Our media and culture must stop the brazen attempt of Donald Trump to transform the inauguration into a fixture of Mr. Trump’s media lie.
Like he has done so many times before, Mr. Trump is planning to upstage the inauguration with his own red-carpet departure, complete with brass band and military honors. Mr. Trump has simultaneously incited his adherents into insurrection, resulting in a video spectacle of our nation’s capitol under military occupation.
The result, if we let him get away with it, is that the Trumpist media will do all in its power to use the militaristic images to buttress the lie that Joe Biden is accomplishing a military coup, supported by the “deep state” within the Pentagon. That same Trumpist media will couple those images with triumphant flags, band, and honor guard accompanying the outgoing Donald Trump.
The intent is to cement the meme that Joe Biden is the imposter and that Donald Trump is the legitimate president betrayed by evil forces.
I hope that the heads of mainstream media will refuse to broadcast ANY live coverage of the departure circus. I think that any coverage should be limited to a crawler along the bottom of the screen announcing that Mr. Trump has departed Washington DC.
Our media must stop Mr. Trump and his media masters from exploiting the media to perpetuate their own insurrectionist and White Supremacist lies.
My understanding is that Trump plans his departure for Wednesday morning so there will be no need to split-screen the inauguration itself. From all I have seen over the past couple of weeks the mainstream media know an insurrection when they see one. I don’t think merely filming a presidential sendoff legitimizes that.
I don’t want those videotapes broadcast on the same day as the inauguration.
I’m concerned that we’ll have years — or decades — of split-screen images with a voice-over characterizing the inauguration as an illegitimate coup supported by the military.
You really don’t expect what you’re describing to appear anywhere but the darkest recesses of alt-right fantasy world, do you?
Christopher, do you understand that recent polls (https://www.npr.org/2021/01/15/956850131/poll-majority-of-americans-blame-trump-for-violence-at-capitol) show that SEVENTY EIGHT PERCENT of Republicans “do not trust the results of the 2020 election”.
Are you familiar with the utterances of Q-Anon? Do you understand that a self-professed follower of Q-Anon was just elected to the House of Representatives?
I expect what I’m describing to be ALL OVER at least the Trumpist media within a few weeks. I suspect that mainstream media will again go with the venerable canard of reporting such rubbish as “news” because it is being broadcast to Trumpists. I expect Fox News and everything to its right to prominently feature it.
Surely you remember the way that that the alt-right manufactured the stories they used to vilify Hillary Clinton — the “Vince Foster scandal”, “Whitewater”, etc.
So far as I can tell, we’ve spent at least two of the last four years wallowing in excrement from the “darkest recesses of the alt-right fantasy world”. You really don’t expect that to stop next Wednesday, do you?
I don’t expect it to stop cold turkey, but I do expect it to diminish greatly as the Trump presidency (and his Twitter feed) fade into the rearview mirror.
That’s not what you said, though.
I’m responding to your specific comment:
It sounds like we agree that for at least a few days, the answer to your perhaps rhetorical question is (sadly) a resounding “yes”.
That’s why I want the media to scrupulously avoid feeding the Trumpist monster — the more the dark split-screen is broadcast, the longer it will take to eradicate the resulting lie.
I guess I don’t share that fear, or at least that will amount to anything significant.
Having a media blackout just substitutes one meme for another one. Have you thought this through, Tom?
Well, I think so. Is there another one I’ve missed?
The meme I have in mind is “editorial control”. It is the premise that our media images should be based in fact rather the fiction of particular individuals.
Instead of Biden being supported by the military (consistently rated by the general public as the most trustworthy institution), you would have Biden supported by the media (consistently rated by the public as the least trustworthy institution).
How is this an improvement?
I don’t think civilized America wants to believe that its government is the result of a military coup. I think America trusts the military specifically because the military has, for centuries, refused to let itself become a political instrument.
I doubt that many Americans realize the extent to which the media already controls them and has for as long as broadcast media (at least television) has existed. The media will control Americans whether or not we trust it.
It’s an improvement because it at least begins to realign media reality with actual reality.
Steve Consilvio says
Remember in Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 the footage of Bush’s inaugural motorcade being pelted with eggs? I had no idea. The media censors a lot of stuff. One day I saw a breaking news report of a gunman at the Washington Monument. It was closed, evacuated, etc. Not a peep about it after the fact. Was not in any newspaper or broadcast tv. The sad fact is that the media elected Trump by giving him tons of free exposure. Perhaps it was to redicule him initially, but the effect was the same. Of the 17 GOP contenders, it was a swamp of idiocy and hypocrisy. I’ll never understand why Bush dropped out, but any of the others could have stayed in and waited. It wasn’t hard to see that Trump is self-destructive. The sad fact is that the media does a lot to misinform and indoctrinate, and consolidation has only made it worse. They are also the primary beneficiary of the billions spent on campaigns, so keeping the public dull but energized serves their self-interest.