Signature Significance For “The Enemies Of The People,” Part I

Perhaps no intemperate statement by the President has caused such excessive outrage as his accusation that the news media are “enemies of the people”—maybe it’s tied with his infamous “they’re sending murderers, they’re sending rapists” line when he threw his hat in the ring; I don’t know. It’s close. I think both comments were better off unsaid by him, but that is a matter of prudence and decorum, not truth. The murderers and rapists point was intentionally misconstrued by the news media to “prove” that Trump’s objection to illegal immigration was based on prejudice, rather than the rather obvious fact that illegal immigrants are breaking the law if they are the salt of the earth, and a lot of them are a lot worse. As the accuracy of the Trump’s characterization of the news media, its distortion of his Mexicans comment was one of many thousands  examples that prove the President right–intemperate, undiplomatic, perhaps unwise, but tragically correct. Bolstered by their Constitutional immunity from any consequences arising from horribly abusing their rights to print and say whatever they choose, the American news media has decided, virtually as a bloc, to

  • manipulate the reporting of the news to undermine this President of the United States and make it difficult, and, if possible, to govern;
  •  bombard the public with unceasing negative characterizations of the man, his words, his appearance, his habits, his past, his thoughts, his family, and his alleged private conversations;
  •  frame all of this within predetermined narratives concocted by his most virulent foes and detractors that were launched and burnished during the 2016, after his election, or shortly after he took office,
  • among them being that he is corrupt, that he is President only to make money through graft, that he is a fascist, an autocrat, and an aspiring dictator, that he lies constantly, that he is a racist, that he hates immigrants, that he doesn’t care about the nation or the American people, that he treasonous conspired with Russia to “steal” the election, that he is the worst possible leader for the country and should be removed as soon as possible, and
  • that he is insane, senile, unstable, stupid and a danger to civilization as long as he remains in office, and
  • that all previous standards, honors, traditions and basic amenities of respect that have been every previous President’s right from George Washington through Barack Obama must not be accorded to President Trump, and
  • nothing, absolutely nothing, he accomplishes or does can possibly be beneficial or praiseworthy. If it is, then he isn’t really responsible for it: It’s an accident, or not as good as it seems, or is hiding a sinister purpose, or that someone else, preferably Barack Obama, really deserves the credit, and
  • all of his critics, opposition and adversaries are right and praiseworthy, no matter how despicable and untrustworthy they have been in the past.

The idea, the objective, the entire purpose of this, is to bring down an elected President of the United States by action of journalists rather than the democratic process, with all of the dangers doing so creates for the continuing stability and success of our system and institutions. This is neither the traditional role of the press not why the First Amendment protects them. It is a flagrant, reckless, foolish, vicious and anti-American violation of duty and a large group of crucial ethical principles. Fueled by their own arrogance, ignorance, and relative ignorance and lack of integrity, the news media has set out on a course that can only harm, certainly grievously, perhaps fatally, the United States and, whether they understand or recognize it or note, every citizen who believes in democracy. That is, the People.

It is the position of Ethics Alarms that the above summary is fair and accurate, though sufficiently disturbing that many otherwise fair-minded people, on the website and off it,  continue to deny the indisputable The conduct described and the intent behind it can fairly be called hostile and malign. Groups and individuals that are hostile and malign toward the well-being of the Republic can be and should be accurately characterized as the enemies of those their deliberate behavior will harm.

No, the President of the United States shouldn’t have to be the one to point that out: a responsible segment of punditry and journalistic establishment should. But both of these groups have, with isolated and besieged exception, become part of the news media’s campaign to bring down an elected President because they didn’t support him, and to advance propaganda to place his adversaries in power.

In Part II, I am not going to attempt the hopeless task of cataloguing the news media’s misconduct during 2018—as Glenn Reynold says, “You’re going to need a bigger blog!” I will just use examples from the past couple days, which constitute signature significance.

I know, I know: I have posted multiple versions of this position in the past, most recently in this post, and its included repeat of the essay, Apologia: I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry That The Left Is Behaving So Unethically, And I’m REALLY Sorry I Have to Keep Writing About It.

But I have to keep writing about it, because the mainstream media not only won’t reform and do its job, it is getting worse. They want everyone to just get bored, give up, shrug, and let them achieve their unethical objectives through unethical means.

I’ll stop when they do.

24 thoughts on “Signature Significance For “The Enemies Of The People,” Part I

  1. The press may not be the enemy of the people, but, to the extent they are manipulating the people through biased coverage and deliberately subjective narratives, they are certainly not a friend of the people.

