murder did finally sink in to the body politic it created much more than an "I'm mad as hell" moment - it elected Donald J Trump who promised his supporters that he would go do battle with the Network and, God willing, defeat it. He knew it from the inside - had seen the dragon's lair - and showed no fear in attacking the beast with his trebuchet and drawing gallons of blood while blunting and deflecting every clawing attack or swipe of the tale. More impressive, Trump proved that he could withstand the firestorm of a full throated news media inferno by just standing there and taking the heat until the dragon had exhausted itself. And what does it look like when this wounded and spent dragon gets surrounded by the villagers it's been terrorizing for the past 4 decades:
Wrong Jim. The hostility is not "whipped up" but is the direct result of people - millions of people - getting hurt by the lies, disinformation, willful ignorance and misplaces priorities of the news media. CNN and all the other big foot media are wounded and the people who have long suffered do not see that howling media as "fellow Americans" but as the enemy. Trump could leave the public stage tomorrow and the contempt for #FakeNews would remain and grow in large measure due to "the network" called the Internet which allows normal people to communicate the truth with each other and give feedback to the corporate news that despises its own customers. Trump's failing (if you can call it that) is in telling people what they already believe and saying it with a kind of conviction that "allows" them to say it out loud themselves. Courage is infectious but it takes one courageous man to spread this virtue to a cowed and timid population who've been psychologically battered for decades.

Enemy of the American People

The reasons for this revolt - this dangerous situation for journalists - is very simple and has been explained on the KOTCB blog for years. Take, for example, KOTCB "The real slogan" from 2009 which explained that grown-up journalists are the same assholes that ran the student news paper in high school and hold the same contempt and envy for the fun-loving individual in adulthood that they did in adolescence - they never get past it. But the modern day media conglomerate needs to be broken down and defined in slightly more detail to understand the utter contempt the American people feel toward #FakeNews and the industry that produces it. The media world generally, and news media specifically, are comprised of three interrelated personality types working in concerted effort to buzz-kill the American people and ruin whatever is great about this country - they are Sharks, Clowns and Nerds.
Shark: A prototypical Shark is Les Moonves who runs CBS and is the kind of guy who's "private actions belie his public statements" in a way that's not just hypocritical (everyone's a hypocrite) but qualify as evil. He perpetuates the lies of our corporate masters and lives outside the dictates and mind control he imposes on everyone else. That is to say, he would never live with the constraints he puts on others and he bestows dispensation on his employees at his whim and for despicable, self-serving purposes. He is Frank Hackett (the executive portrayed by Robert Duvall in "Network") and he's no different than the boogie-man corporate oppressor assumed to be leading tobacco companies, big oil and greedy wall street firms.
Clown: The competition is stiff but just picking a name at random we'll designate Chris Cillizza as our representative Clown because he's unabashed about his roll and appears to relish it. The newsreader and commentator all have a healthy dose of thespian in them which means they are insecure and unstable personalities easily controlled by the Sharks and their editor/producer minions who make the decisions on content. The clown is there to keep people watching like Howard Beale (the anchorman portrayed by Peter Finch in "Network") and if they fail then they might as well blow their brains out on live TV.
Nerd: A.G. Sulzberger, the new publisher of The New York Times (carrying on the family tradition) is dictionary definition Nerd who despises the Donald J Trump's of this world with the deepest parts of their lizard brain and lay awake at night eyes fixed on the ceiling tile contemplating the godless injustice of the universe that a ClownShark like The Elvis from Queens could ever become POTUS.  Diana Christensen (the head of programing portrayed by Faye Dunaway in "Network") is their psychic doppelgänger and, like her, they enthusiastically destroy everything thing they touch out of spite, out of stupidity, out of the incomprehensible disappointment their lives have always been. Hate them. Reject them. But have pity on them because you, the normal reader of this blog, can not fathom the anguish of their day to day life - and not just now, today in 2018, but for their entire existence on this earth. These are the people who make up the #FakeNews at the command of their Shark boss and spoon feed it to their Clown entertainers who shout and whisper it into the ears of America.

