Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I'm not part of the crowd that considers the gentlepersons of the press to be lying scumbags. In fact, my major television viewing is devoted to all things news. Even the two HBO series I regularly watch, Real Time with Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, are news-related.

But, man, just as the "real" news programs promise to do a better job after totally screwing up the 2016 election, they start playing right into the hands of the skeptics -- and when it comes to Trump voters, "skeptic" is too mild a word.

Let's start with something relatively minor and unrelated to the election. Over the weekend, Yahoo! News published a photo captioned "Miguel Diaz-Canel", who would be Raul Castro's eventual successor.

Yet even a guy like me, who didn't graduate from the Columbia School of Journalism, knew immediately that the guy in the photo was actually Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Compare the two men above. It appears that having a pair of eyes, a nose, and a mouth is enough to confuse news professionals. But what can you expect from a site that boasts Katie Couric as its leading reporter? In fact, what can you expect from a site called Yahoo! News? 

Yahoo! News' press corps.
Meanwhile, a CNN pundit was complaining that Donald Trump used his Twitter account to connect with his fanbase rather than going through them -- something like the way Catholics have to go to confession rather than talk to the Big Guy Himself. And this was after many reporters openly admitted giving up all objective pretense, re: Trump. 

It never occurred to any of the pundits whose general line was, Why go through the boring job of actually holding election? Hillary's going to win!, that you tick off voters who, you know, are supposed to decide the winner. 

Trump's favorite band.
Then there was yesterday's Twitterstorm from the Wizard of Trump Tower regarding... Well, what was it about, anyway? I can't remember, can you? Of course not! That's the point!

Still, the press pounced on it. He's at it again! Why is he tweeting at four in the morning about [LATEST OUTRAGE HERE]? Reporters were on it like coked-up puppies chasing a laser dot... conveniently distracting them from the fallout of Kellyanne Conway's disastrous, off-the-reservation appearance on Meet the Press

It took reporters all day to figure out they'd been had. Trump's done it again! He made us drop the bone in order to chase a laser dot! This was, what, the 75th time he's pulled this trick -- and they still fall for it? While people admiringly compare Pres. Obama's presidential style to three-dimensional chess, Trump is playing three-dimensional Battleship at 120 frames a second with  4K resolution: it's so clear and clean that it doesn't look real. When you hear the talking heads discourse on how the President-Elect doesn't know what he's doing, take it with a garbage truck filled with salt.

Still better was MSNBC's coverage of yesterday's attack at Ohio State University. Let's review the timeline. Just days after ISIS' "Dear Abby" advises would-be terrorists that guns aren't necessary to kill Americans when cars and knives will do, a student from Somalia -- an ISIS stronghold -- deliberately jumps a car over a curb into a crowd of students. He then gets out and starts slashing away with a knife.

So it's quite understandable that one of the reporters suggested, on the face of it, that there was no evidence the attack was planned, and that it could have been "a case of road rage." 

A case of road rage. 

Do these people not remember that it was voters' mistrust of the press that helped get Trump elected? I'm starting to think that, for all their wailing, journalists want him to serve eight years. 

This puts me in the Christmas spirit.
Let me end with a personal observation. A few days after the election, a B-level reporter from MSNBC had been doing a piece on the security nightmare that was now enveloping Fifth Avenue in the heart of New York's Christmas-shopping district, now that Trump Tower was becoming the Manhattan offshoot of the White House.

He and his brethren had been given the heave-ho from their set-up directly outside Trump Tower, and were now across the street. Naturally, he was bent out of shape by local and federal police presence ruining his previous cool camera shot. 

I walked over to Trump Tower to check out the scene for myself. Sure enough, when I arrived at 57th Street, the area was sealed off tighter than Dick's hatband, as they used to say. Fifth Avenue was closed to vehicular traffic all the way to 53rd, as were one or two cross-streets. 

The block directly outside Trump Tower was patrolled by Very Serious Security; you needed a really good excuse to pass through the police line. Nosiness not counting, I decided to check things out from across the street.

There was the same B-level MSNBC reporter that I had watched on TV earlier; the one who was so upset about the protection provided for the soon-to-be 45th President of the United States. 

What you couldn't tell from TV was that he was about 5'9". While giving his latest report, he was standing on a packing case to make himself look bigger. 

There's an analogy to be made here, I believe.

Oh, I almost forgot. All the anchors and reporters warned that if Donald Trump were to be elected, the stock market was going to tank tank tank.

Three weeks later, their IRAs and 401Ks were higher than they've been since spring. And you know that ticks them off.


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