Friday, November 09, 2018

Toying With His People

Paul Krugman observes

The midterms election feels like a mix-and-match combination of two ugly episodes from history. For weeks it felt like 2016: Rs created a fake issue -- the caravan playing the role of emails -- and the news media happily went along with it. 1/

Notice that the caravan totally disappeared as an issue as soon as the votes were cast -- not just Fox News, but mainstream media too. Guys, you really need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask why you're so easily played 2/

4:46 AM - 9 Nov 2018

The cynic would suggest that the guys (maybe a few gals, too) were played because they wanted to be played. However, it's more likely that producers or others in charge saw the picture of the caravan and had an absolute orgasm, with thousands of darkish people clearly marching together in the direction of the USA..

They could repeat endlessly that the individuals were refugees 1,000 miles or so from the Texas border, not financed by George Soros, did not include anyone of known Middle East origin, and are escaping poverty and oppression. But.... those pictures.

Nonetheless, there is a journalist- actually, a media personality- who is not being played.

At the President's campaign rally in Missouri the night before the election, Donald Trump called to the stage Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity. As the video below indicates, Hannity points beyond the crowd at the media and says into the microphone "by the way, all those people in the back are fake news."

The crowd was facing the media to which Hannity was pointing and goes wild, cheering, applauding, and smiling, a few apparently laughing at the media. They do so as Hannity turns 45 degrees so that he can see a portion of the crowd, and he smiles broadly.

He was not looking at the fake news, which he condemns for questioning and slamming his hero. He was not angry, but instead laughing while facing Trump's supporters. These individuals were laughing at the people (media) they were facing- as was Hannity. He was laughing at them.

Hannity is a partisan Republican doing what he can to help the party, and probably a genuine conservative and true believer. However, he didn't get where he was by being stupid. He knows, as Trump has proven, that many of these folks can be patronized, lied to, and even derided ("I lovethe poorly educated"; avoiding STD's "is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier"; "drink my little wine... have my little cracker")- and they will respond with fervent support.

Entertainers know how to entertain and how to play their audience. No one can do this better than the boss who on camera liked to tell potential apprentices "you're fired" but cannot be critical of anyone face-to-face. Legitimate, mainstream journalists are being "played," as Paul Krugman charges. However, not a legitimate journalist, Sean Hannity is not being played, instead himself playing his audience.

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