    -Jut

  2. A nation that has lost it’s news media s ia a nation that is lost. Most of the folks who care watch the news…others simply get their news from the Internet. Here’s a surprise…Huffington Post. Thus, we have an electorate, or at least part of one, that is either brain-washed or ignorant. This has led to a Liberal House, the first in a while. But, following the logical historical track, here, in 2020, Trump will win re-election, and both the House and Senate will be his again. Unfortunately, too many people, including Republicans, will fail to recognize the fact that Trump is, in fact, POTUS. So, everything we’ve had for the past two years, and will have for the next two years, will continue for the next 4 years from 2020. Now this is interesting. And I hope I live to see this. By the 2024 elections, SOMEBODY will have shaken out as the likely candidate for both parties. My guess (and this is why I hope to live to see this) is that the Libs will pick somebody like Trump (maybe run Bill Gates) and the Conservatives will pick somebody like Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin comes immediately to mind, but she’s unlikely. Trust me when I say (with apologies to Zoltar) the conservatives will find a woman to run. Whoever the Libs run will win.

    Forgive me for saying this, but this will be the end of the Republic. I had always hoped that the next Civil War would be started by the Libs. And it might still. If SCOTUS strikes down enough ridiculous legislation and Executive Orders, the Libs MAY take up arms against them (SCOTUS). However, I suspect the fly-over states will be the first to take-up arms. For the Libs will never succeed in taking away their weapons.
    And all of this is going to happen solely because the MSM has lost its perspective. If they simply told everybody what was really happening, letting them decide the implications for themselves, all this could be avoided. Well, some of it could. Trump is actually right when he says the Swap needs to be drained, but he can’t do it. Sadly, we need a Congress who is more interested in the American people than in getting re-elected. And THAT, children, will never happen.

  3. Saying it again – and again, if necessary – will hurt: it does stretch the approach and the vocabulary to such painful extents. If I may be permitted a metaphor (too late! I already pressed the button!), when you give birth to a post, it is most painful, but everyone in your family of readers, however critical or silent, will help it grow up and out. Some of us will try – actively – to stand up for it, to protect it, to keep it healthy and independent.

    I don’t have – and will never have, I swear – any social media accounts, so I cannot join the fight against the Facebook censors but I always raise my voice a little when I speak out, so others can hear without my being accused of shouting. I am re-broadcasting your voice – and sometimes that of commenters, online or onperson – to some extent every day, in my own words, embedded in my own mind now. I am just baby-sitting your brainchild(ren)-of-the-day, Jack, because I didn’t have The Nerve to birth my own, half-conceived. Thank you, and please continue thinking and blogging, while I copy/paste, copy/paste, cop……..yapyapyap.

    Now, what ABOUT dem bums?

        • This is definitely cool! I had never heard anything but the chorus sung at any games I had gone to. One thing: If you’re a university graduate or otherwise, save your dough and go to your local college baseball stadium and watch the young guys play. You won’t be sorry!

          • Glad you liked it. If you haven’t done any googling yet, there are two places to go for the fascinating backstories. Both seem complete but each has about half the story with a few overlaps. See The Library of Congress piece: https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200153239/ and the Wikipedia article under the name of the song. And Jack could probably tell us more still. One of my favorite tidbits: the lyricist and composer, Norworth and Tilzer, had never been to a ball game before they wrote the tune and never saw a Major League baseball game until 32 and 20 years later, respectively … and that the lyric is held responsible for the lasting popularity of Cracker Jacks. The other fact I like (and it’s mine, alll mine) is that the grand swing in that 110 year old song comes from its waltz tempo, a rhythm most ballpark denizens wouldn’t dream of singing and swaying to otherwise.

  4. I admit I’m bored with it, you’re preaching to the choir. But continuing and updating the issues is a service to the rest of us who are not as clear or concise and want to convince that kin to register, dmmit.

    • I am not bored with it, myself. I’m outraged, and I want to continue to be outraged, because if I become bored, they win. I don’t want them to win, for the sake of our country.

  5. “Enemy” is perhaps a poor choice of words. Generally, “enemy” is used to describe someone with whom another is at war, or at violent loggerheads. I don’t think this accurately describes the relationship between the press and the people.

    But the press is acting in deliberate opposition to its own stated objectives, and the role the Constitution seems to impute to it in our republic. The press has weaponized the First Amendment by using it to protect an attempt to undo an election through means other than the democratic process. It is, in effect, trying to use the Constitution to undermine itself, and the system of government set forth therein.

