Anti-Trump Hate Porn

I’ve written my quota of “resistance” ethics articles today I know, but I can’t help posting this one.

I was stuck in the DMV, and read a New York Times book review titled Which Came First, Trump or TV?” The reviewer is , who is described in biographies as a writer of satire. The book he reviews is “Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America” by James Poniewozik, the Times TV critic.

Both the positive review and the book it describes cannot be justified except as salacious efforts to slake the hate of the most Trump-Deranged among Americans. Poniewozik‘s book, described as non-fiction, is full of negative characterizations of the President, his thinking and his personality that are not justified by the author’s education, background, research or expertise. Poniewozik is a TV critic, and that’s pretty much all he has ever been. He has no special expertise or experience in politics or history; he is not a biographer; he isn’t a psychologist. This is his only book, and he is obviously using Trump hate to attract readers and sales, as well as positive reviews by writers who also have no qualifications to justify their getting the assignment. Both the book and the review are the product of bias, designed to foster bias.

Early in the review, we get this:

But Poniewozik, the chief television critic of this newspaper, uses his ample comedic gifts in the service of describing a slow-boil tragedy. If humor is the rocket of his ICBM, the last three years of our lives are the destructive payload.

Everything is terrible! Where have I heard that Big Lie before? I would have stopped reading right there, but you know: Department of Motor Vehicles.

Almost immediately after that moment of signature significance from the reviewer, we get this…

Poniewozik brings a new microscope with which to analyze the drug-resistant bacterium that is our president. And while there is certainly room to examine collusion and Russian interference and the outdated institution that Homer Simpson once referred to as the “Electrical College,” this book is really about the role played by all of us, the faithful citizens of TV Nation.

No bias there! The New York Book Review section typically assigns reviews to individuals with some expertise in the subject matter and a relevant point of view, often a political orientation, different from the author’s. Not here. This is incompetent book review management. And boy, when are we going to examine that Russian collusion?

Shortly after this, we learn,

“I once caught some friendly fire on Twitter for trying to discuss Trump’s behavior in a way that would suggest he had a personality worth exploring. Poniewozik evades this line of thought by asserting that Trump is TV, the mere simulacrum of a human being projected onto a flat-screen. He grew up with the dawn of television and a TV-watching mother. Over the years, Poniewozik writes, Trump “achieved symbiosis with the medium. Its impulses were his impulses; its appetites were his appetites; its mentality was his mentality.”

Poniewozik has never interviewed the President or a member of his family, yet can claim that he’s not a real human being. This is ultimate othering, and obviously a flaming example of the Chinese proverb, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  I’m pretty sure that I watched at least as much TV growing up as Donald Trump, in almost the same era. Learned a lot, too…and I’m a real live boy!

After comparing the President to Ted Knight’s idiot character in “Caddyshack,” and finding him more unsavory than mobster-murderer Tony Soprano, crack-seller Walter White and “Mad Men” creep Don Draper, the book, we are told, describes election night 2016 this way:

“Before he started his victory speech, he searched one more time, over the heads of the crowd, for the red light of the TV-news camera, the one thing on Earth that was most like him. It never slept. It was always hungry. It ate and ate and ate, and when it had eaten the entire world, it was still empty.”

Both the book and the review are fact-free ad hominem attacks on President Trump, beginning and ending with confirmation bias, based on political animus and emotion, aimed at an audience that wants to believe the worst about their nation’s leader.

It is worse than the anti-Clinton and anti-Bush screeds authored by ideologically aligned journalists like David Corn and political hit artists like Ann Coulter; at least those authors, biased and unfair as they were, had some relevant training and professional expertise to make their analysis plausible. A TV critic’s insults are just insults. The fact that so many Americans want to hear and read the most hateful characterizations of their own nation’s leader is pathological, the equivalent of setting your  own home on fire, or throwing acid in your own and your neighbors’ faces.

And the New York Times, among others, nurtures, facilitates and cheers this destructive attitude.

9 thoughts on “Anti-Trump Hate Porn

  1. “It is worse than the anti-Clinton and anti-Bush screeds authored by ideologically aligned journalists like David Corn and political hit artists like Ann Coulter; at least those authors, biased and unfair as they were, had some relevant training and professional expertise to make their analysis plausible. A TV critic’s insults are just insults. The fact that so many Americans want to hear and read the most hateful characterizations of their own nation’s leader is pathological, the equivalent of setting your own home on fire, or throwing acid in your own and your neighbors’ faces.”

    Pathological. Well, you know I have a slightly different way of saying essentially the same thing.
    Stupid as well, despite all claims to the contrary.

  2. I think anything the Trump Deranged write, when it involves the President, is similar to a game of Yahtzee. Who can get the most anti Trump buzzwords into a paragraph, and get the high score? I’d try it as a drinking game, but I’m certain most people would die from alcohol poisoning after a couple of paragraphs.

  3. (shrug) As long as it sells, people will write anything. Some people like stories about warriors who ride on giant pyrokinetic reptiles or where one piece of jewelry holds the key to the world. Others like stories about walking corpses who feed on the blood of the living and can only be destroyed by a stake through the heart. More than a few like stories about wars that almost start when the captain of the latest submarine decides to change loyalties or that do start when the leader of North Korea or Afrikaaner extremists do something certifiably insane. Many others love stories about that perfect romance where two people’s bond is so strong it defeats literally everything the world throws at them. Why do they like this stuff? Because it feeds their feelings – the desire for infinite power, the ability to destroy those you don’t like, the desire for the perfect romance with a perfectly faithful perfect other person. It should come as no surprise that folks should want to read stuff that feeds their hatred of those they politically disagree with, even if it’s not entirely true. In this age of social media when everyone can say whatever he pleases and have it make its way around the globe rapidly, no matter how ridiculous, it should come as no surprise that people should enjoy reading straight up hatefests on those they hate.

    • People like reading racist screeds, too. Also sado-porn where women are abused. We don’t see respectable publications publish those, and they shouldn’t publish this..and wouldn’t have, if it was about any other President. “I’m not surprised” isn’t a mitigation.

  4. I don’t sweat the anti-TRUMP hate porn. Like sex porn, it’s going to feed the self-indulgent lusts of only a very few already deranged and maladjusted persons. From its first word, it is a total failure of social engineering. People will be curious about it, swim in the filth for a while, then get over-saturated and bored, and realize that it just doesn’t satisfy, after all. The disaffected will swing for TRUMP. Of course, some of those affected will be swayed to oppose the President. But a decisive majority? No. The vast majority of people figure out how to stay normal, despite all the temptations of glorified abnormality and extremism. That reflects humanity’s inherent survivability – the species’ best hope for being a positive force in the face of climate change.

    • First, you actually go to CNN’s home page? You have my respect: that level of poison is far more than I can stand, on a daily basis.

      Second, one of the reasons I can’t go to CNN is that the number of stories like this was much higher than 5 or 6. Maybe they have cooled it a bit?

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