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Monday, April 30. 2018
I had the good fortune, and position, to have attended a few of these White House Correspondents' Dinners. It was a long time ago in a previous job. They were not, by any means, for the faint of heart. The roasting was often hot, barbed, but generally all in good spirits (with one or two notable exceptions, naturally involving Republicans). I heard it described as the "Super Bowl of Washington and general news journalism." I'd have to say this was an accurate description. The people in the good seats were high-profile, the coverage (like any in media) was extensive because what's better than the media reporting on itself?
The past two, however, have taken on a different look and feel than those which preceded. It's no surprise to me that Trump wouldn't want to attend. I do think he can handle a barb or two, even a few good-natured jabs. But the press refuses to deal with him in any tone except the most vicious. I've never hidden the fact that I am not a Trump supporter. That said, I don't hate him the way his opposition and the media does. I don't see a good reason for making outrageous and unsubstantiated claims about him, or using them as the basis for mean-spirited attacks. I also don't see any logical reason for attacking his support staff or supporters, even on the basis of some of the more lurid details which are well-known about his behavior and commentary.
What I read from the most recent dinner was nothing less than a low-brow mudslinging crapfest. While one reporter says Trump's skipping the event matters because of his 'war on the press', it's pretty clear the press is and has been waging war on him. I see no reason for Trump to attend something where the acknowledged approach will be to attack at the lowest possible level. I am not someone who believes in respecting the 'office' of the president. Respect is earned, and simply winning a position in a popularity contest doesn't immediately mean you earn respect. However, can you imagine how people would have reacted if a comedian at a previous WHCD had brought up "Bathhouse Barry" stories as part of their routine? It would have been called racist, unbecoming, not worthy of discussion, disrespecting the position of the presidency, etc. What if Bill Clinton had been properly attacked about his multiple affairs and sexually predatory behaviors? Point is, there is a double standard in play. Many who once asked Republicans to 'respect the office of the President' quickly jettisoned that concept when it no longer suited their needs.
It may seem Trump deserves all the bad press, and disgusting jokes. He does not run his office with a level of civility similar to previous office-holders. He is prone to outrageous tweets and comments. It's obvious he lies (though from my perspective the difference between his lies and every other politicians' is that his are only more obvious, not more frequent), and sometimes lies about things he's better off ignoring or not commenting on. To his opposition, these are things that make him repugnant and worthy of the dirt they sling back at him. To me, his commentary isn't worth paying attention to. It's just part of the media circus he loves to create. He's less concerned with appearances and more concerned with outcome.
If there is such an entity as "the press" (and I do believe there is a large contingent which can be classified as such), then it is doing itself a disservice. In the rush to attack the president at every turn, it loses credibility and undermines its ability to legitimately provide negative views about the president's policies. As a result, the dinner has basically become an event where the press pats itself on the back for making the president's life, and the life of his staff, miserable while making his supporters seem insipid.
Even as the press laments the loss of civility and the growing gap between people due to political polarization, this entity which purports to speak for 'the people' widens the gap with a lack of civility, and increasingly biased reporting. It is no surprise comedy shows which lean heavily on partisan humor are losing their audiences.
The same has happened with the WHCD. The audience has been lost, because the audience is itself. It is simply a masturbatory festival of self-important lamebrains, not unlike the Academy Awards or other awards shows. At least one journalist sees that the dinner's time has passed, though he believes it is not worth it in a Trump Era. I see it a different way. Even Rob Reiner realized the jokes didn't play. When one of the leading lights of the Progressive Agenda looks at the humor with jaundiced eye, you know it's simply an echo chamber. The best of the audience doesn't even find it funny....just that it is (in his words) "truth". The problem is, whether it is "truth" or not is irrelevant. Reiner blames Trump for poisoning the atmosphere to such an extent that low-brow, tasteless and generally unfunny "jokes" are the best these people can do. It's my position people like him and Wolf have poisoned the atmosphere long before this, belittling people who don't share their views, and now they are getting deeply personal about it.
I don't think you have to support Trump (and I don't) to understand how the press is debasing itself. Not too long ago, I started saying what was once the Fourth Estate is now a Fifth Column. I do believe this firmly, and even recent studies have borne out this claim, as most news organizations are consistently left-of-center. Today, what appears to be only slightly left would have William F. Buckley scratching his head, since any true 'moderate' realizes they are very far to the left. To offset this obvious bias, new studies try to make the claim that what matters is which sources people are paying attention to - rather than what the fundamental ideological basis of the stories are. A stealth indoctrination, to be sure, if one is not wary.
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You know when I really understood how deep, how never-ending this hate is? I'll tell you when I really got the full picture: it was the day Melania tried to imitate Obama's chick and have some children in to the WH to do some gardening. While what's her name got weeks of positive coverage and beautiful photos of her and the children--do you remember what Melania got? The full press coverage from multiple sources was all about the color (red) of her gardening gloves ! NOTHING--NOT ONE POSITIVE WORD about Mrs. Trump. That ladies and gentlemen is the BITCH WORLD GONE BAD ! Well and truly BAD!