    I think the press could be accurately described as being an enemy of Constitutional government, because it is actively trying to change it to something extra-Constitutional. Does that make them the enemy of the people? Hyperbolically, and by extension, I suppose it does.

  6. Jack wrote: “Fueled by their own arrogance, ignorance, and relative ignorance and lack of integrity, the news media has set out on a course that can only harm, certainly grievously, perhaps fatally, the United States and, whether they understand or recognize it or note, every citizen who believes in democracy. That is, the People.”

    Glen Logan wrote: “Enemy” is perhaps a poor choice of words. Generally, “enemy” is used to describe someone with whom another is at war, or at violent loggerheads. I don’t think this accurately describes the relationship between the press and the people.

    There is a term that has become popular and is used by the New Right. Lügenpresse:

    From Ha’Aretz article: “Originally coined by the German author Reinhold Anton in 1914, the term Lügenpresse was used during World War I to refer to “enemy propaganda.” Some 30 years later Hitler and the Nazis appropriated the term to weaken opposition to the regime, primarily “accusing” Jewish, communist, and later the foreign press of disseminating fake news.

    The phrase made a comeback in Germany in 2014, when the anti-immigrant PEGIDA movement accused the media of “not telling the truth” about crimes committed by refugees and immigrants, primarily those displaced by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In January 2015, some 25,000 protesters attended a PEGIDA march in Dresden, chanting “Lugenpresse, halt die Fresse” (“shut up, lying press”).

    One can immediately get lost here because, obviously, once a reference to the Nazis is brought in, thought gets contaminated. The Dissident (and the ironical) American Right brought in this word deliberately. But just as the Right (or Radical Right if you wish) seeks to politicize terms, and to get people thinking in critical manner, the Left does exactly the same thing but goes much farther! But not toward fair critical thought. Quite the opposite. And there is the tragic irony. The movement that supposedly supports liberal freedoms stifles the same in the most grotesque and ‘totalitarian’ way. I think everyone knows this already. If you express an idea that in any sense has even the minimal scent of unconventionality, *they* will immediately brand you as a Nazi.

    In the NYTs today there is an article titled: Germany’s Far-Right Rebrands: Friendlier Face, Same Doctrine. Here is what the authors of the article said:

    The “new right” seeks to distance itself from the “old right,” which in Germany means neo-Nazis. Many analysts and officials consider this little more than clever rebranding. But they worry that it could allow groups like Generation Identity to act as a conduit between conservatism and extremism and draw young people into their orbit.

    Now, let us examine this paragraph in light of the term lying media. I say right at the beginning that it is non-truthful. It is deceptive, manipulative, slanderous even. It does not provide correct information. It is not supposed to! And thus its intentionality is something else. It provides a distortion of the truth to one ready to swallow it down. But, that one has to be primed for it.

    Looking at the paragraph I notice how convoluted and dense it is. How many *statements* are made in it. How each *assertions* has a complex background, and how to dismantle it requires various paragraphs in order to clear the ground and, then, to make some sort of truthful and fair statement. Who has the time for this? Who has the will and the energy to counter-propose, even if only mentally, to each loaded declaration one receives through the Lying Media?

    You have to have had some training in semantics and rhetoric — and media studies — to be able to do this.

    The battle that the NYTs is fighting — and I wonder if it is fair to say of the NYTs that it represents the New York Intellectual Establishment? — is against Fascist Europe. That is how they framed this period on American history right at the very beginning. It is a convenient and readily accessible *frame*, and yes there are lines of connection, and yes again in order to understand nativist populism one does have to better understand reactionary popular movements (people’s movements of the most honest sort) and also those movements that arise out of religious cultural concerns: for example Catholic and Christian movements.

    What were they in reaction to? Radical Marxism. And here the term ‘Cultural Marxism’ as it pertains to the American Present becomes necessary and also fair (if it is presented fairly and accurately).

    The Dishonest Media has to be better defined. What is being talked about? Who is being talked about? This is a complex topic. It is not simple. It requires pages and pages of explanation. It requires being introduced to different perspectives. And becoming open to understanding *the world* in different ways.

    One way to keep this from happening is to obfuscate all issues, to contaminate all topics, and to make both thought and conversation impossible. Nothing can be sorted through, nothing can be agreed upon, and everything is too hot to discuss. Best to leave such conversation altogether.