It's Orange
So when president Trump says that #FakeNews is the enemy of the American people he's absolutely correct and the American people know it.

But A. G. Sulzberger denies it. “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” said Mr. Sulzberger and then, a few days later, the newspaper he publishes "hired Sarah Jeong to join their editorial board" and spew hate. Only a black-hearted enemy of the American people would give Ms. Jeong a platform to spread her racist ideology but the NYTimes defends her. And they worry that their media job has become "increasingly dangerous", well who's fault is that?

I'll tell you another way "democracies die" and that's when The Press becomes a bullhorn for its corporate masters and embarks on a coordinated "mobilization of [media] mob fury against" critics of the press. The media's war on the American people and the POTUS they elected IS "an extremely dangerous sign of things to come" AND what has been for decades past - and that is where the real danger starts to sink in. The way the corporate media (from CBS, CNN and the NYTimes all the way down to fashion magazines and tabloids) has reacted to DJT and his supporters throws into sharp relief what "the media" truly thought of We the People all along.

So after decades of contemptible neglect and (worse) active subversion of America's founding ideals The Media is "in danger" because their reporters get shouted down and cursed by the very people they clearly disparage, ignore, lie to and attempt to manipulate with #FakeNews. Boo-hoo. I have news for the newsmen of this great country - while the 1st Amendment does protect press freedom it DOES NOT guarantee safety and it should be axiomatic that Freedom is always accompanied by Danger - that's part of the deal and one of the reasons corporate news detests true freedom. In a free country, making the decision to become a journalist or reporter would (or should) mark that person as someone who's willing to take on a dangerous job - like a cop or fireman. Telling the truth, holding the powerful to account, following the treasure map and digging where powerful interests tell you not to dig should be dangerous and for many true journalists it is. These honest journalists are brave, irresponsible, curious and "dangerous" people themselves and the #FakeNews corporate media hates them for it. The wimpy #FakeNews reporters want to go to their cube every morning at 9AM and write up their groupthink, advertiser approved, pabulum with the same assurance of safety that a marketing manager for Coca-Cola does their job. It's pathetic and worthy of ridicule and, frankly, destruction because these news personalities (Clowns), editors/producers (Nerds) and their owners (Sharks) ARE THE ENEMYS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


Night Owl said…
Trump could leave the public stage tomorrow and the contempt for #FakeNews would remain and grow in large measure due to "the network" called the Internet which allows normal people to communicate the truth with each other and give feedback to the corporate news that despises its own customers.

This is absolutely right.

Trump is NOT the CAUSE of the hatred so many Americans feel towards the fake-news media. Trump is not why Americans believe the media is the enemy of the people. Trump's election was the EFFECT of the hatred Americans already felt towards the corrupt media.

Morons like Acosta have no idea how much fair-thinking Americans despise them. We despise them for throwing away any pretense of journalistic neutrality and objectivity and becoming paid mouthpieces for the corrupt DNC. We're disgusted by their open contempt of Americans who dare to disagree with the DNC provided taking points. And we truly loathe them for perpetuating a double-standard that covers-up and excuses crimes by Democrat candidates while slandering every GOP candidate as worse than Hitler. We are indeed mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

If a collusion of the DC swamp and the fake-news media somehow manages to get rid of President Trump, the hatred fair-minded Americans feel towards them will not magically disappear. No; at such time Acosta and his ilk, and the corrupt DC bureaucrats that they cover for, will truly need to fear the angry mob.
Night Owl said…
I was not an early Trump supporter because I thought he was too much of a clown; but I found myself secretly rooting for him and couldn't understand why. Then one day, after Trump won the GOP nomination, I heard the idiot talking-heads on the Sunday morning news shows whining about how they couldn't understand Trump's continued popularity, and I said out loud to the TV "it's because we hate YOU". And that was an epiphany for me, and I realized Trump might win the presidency. And if he did it would be in large part because the American electorate hates the lying media more than we hate Trump's clownishness. And, we instinctively know that it takes a smarter clown-shark -- one who actually likes America and "deplorable" American people-- to stand-up to the corrupt, America-hating sharks and clowns in the media.

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