This kind of behavior is why I won't call them liberals anymore. The loss of civility has taken place entirely on their side.
jdgalt: The loss of civility has taken place entirely on their side.
"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!"
dem-leftist media proves once again they are juvenile thinkers -- blaming Trump for their own actions, words and thoughts. They have proven once again that they have no class, taste, manners or morals.
It's part of the job description to hate Republicans, and has been for decades.
However, I think it's tough on the ego to be a "correspondent." Correspondents don;t do anything or make anything, but just write and talk about those who do. So maybe it makes them feel a little better to take advocacy positions, to feel like they are in the arena in some way.
BD, Correct you are. journalism is the cheap way to be involved in making policy and influence the world -- sitting on the sidelines and yelling at the Coach. Generally, journalists do not have an expertise in the subject at hand. They are wordsmiths without experience, expertise or understanding. Most are not even good storytellers.
30 years ago, part of my dual major was TV Production. I had to take a number of courses, such as news writing and documentary production, which required reporting on news and/or events. I had to produce 'the news' for the Syracuse University news station once a week or so.
If I presented anything which was remotely partisan, it was rejected. We were taught to at least ATTEMPT to be non-partisan. True objectivity was always recognized as impossible, but degree of honesty and 'fairness' was required.
I'm amazed, today, for what passes as reporting. I find myself, when I (infrequently) watch TV news, yelling at the TV set.
I won't blame the Democrats solely for the change in civility. They deserve the lion's share of the blame, mainly because they've always presented themselves as morally superior when they are anything but (Woody Allen, whose early films were so brilliant, always attacked Republicans by presenting his views as morally superior, and we KNOW how that worked out for him).
Republicans didn't do themselves any favors, though, by promoting BS like the Birther and Islam stories about Obama, or even the "Bathhouse Barry" stories. They frequently fail to address Democrats' lack of civility by being civil on their own in response. The Democrats have an easier time promoting themselves as morally superior because, on the surface only, they SEEM morally superior. Most people only look at the surface, never what's beneath it.
As Bastiat wrote:
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
This is the first time in my memory ANY Republican (and he certainly isn't a real "R") has known how to give back exactly what has been paid out to him, in spades, and it's delicious.
He's done a great job at showing how to drive these asshole "journalists" and "correspondents" like Jim Acosta, all of MSNBC, etc. insane with their own medicine.
Thirty five years of dealing with the worst shyster Real Estate lawyers in NYC, crooked City Council retards, Mobbed up Construction unions and the bottom feeders in commercial property management in Manhattan have born fruit. They're still there and he's in the White House.
Think Marco or Jeb! would have Kim looking for a way out? My ass.
My thought has been that fringe Republicans have gone down those roads, but seldom the Congressmen, writers for the conservative press, or think tanks. OTOH the low comments from the left have come from the highest levels, and have for years.
It's just HORRIBLE what Trump does to make the press DUMP on him all the time. Keeps 'em wound up tighter than anything!
Sam L: It's just HORRIBLE what Trump does to make the press DUMP on him all the time. Keeps 'em wound up tighter than anything!
It's rule by troll!
Trump blatantly lies. This drives the truth-mongers crazy, who then argue about facts and values and etc. etc., blah, blah, blah. The bully slaps them again. Everyone laughs.
Trump blatantly lies. This drives the truth-mongers crazy, who then argue about facts and values and etc. etc., blah, blah, blah...
Please inform us when Zachriel objected to Obama's multiple lies about being able to keep your health care plan. 36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan.
Deeplorabull: Please inform us when Zachriel objected to Obama's multiple lies about being able to keep your health care plan.
As we have stated many times in the past, most people did keep their insurance, however, there was inevitably going to be churn and disruption, especially in the individual market, so some people did not. Obama should have been clearer on this point.
Obama shouldn't have blatantly lied, kiddiez.
See Jonny Gruber.
The "Press" continues to make itself irrelevant to most Americans; to which I can only say: "Keep up the attacks on Trump and we will have him for 8 years!"
Mind you that wouldn't be a bad thing as he has done more with the economy in his short time than Obama did in his 8 years.
I now have a "Trump job"! A good job with great pay and benefits; and it looks like it will last for a long time. Something that I haven't had in over 8 years thanks to Obama's stupidity.
I vacillate between thinking some of these people have a Walter Mitty hero complex thing going on or that they have a compulsive need to demean others. Am I alone in sometimes wondering if Trump pays these people to be his tools? He uses their antics to galvanize and expand his base. The lame histrionics and malice confirms the image of a smarmy, sneaky, deceitful political/media class.
Not speaking to the Media itself, I think the PC phenomenon is the underlying source of all the hatred and abuse. In PC culture hate is inexcusable.... except toward those who aren't PC.