    There is a Battle of Ideas going on. The Battle is very consequential. Enormous forces, visible and invisible, array themselves behind the developing battle-lines. But what is this ‘battle’? What is really being fought over?

  7. I always wondered why Rick Perry withdrew from the Republican race for presidential candidate. I mean, it seemed laughable that the frontrunning candidate would withdraw because someone said that his father once rented a vacation property that had a rock with spray paint that some might view as a racial slur. Now I know what he understood. He understood that the press had put him on notice that they would not let him be president. Even if elected, they would make his presidency impossible. How long has the press held this threat over Republican candidates? How long have they been the powerbrokers subverting the democratic process.?

  8. Jack wrote, “I’ll stop when they do.”

    Jack they will never stop.

    We have seen for as long as I can remember that the modus operandi of the political left is to constantly bring up their demands and anti-conservative rhetoric until their opposition walks away from the fight in utter frustration leaving the political left to win by default. Let’s face it, the left has been unable to sell their ideology for many years to anyone that’s got a critically thinking brain and all they have left now is repetition of propaganda and political antiology.

    We see the left’s determination tactic in local elections every single year. We see the same endless increases in spending on fancy school facilities based on false propaganda to “better educate” the students and yet every year without fail the graduation rates decrease and a huge percentage of students graduate High School with little to no more knowledge than they had when they left 8th grade. We eventually get the fancier schools because the political left is constantly putting the “same” referendums on the ballots and the political right eventually walks away from the fight utterly frustrated. What do we see after the new buildings are built, we see over and over again that the students don’t get “better educated” by obtaining more knowledge, in fact they’re getting less and less educated every year; I can thusly conclude that the fancier schools are a detriment to education. I’ve looked at the vote totals locally for things like school referendums and it’s obvious to me that the number of people voting for the exorbitant school spending remains relatively constant and over time the votes against the exorbitant spending goes down the more the referendums are put on the ballots and eventually the referendums are passed because of the lack of opposition votes not because they have got more people to vote for the referendums. The repetition tactic works and they will not stop using it.

    We see the left’s proven tactic of repetition frustrating their opposition into walking away from the fight in our daily lives with social justice warriors (SJW’s) controlling our lives one little piece at a time with outright intimidation. Companies now fear SJW’s public smears so much that they make decisions based on keeping SJW’s happy, Universities bow to the will of outspoken SJW’s, people fear SJW intimidation and keep their mouths shut, cities destroy historical statues, markers are literally being removed from cemeteries, SJW’s and snowflakes control what is visible on social media hiding viewpoints that are different than their own claiming the opinions are offensive, movies are condemned because SJW snowflakes are offended, highly rated TV shows are canceled because the content isn’t politically correct, TV shows are canceled because SJW’s don’t like something someone said that’s unrelated to the show, people are dragged through the court of public opinion and destroyed because they said something when they were a teenager that is found to be offensive 30 years later, etc, etc, etc. When people are making their decisions based on keeping social justice warriors at bay then the social justice warriors have literally won the battle of the minds and your freedoms will eventually be on their chopping block.

    The left will not stop their tactic of constantly attacking and constantly bringing up the same thing over and over again until their opposition literally walks away from the fight in utter frustration. The left is constantly wining by default and not because they have sold their ideological viewpoint.

    Unlike 25+ years ago, I now have little hope for the stability of the USA and a prosperous and safe future for my children and grandchildren.

    • Sadly, I share your fears for the future as I watch and hear the endlessly repetitive lies eroding reality and a former relatively well functioning society.

      The utopian hoax of communism died long ago, but its transplanted ideological domestic minions fight on rather successfully under a different flag.

  9. Might not be so bleak. I was remembering the time the parties changed sides, or that was what I called it. It could happen again:

    During the 1860s, Republicans, who dominated northern states, orchestrated an ambitious expansion of federal power, helping to fund the transcontinental railroad, the state university system and the settlement of the West by homesteaders, and installing a national currency and protective tariff. Democrats, who dominated the South, opposed these measures. After the Civil War, Republicans passed laws that granted protections for African Americans and advanced social justice; again, Democrats largely opposed these expansions of power.
    — continued at https://tinyurl.com/ycnoyeot

    Point is, when the Republicans had that platform, they did a hell of a lot better with it. Jack’s ethical approach comes into play here. It’s not quite “one from column A, two from column B” but it identifies and incorporates the best/the most ethical in both. Of course, there would always have to be at least two parties, the main check-and-balance, even if the non-Republicans turned mad-dog sometimes.

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