The U.S. Politics thread - turd sandwich it is


#845

You really confuse me, man. Some days you write something like the truly excellent post on the electoral system, one of the best things I’ve ever read on the OA, and sometimes you come up with atrocities like this.
Yes, the media has been in decline. This is due to them being conglomarized into bigger and bigger corporations. The main point of critique of Western mainstream media is that they have become too close to power, too familiar and too sympathetic with the policies of those they should critically report on.

Yet, it is absolutely important that the population has access to a variety of different sources of information and that these sources are reliable because of thorough journalism. Without this, we can dispense with democracy altogether, as people who don’t have access to a broad spectrum of sources can’t form an opinion based on their own critical thinking and therefore can’t make rational choices in the voting booth. We’d have a situation like in Russia, where the vast majority of the population gets their information from a few state-owned tv channels, who feed them pro Putin propaganda.
Apparently, this is what Trump and the Republican party have in mind for the US:


If you don’t want to watch the whole clip, Lamar Smith’s last sentences are: “Better to get your news from the president. In fact it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”
So what they are doing is discredit all the media outlets that are not reporting favourably and then suggest the so-called president is the sole wielder of truth.

It is also important to note that Trump does not attack all media. He openly endorses Fox News and Breitbart. Whatever you think about outlets like the New York Times or CNN, they are so infinitely better than Rupert Murdoch’s Republican propaganda channel and a right wing nutjob conspiracy website, it is not even worth mentioning.

So what you’re endorsing here is not only an attack on “the media”, it is an attack on citizens as well, as it aims to limit the sources they get their information from. It is also a promotion of Fox News and Breitbart.
I really can’t understand how someone as intelligent as you could be in favour of this.

And for what? For the entertainment of an watching an ignorant (and he is an absolute idiot, make no mistake. He might be dumber than Bush even) bully attack others? You righly lament the media’s “partisan political squabbling trying to futher their own agendas or sensationalist clickbait”. Well, this is EXACTLY what Trump does, is it not? “You’re either with me, or you are the enemy, period.”


#846

He’s really coming across as someone that’s out of their depth.

He speaks like a child. He just goes on random tangents that I would imagine make his speech writers sit there facepalming and he’s continuously bigging himself up and talking about how shit everything and everyone else is.

I wouldn’t mind “not a politician” if he was telling the truth but I don’t believe anything he says. It’s all scare tactics to throw everything that isn’t him into doubt. So far he’s going to expand and re-equip the whole military and police force, build roads and factories all over the country, build a thousand mile wall, end international terrorism, fix the economy, make friends with every other country in the world… like no other president has ever thought of doing any of those things.


#847

The man who benefited most from fake news is now complaining about them. Oh the irony!


#848

Thanks for the comments.

Look, I get where you’re coming from and why my comment might have taken you surprised but I think there might have been a misunderstanding between my comment, my actual stance and your interpretation of it.

At the end of the day, I’m neither left or right - I’m very centrist. However, for the last several years, like I pointed out, I have noticed a drastic fall in the quality of journalistic and the level journalistic integrity showed by American and British media outlets.

I’m sick to death of constantly being bombarded by newspapers that are trying to force me to take a Leftist or Rightist stand-point with almost no regard for the complex nuances of the current political spectrum. The only newspaper I ever bother with any more these days is The Financial Times and sometimes The Economist, because I genuinely don’t feel that I can trust The Independent, The Observer, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph etc. to actually tell the truth. Hell, even the Wall Street Journal has lost credibility in my eyes after the whole PewDiePie debacle (it sounds ridiculous, and I’d never heard of it until I saw a random VLOG about it yesterday but it is actually ludicrous to find the WSJ stooping so low for clicks and ad revenue).

Anyway back to the matter at hand: I think we’re both arguing the same point - that currently it is extremely hard for people to actually gain relevant, newsworthy facts from most of the mainstream media outlets without it being coloured by whoever the owner wants to support.

I’m not saying I support Trump or that I stand by his policies or that he’s going to make America great again BUT I appreciate the way he spoke to the press. For me, there has long been an air of smugness, arrogance and elitism surrounding journalists and the media outlets, in the way they approach and write about politicians and to the effect that they believe they can affect political outcomes. I haven’t seen a Western leader be so candid or abrasive to journalists before and actually call them out on the way they have been conducting their business. I just thought it was refreshing to see a President actually just go for them like that, rather than stand there and take it or give your usual, roundabout “answer without saying anything” politician responses that we usually get.

Again, I don’t think Trump is any better and I don’t like Breitbart or Fox any more than I like CNN, but literally from Day 1 the mainstream media were savaging and brutalising Trump and his campaign before he had even really started talking policy or anything. So I’m just enjoying watching a politician give as good as he got during the election, more from an entertainment perspective though. I obviously don’t believe having such a caustic relationship with the media is going to help anyone but I feel like the media has become far to self-important and self-indulgent, with a lack of quality investigative journalism. No-one has spoken like this to the media and the journalists before.

I don’t want things to become like they are in Russia or Belarus or Iran, that’s not what I’m saying, I’m just saying that I enjoyed watching a President drop the standard politician approach and go toe-to-toe. I do NOT want Breitbart to become the number one, state-certified purveyor of news just like I don’t want CNN or the Murdoch’s or anyone else to have a monopoly on it either.

