Bothsidesism

Part of me wants to turn off all television news and live a happily ignorant existence. Another part of me needs to scream. At Chris Matthews. At Chris Cuomo. At Chris Hayes. It’s not the name Chris that bothers me. My confirmation name is Chris. No, it’s how the Chrises and others in the television news business are once again doing their best to sway and blow another election for Democrats.

After the terrorist murders in Pittsburgh, almost every news show had on good ol’ folksy John Kasich. He’s been making the rounds. What he says in all of these appearances is appealing: we need to have more empathy, stop putting up walls, reach out to others, and Trump is incapable of being a unifier. All of it sounds good. Common sense. But just as he criticizes Trump in one breath, he then invokes bothsidesism in another.

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The Rhetoric Blame Game

False equivalency strikes again.

Yesterday pipe bombs were sent to political opponents and vocal critics of Donald Trump. Specifically, the targets of the bombs were people he has called out by name at his cult shows.

Today the media has bent over backwards to show how both sides need to cool down on the rhetoric. For example, CBS This Morning showed several clips in an attempt at being “fair.” One clip was an interview with a Trump supporter—it looked like she was in the lobby of his rally last night—who said both sides need to take a step back. This was followed by another clip of past Trump cult shows (aka rallies) where he whipped up the flock into frenzied chants of “lock her up.”  Then, to be “fair,” CBS showed a clip of Eric Holder saying, “when they go low, we kick them.”

How are these things even remotely equivalent?

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100% Pure Projection

Trump is nothing but 100% pure projection.

When a person projects, they tend to fervently accuse others of traits, flaws, and issues that are really about themselves. It is blame shifting. Trump and his propaganda machine (including feckless Republicans) have mastered this primitive defense mechanism and elevated it to a sickening art form.

Some examples:

Hillary is crooked = I am crooked.
She is corrupt = I am corrupt.
The Clintons are criminals = I am a criminal.
Rosie is a pig = I am a pig.
The election is rigged = I am rigging it.
Obama is sick = I am sick.
The media is the enemy of the people = I am the enemy the people.
Anything he labels or calls a disaster = I am a disaster.

Almost every time he opens his mouth to criticize someone else, he is actually talking about himself.

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Is this the kind of disruption people voted for? Sure, some did. (During the campaign, Hillary referred to those folks as a basket of deplorables, and that was being kind.) Others voted for Trump because they were in pain or they felt like they had no voice or they just wanted to shake up the system. While I didn’t vote for Trump, I, too, thought Washington needed a big time jolt. But not like this. If you are still defending this president and his autocratic goons, then you are delusional. You are the problem. Please, take your head out of Sean Hannity’s propaganda-filled ass and get some real facts and fresh air.

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Grace and Gross at the Grammys

The 59th Annual Grammys Awards are this weekend. Twenty-five years ago, I worked at the 34th Annual Grammys at Radio City Musical Hall. My friend, Christine, a fellow Montclair State alum, asked me, along with a bunch of other recent Communication Studies graduates, to volunteer as a talent escort and seat filler.

On February 25, 1992, we met at Radio City early, received an orientation, a tour of the hall, and our escort assignments. Some of us would escort performers. Some would escort presenters. Performers got dressing rooms. Presenters did not. I didn’t know if my nerves could manage a performer, which that year included Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Bonnie Raitt, LL Cool J, Seal, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Johnny Mathis.

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Pay No Attention To That Man In Front Of The Curtain

Dear media,
It’s clear Trump is the shiny object you can’t help gawking at. In fact, you wet yourselves over his every tick and tweet. Grow up. Trump is the distraction. Ignore him. The real show, and the laws and policies that will affect our lives more, will take place behind the scenes. Shine the spotlight there. On Bannon. On Miller. On Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and anyone else using Trump as a blinding shield. Resist Trump’s temptations to lure you back in. Ignore him. He hates you anyway. He has called you disgusting and corrupt. The enemy of the people. And the more attention you give him, the more you prove him correct. Covering him for ratings is disgusting. Covering him to make a buck is corrupt. So stop. Ignore him. This will drive him crazy. You must focus your attention on the players in Congress. Please, please, please, just ignore Trump. He deserves nothing more than your total disregard and neglect.
Bigly.

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