Enemy of the People 2018-08-16

Today we were treated to a burst of collusion by the lamestream media.   For the past week, the Boston Globe has been encouraging journalists to publish editorials today that would condemn President Trump for calling the “fake news media” the “enemy of the people.”   Somewhere around 350 editorials were published today in answer to the Boston Globe’s call.   There were also a handful of editorials that opined that this collective effort would surely backfire and only prove Trump’s allegation that the journalists are partisan Leftists and “the Opposition Party.”

So, Ratburghers, did you bother to read any of these editorials?

Did you see any new points that you had not already heard many times?

Did you see any really good examples of arguments against President Trump?   Any criticisms that seemed to be helpful or useful to the public discourse over the battles between Team Trump and mass media?

Have you heard any conversations triggered by this effort at a collective rebuke of President Trump?

My thinking is that this is a really small deal.   Nobody will be persuaded to think differently than they already did.


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Media v Evangelicals 2018 part 7

Things have been sort of quiet since my last installment in this series, what with our mass media consumed 24/7 by Trump, Russians, Mueller, Manafort, and Michael Cohen. However there were a few items that might have slipped your notice.

A historian had a book tour. Eerdmans Publishing hooked John Fea up with a tour to promote Believe Me: The Evangelical Road To Donald Trump. This got a mild round of approving articles in the usual spaces. The book is evidently pretty dry, because if it had any juice he would have been treated to a higher-profile tour.

An evangelical Christian himself, Fea argues that the embrace of Donald Trump is the logical outcome of a long-standing evangelical approach to public life defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and a nostalgic longing for an American past.  As insightful as it is timely, Fea’s  Believe Me  challenges Christians to replace fear with hope, the pursuit of power with humility, and nostalgia with history.

The book is loaded with all the old slanders against traditionalist Christians from the 18th century as well as more recent slanders. I can tell this from reviews, comments and an interview with the author; I have not read the book. It has become tedium that mass media like to pass along repetitive instances of liberal “Christians” criticizing traditionalist Christians using Bible passages.

Along that same line there was a book by a liberal Evangelical pastor named Rob Schenck, who told his personal testimony about how he converted from pro-life to pro-abortion. SSDD.

I saw a few new articles from some of my favorites about the press’s general ignorance of religion and religious issues. They are clueless and it shows. Sometimes their ignorance is good for a laugh.

The most recent instance of note was a long feature in the Washington Post. It is a profile of the Trump voters in a Baptist church in Alabama.

The presidency of Donald Trump has created unavoidable moral dilemmas not just for the members of First Baptist in Luverne but for a distinct subset of Christians who are overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly evangelical and more uniformly pro-Trump than any other part of the American electorate.”

Gee, well, I suppose we can guess where this one is headed, can’t we?

So of course it is larded with the buzzwords you would expect. “Awkwardness” “predicament,” “self-reflection” and “compromising” give way to “whiffing on the big moral questions.” Problematic race history issues in the Southern Baptist Church are dredged up, just to whip up the outragey feels of this mess. Along the way is mixed in a journalism smattering of local color quotes of country Baptist people saying Christian things and saying country things and commenting on President Trump.

In a really nice turn, the reporter (Stephanie McCrummen) gave some space to a member who gave a great statement that is perhaps representative:

There was Terry Drew, who sat in the seventh pew on the left side, who knew and agreed with Trump’s position, and knew that supporting him involved a blatant moral compromise.

I hate it,” he said. “My wife and I talk about it all the time. We rationalize the immoral things away. We don’t like it, but we look at the alternative, and think it could be worse than this.”

The only way to understand how a Christian like him could support a man who boasted about grabbing women’s crotches, Terry said, was to understand how he felt about the person Trump was still constantly bringing up in his speeches and who loomed large in Terry’s thoughts: Hillary Clinton, whom Terry saw as “sinister” and “evil” and “I’d say, of Satan.”