My deepest wish is that everyone was just a bit more moderate and sensible, but until then I’ll enjoy all the drama and outrage unfolding.


#849

Sorry @CunningLinguist I wrote this in a rush and I don’t feel like I fully got to expound on my stance so I’ll try and come back to it later today when I get the chance.


#850

All good, mate. Already read it and can fully understand your reasoning. Have a nice day. :wink:


#851

I feel like the second half of this sentence is contrary to the wish expressed in the first half.

Trump’s treatment of the press is harmful to the cause of politics and citizenry becoming more moderate and sensible. It’s harmful to democracy as @CunningLinguist said very well in his post.


#852

Honestly, I believe that the conduct and uppity attitude of the mainstream press was a huge contributor to the success of Brexit and Trump’s campaigns.

The arrogance and cultural elitism exhibited by many journalists, columnists and media outlets played a significant role in alienating vast swathes of the population.

It is not the medias role to sway or influence elections, or even decide elections (which they tried to in America in Hilary’s favour); their role is to impartially report factual news NOT try to decide who should be president based on their own political beliefs. The faster they learn that, the better for us all.


#853

In the instances when this is exactly what they’re doing Trump cries “Fake News” and then you sit here applauding it.


#854

They’re only doing it to piss off Trump and get at him, I didn’t see them trying to string up Hilary for her misdemeanours to the same extent because they weren’t being impartial then either.

I think it was cringeworthy and good reporting when that guy called up Trump on his misinformation regarding the size of his electoral voting win, but I still think the overall media have a long way to go before I start trusting them again.


#855

Tbf that’s not going to happen as long as he treats them this way. The reporter asking about anti semitism had a perfectly good question for him, which he struck away within 30 seconds while making it all about himself.

He’s not going to get a satisfying solution out of this as long as he keeps blaming one side and not giving them a chance while blindly believing the other.


#856

The agendas are real. Most media outlets are owned by just a handful of corporations, and they report what they want to report, in order to further their business interests. Hillary was as corupt a pilolitician as they come and these media organiziations were in it to win it with her because they saw their gravy train coming into the station. Trump is a moron, and when he talks about fake news obviously he’s using hyperbole of the highest order. Fuck it, like I said the man is a strange one so maybe he really believes it’s fake, however there’s no way anyone on earth can refute that the media is owned by big business and is used to further their interests only, it’s been that way a long time now. All this talk of him having some sort of master plan to turn the united states into Russia is just the left still massively butt hurt they lost imo.


#857

You can’t get an unbiased media anyway.

You need opinions to sell stories. People buy the same papers all the time because they agree with the opinions, not because they agree with the facts.

And once you start picking and choosing which facts are more interesting then it’s just entertainment.


#858

Then you’re taking joy in someone trying to stiffle free speech and bully those who dare to report his lies, contradictions and crimes.

He’s gone after journalists who’ve conducted genuine investigative reseach exposing him while cheering corporate right wing propoganga who support him. He’s even gone after the BBC. Yes let’s celebrate that.

Also the fact you’re comparing CNN/MSNBC who have relatively impartial reporting to blatant proganda agencies like Fox and Briebart with their far right editors would simply laughable if missinformed people like you couldn’t actually vote.


#859

Again?
The media has always been owned by big businessman, so the thought that they can ever be trusted is unlikely.

People like Murdoch can make and break politicians, and have done regularly.

In this country, journalists come very low on the list of respected jobs.
They are down there with Lawyers, Politicians, Estate Agents and Bankers.


#860

What have you got against Lawyers pal? It’s a pretty well respected profession infact all of the professions you listed are quite respectable


#861

Nevermind Russia, Trump’s action tick most boxes of Fascism 101:

  1. Threaten and bully the media
  2. Threaten to lock up political opponents
  3. Attacking judges
  4. Round up minorities with the National Guard (see yesterday’s leak, which the White House declined to comment on)
  5. Attack religious groups
  6. Blatantly racist attacks on minorities
  7. Encouraging supporters to intimidate voters at polling stations.
  8. Nationalism as the key ideology

And fuck me we’re only a month in.


#862

I think no one’s really going to contest that thought, as we all know that certain media outlets follow their own ideas, but at the same time it’s also quite clear that the other side, as in Fox news or Breitbart (or even infowars), are equally as guilty of reporting their own agenda and to this point he’s not been calling them out for being fake news or spreading misinformation as they support his own thoughts.

Calling media outlets that don’t support his own agenda the enemy of the American people is a step or two above that though and even more so as the president of the United States.


#863

I don’t know if there is a list anywhere but I’m fairly sure Lawyers and Estate Agents would be very high up on it.


#864

The actions of the opposing side could be classed as facism as well, especially the way they’ve reacted after not getting their way, talk about disrespect for democracy (caveat being the US is hardly a democracy but it’s galavanted around as such). Anyways I’m a lot like Cristo in that I’m not left or right. I actually wanted Bernie Sanders first, of course the corrupt Hillary and the dems slimed their way to the nomination.