Finally! I get to hang the collected history of three families that are our tree ornaments. You know, the fun part…
1 And this is why actors speak from scripts. Tom Hanks, pimping for the mainstream news media-extolling Washington Post movie, the one with Harvey Weinstein enabler Meryl Streep playing Katherine Graham, actually uttered this Authentic Frontier Gibberish:
“It is relatively obvious, I think, what is trying to go forward, when you tear down these institutions to a level of, so you can’t believe anything that is in any of them. That raises the stock of those agenda-filled other institutions and whatnot, so that if you can’t believe them, well, that means you get to believe some of the other stuff that is in these.”
I have generally thought Hanks unusually thoughtful for an actor, but this is disgraceful. First, whatever diminishment journalism has suffered in credibility is 100% the fault of journalists, their arrogance, their incompetence, their bias, and their deliberate abandonment of their own stated ethics principles. 100%. Second, Hanks needs a primer on trust, and to read B.F. Skinner’s work on the effects of intermittent negative reinforcement on rats. (Quick summary: it drives them nuts.) If news sources are sometimes telling the truth and sometimes spinning, sometimes lying and sometimes hiding the ball, and major, revered “institutions” like the New York Times announce mid-Presidential campaign that their mission is no longer to report facts but to stop a particular candidate, then those news sources cannot be trusted, as in “believed.”
Third, anyone, in light of, oh, the past 20 years, who does not believe that the mainstream media organizations have “agendas” is certifiably stupid. I don’t believe Hanks is stupid, despite the fact that his statement easily makes the Garbled Syntax and Logic Hall of Blather. What he is arguing, however, is that other sources of information have agendas, while those he follows are just Undeniably Correct.
2. Exhibit A. The media coverage of the Republican tax bill that was passed yesterday shows how deluded (or dishonest—I’m giving Tom the benefit of Hanlon’s Razor) Hanks is. Again, I am lousy at this tax stuff, as are most people, therefore I know that the polls reporting widespread unpopularity of the bill are, again, 100% the product of most of the news media carrying the Democrats’ hysterical and hyperbolic attacks without nuance or critical analysis.
One example: for years, I have been reading progressive sources complain about the home mortgage interest deduction as an unethical entitlement to the middle class that is prejudicial to renters, artificially inflates home values, and misaligns resources. These critiques usually end with hopeless conclusions that neither party will have the courage or integrity to take on this giant sacred cow. Well, the GOP tax bill does, taking a step in the right direction by capping it. There was very little discussion of that element in the news coverage, and what there was, was negative. Nor did any mainstream news media source—as opposed to those “agenda-driven” alternate sources Tom Hanks despises, aka “blogs” (and Fox News, or course)—point out the head-blowing hypocrisy of this tweet from Senator Diane Feinstein:
“The Republican tax bill caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 for new mortgages. In California, seven counties have average home prices that are more than $750,000: Alameda, Marin, Orange, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. #GOPTaxScam”
Feinstein’s party’s attack plan to derail the bill—other than bribery, of course, but Rosie O’Donnell isn’t party leadership—was based on its traditional, tried and true “tax cuts for the rich” lament. Then Feinstein has the chutzpah to complain when her state’s rich lose a perk. Pointing this out just might cause the public to question the sincerity and probity of the way the tax bill was being represented…so, naturally, the news media didn’t point it out.
3. Hmmm.…My NY Times literally just arrived. Let’s look at the headlines:
- The big one, across the page:
GOP Exults As Congress Delivers Tax Bill
Translation: The Bad Guys are gloating. Oh, and their terrible tax bill passed…
- Under that:
Gamble By Trump on Expansion Defies Odds
Translation: It’s reckless, dumb and irresponsible, of course, but that’s Trump!
- And next to that one:
Savoring a Win in a Year of Setbacks
Translation: The administration’s a disaster, but Trump won something, finally. You can’t lose ’em all.
No partisan bias or spin there!
(Pssst: It has not been “a year of setbacks,” The Times and the anti-Trump mainstream media just hasn’t chosen to highlight positive accomplishments. At best, that headline’s an opinion, and a partisan one. As a statement of fact, and headlines are supposed to be factual, that is fake news.
3. Yet, oddly..The Times did not include any of the following on its front page, or even on the front of the business pages!
- With Tax Reform, AT&T Plans to Increase U.S. Capital Spending $1 Billion and Provide $1,000 Special Bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. Employees
- AT&T is giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees after tax billu
- Boeing CEO Muilenburg Applauds Tax Law, Announces $300 Million in Employee-Related and Charitable Investments to Spur Innovation and Growth
Sure, these are political moves and public relations by large corporations calculated to bolster the President’s pro-business policies. They are still significant. They are still news, that reflect on the tax bill.
The Times buried it all because it didn’t fit the anti-tax bill narrative it is carrying for the Democratic Party.
Does anyone have a different theory?