She hates me,” Terry said, sitting in [Pastor] Crum’s office one day. “She has contempt for people like me, … and people who love God and believe in the Second Amendment. I think if she had her way it would be a dangerous country for the likes of me.”

Way to go, Washington Post. Him who has ears, let him hear. You may mock and scoff at these rubes all you like, but they see clearly what the Nevers on the Coast missed by a mile.

This long feature has a sub-plot about Pastor Crum preaching a series on the Ten Commandments, with a buildup to his sermon on Adultery. In the end the reporter was disappointed, as her readers will be, that Pastor Crum did not preach about President Trump. But in the end I think this feature is worth reading, with a very uneven mix of quotes from parishioners. In the early going I thought it was going to be simply another hit job, but it is better than that. You can still tell that the viewpoint of these simple Christians is foreign to the reporter and her organization.

I will put links in the comments. One link will be to media criticism of a Frank Bruni editorial in the New York Times, in which he describes what a dangerous ogre the theocrat Mike Pence is, on account of he believes things that traditionalist Christians always believed. Typical.


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Enemy of the People

This tweet followed this interesting follow-up exchange at the White House yesterday.

For the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah,” Acosta said. “The president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people.”

I appreciate your passion,” Sanders responded. “I share it. I’ve addressed this question. I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.”

Acosta and his fellow-travelers in mass media think they are on the high ground here.

I think they are “the enemy of the people.”

In fact, I think they are unwittingly doing the work of the Enemy.

President Trump called them the “Opposition Party.”

They 0ppose my political values.

They oppose my social values.

They oppose my moral code.

They oppose my traditionalist Christianity.

They oppose my ability to freely exercise my religion.

They oppose American leadership in the world.

They hide the murderous crimes of America’s enemies while trumpeting any fault they can find with America.

They hide the murderous crimes of all other religions aside from Christianity, including Atheism, while haranguing us with repeated tales of Christians’ violence.

They do not want me to be able to teach my children my religion and values; they do not want me to be able to defend my family; they do not want me to have a voice in the public square; they do not want me to know the truth.

I think they are the enemy of the people, even more than President Trump does.

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Parkland dirty tricks

In the immediate wake of the Parkland school shooting the students of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were immediate stars.  They were passionate, articulate, polished, highly-motivated champions of gun control.

Perhaps there was a little more to the story than just a group of fabulous grieving students?

Kyle Smith on Opinion Laundering:

The reason television has made stars out of Hogg and González is obvious: They are telegenic, sympathetic vehicles for a message media personalities wish they could get away with openly espousing themselves. (“I get so angry talking to these gun nuts,” Piers Morgan said in a revealing moment on British morning television today.) Just as an op-ed editor at a newspaper can showcase his opinions without his name ever appearing in print by his selection of which articles to publish, the TV media keep giving airtime to students like Hogg because they’re saying all of the things the media’s nominally neutral hosts believe but don’t otherwise feel comfortable saying. Katy Tur, George Stephanopoulos, and Wolf Blitzer can’t passionately lecture the audience about why they think gun policy is crazy in this country, so they put the students on camera to say it. They’re simply laundering their opinions through these kids.

David Hines on Astroturfing:

On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager.  …

What’s striking about all this isn’t the organization. If you start reading books about organizing, it’s clear how it all works. But no journalist covering the story wrote about this stuff for two weeks. Instead, every story was about the Parkland kids being magically effective.

On Twitter, I lost track of the number of bluechecks rhapsodizing over how effective the kids’ organizational instincts were. But organizing isn’t instinctive. It’s skilled work; you have to learn how to do it, and it takes really a lot of people. You don’t just get a few magical kids who’re amazing and naturally good at it.

The real tip-off should have been the $500,000 donations from Winfrey and Clooney. Big celebrities don’t give huge money to strangers on a whim. Somebody who knows Winfrey and Clooney called them and asked. But the press’s response was to be ever more impressed with the kids.


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