Trump fills the bill as high profile and not-PC; and so, lacking any other place to vent their spleen whilst living the PC life, they pile on Trump.
“O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!"
The media no longer supports the left, they are the left. In the USA, it has basically come down to college leftists, and the media vs Conservatives.
War has been declared and myself and other /conservatives are tired of their BS. No more backing down and having to apologize. Trump is not perfect, but he is the leader to take back our country. I hope he has 8 years and then Pence gets 8 more. 16 years will be a decent start to reversing the damage the left has done over the past 50 years.
I say buy a gun, buy some ammo, put signs in your yard, stickers on your back bumper and vote in every election. Enough is enough!
Good government, like good business and good scholarship, is always a creative exercise. In our political environment today, who are the creative ones?
And on the other hand: An indication of a lack of creative success is to have no new ideas, no synthesis of new data and interpretation, but rather a tired echelon of repetitious tries at something that, once upon a time, was successful.
And if it was deemed less successful the last time it was used, then let's haul it out again, tweak it, re-imagine it, and re-cycle it yet again. Hence: The correspondent's dinner. Next year, it may be even more degraded and outrageous. But it probably won't be creative.
Aggie, I get your point that if things are not creative, things degrade. Life is the only chemical that renews itself. Grow, Adapt, or Die.
But another point to consider is Good Government (any human endevor) must be run by Moral individuals -- integrity, honest, community minded, trustworthy, industrious, committed. It is the moral character of humans that make government Good or Bad.
But what is "moral character" and how do people recognize it?
That's the whole point of checks and balances, but even these can be abused.
In Federalist 51, Madison wrote " But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. "
Government, by its very institution among men, is not moral and cannot be moral. The Bible, in First Samuel 8, God makes it clear why this can never be. Even putting people of 'moral character' in place won't do the trick. Power corrupts.
Worse yet, the original question of 'what is moral character?' becomes an issue. I believe moral character is basic. Honesty, sincerity, and a desire to be effective in a role, while innovative if and whenever possible. Keep it simple, don't make it complex.
Sadly, too many people believe 'moral character' is stealing from one set of people and redistributing to others. I'm not just talking about taxes and welfare. I'm talking about rights, too.
If it is 'just' to give one side a voice by silencing another, the PC/Left crowd will do it.
As one friend of mine said "how can you sit still while Trump engages all the same behaviors of the Nazis?" I calmly pointed out that he has engaged none of those behaviors. I have yet to see a single right of anyone's removed, and when that does happen, I will fight back in whatever way I can.
Meanwhile, I pointed out, Hillary supporters on colleges everywhere ARE shutting down free speech - any speech that they feel 'offends' their sensibilities. Tell me again which side is employing Nazi tactics?
I'm really not sure the Democrats or the Left are aware of just how fascist their behaviors are.
NAZI stands for National Socialism.
Nazi's are left wing. It is only through sheer propaganda since World War II that Nazi's are now considered right wing.
Phil Taylor: Nazi's are left wing. It is only through sheer propaganda since World War II that Nazi's are now considered right wing.
Fascism was considered on the political right at the time, as well as today. Fascism fits the definition of right-wing as advocacy of a hierarchical society, in direct conflict with liberalism and left-wing egalitarianism.
Mussolini: Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the "right", a Fascist century.
Wonkette, when she was Anna Marie Cox, had entertaining reviews of the WHCD, based on her (taken-on) persona of loving free wine and anal sex.
Other than that it never struck me as funny or interesting.
Yes the founders did address this. That's why the checks and balances and the division and decentralization of power. They understood that human nature "is what it is". Corruption, grifters, sadists, predators, sychophants and other hangers on (media, academia) follow the money and power.
Congressmen, congressional staffers, agency staffers, pentagon staffers, and assorted family members have been shuffled in and out the revolving door of corporate board rooms, foundations, non-profits, and lobbying organizations for decades.
You wouldn't be so disillusioned if you understood that government is a form of racketeering; organized crime, but sanctioned and necessary. It always has been, from the time the first people were cajoled and/ or coerced into building the first stick stockade to keep the livestock in and the two legged and four legged predators out. Add graft, nepotism, and featherbedding, and presto, you have the Chicago way.
BTW, the "free rider" dilemma has always been with us too. Some of the folks just did not want to contribute man power or materials to that stockade but demanded or begged for admittance when the going got tough.
I think what has changed is that the "donor class" didn't hate America. I don't think they would have sold that which makes America, unique and makes America, America down the river for a buck and their own self aggrandizement.
I just started college when Kennedy and Nixon were running for president. It was obvious then that the media loved Kennedy and loathed Nixon. Then they pretended to be objective but today they don't bother to pretend and they are blatantly partisan. The media have simply turned themselves into Pravda for the democrats.
I, in part, blame the technology. In the past, the really "fringey" people, such as that teacher at Fresno State College, would have been overlooked. It is social media that catapulted an "attention ho" to her 15 seconds of fame.