the media gets no points for finally standing up to trump
randomities, vol. 15: the mainstream media shouldn't have helped normalize him in the first place
Looks like the mainstream media finally grew a backbone. Yesterday, CNN MSNBC, NPR, CBS, and NBC cut President Trump off in the middle of a speech in order to fact check him. NBC’s Brian Williams noted that "here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the President of the United States but correcting the President of the United States..."
It’s too bad that it was an unusual position for networks responsible for the flow of information. As many people have noted, journalistic “objectivity” is a construct of whiteness. It’s what allows their hatefulness and biases to go unchecked, to pollute the airwaves. Trump has made a fool of himself for the last four years, and. Only on a few occasions have anchors like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon held his feet to the fire. But those moments of fiery censure should have been the norm. Journalists and outlets had a responsibility to be subjective in the name of condemning hate speech.
Former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader called the channels’ decision “misusing our public airwaves.” But Trump has been doing just that for four years. He galvanized white supremacists and drew attention to his Presidential campaign by framing Mexicans as “rapists” and pledging to push them out with a wall. When he called Black nations (that colonialism had pillaged) “shithole countries,” implied that the white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville were “very fine people,” and refused to condemn the Proud boys, the media didn’t penalize him with any kind of moratorium.
None of those aggrieved marginalized groups mattered to the billionaires who run these networks. He actually made them money. They sold boatloads of ads for his debates and state of the union speeches knowing that people were tuning in to gawk, and racists were tuning in for their marching orders.
They financially benefited from his bluster, so they let him build his base via the airwaves. He had, and spend his presidency throwing just about every marginalized group under the bus with one quote or another. He was never cut off then.
It was only when he challenged America’s beloved democratic process that journalists were allowed to step in. I guess we know the limits now. It speaks to Trump’s recklessness that these outlets were seemingly prepared to cut him off because they knew he would say something erroneous. He has, after all, made over 20,000 “false or misleading claims.”
The outlets who finally cut him off deserve a golf clap, but not much else. The damage from Trump’s rhetoric is already done. The MAGA movement isn’t going anywhere. These white supremacists were largely in the shadows until Trump’s Presidency. Now they’re emboldened and committing domestic terrorism (on an almost daily basis pre-quarantine). There’s already whispers of a Trump 2024 bid. It seems highly unlikely given Trump’s age and legal worries. But his family will still be able to rally those people for the foreseeable future.
He spent the last four years stirring a bee’s nest one speech at a time. So even when he’s gone, the damage he caused will linger not just via restrictive policy and Supreme Court nominations, but the normalization of hate across the airwaves. These outlets should have put their foot down on him from day one. But they were making too much money off of the show to turn it off.
It looks like the NBA will be coming back in December, all in the name of making as much money as possible. I had a problem with their choice to come back this summer. It’s even more tenuous to ask them to double back just a couple months after the bubble ended. The risk isn’t just a mental toll, but a physical one. All that wear and tear means a higher chance of serious soft tissue injuries (knee ligaments, achilles). I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does at a high prevalence, and/or major stars go down with these kinds of injuries, the NBA will face a lot of scrutiny.
The Clubhouse app has so much potential. I haven’t participated as much vocally, I generally enjoy listening to people talk more than talking, but I can already tell there’s going to be so much to learn from people in a variety of fields. This feels like the beginning of Facebook to me. Not to say at all that it will become as ubiquitous as FB, but I remember when FB first started you could only get in via invite, and you were clamoring to be lit enough to be in there to see what was going on. It was exciting. Anyway, I can easily see this being a top tier social app in a couple years.
RIP King Von. I was just listening to him last night! Woke up late to him being dead, that’s crazy. I’m going to write about this in a couple days, but for now I’ll just re-post what I wrote when FBG Duck died:
“A lot of people see gun violence and ask questions like “what’s it gonna take,” or try to shame Black activists for not condemning gang violence. The thing is, those activists have devoted their life to uprooting the systemic oppression that causes gun violence. Next time you see someone sarcastically saying “I thought Black Lives Matter,” tell them to support a local chapter or any other organization in their area that’s trying to uproot the system. It’s not about blaming rap or blaming kids for being conditioned, it’s about the system and the people who designed it for us to fail because they benefit from our destitution.”
bars of the moment:
I can’t believe Black folks are calling on those who know the power of prayer to pray for a United States presidential election. I cannot believe people are actually using their prayers, arguably the most powerful African tool, for imperialism.
G this music shit for us is a reflection of life & death. We from the mud & tell stories of pain & triumph.
Street shit reflect in our bars & we pay it in blood. It’s time for healing & the destruction of toxic masculinity. It’s eating our boys alive OFN grave.
People are starting to examine their relationship with celebrities and public figures. Do we really need celebrity pundits, when the activists leading these movements — which celebrities are co-opting — could be propped up instead? Black people are also at a point where we can’t — and shouldn’t — be fully addressed broadly; where the concerns and perspectives of the straight Black man can’t take precedence over the concerns and perspectives of Black women and Black LGBTQ people.
The more you press for these details, the harder the conspiratorial mind will have to work to reconcile the theory with reality. My goal is always to move the conspiracy theory out of the realm of abstraction and into the concrete: What are the mechanics of this conspiracy, and what is preventing the normal mechanisms of investigative journalism and law enforcement from kicking in here?
This is King Von and his people getting some jewelry at Ice Box earlier this year. I was randomly watching this sometime this summer, but it feels like last year now. So much stuff has happened since then. Anyways, this is what the upward mobility of rap is about, changing your life and being able to shine, literally and figuratively, with your friends. RIP.
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