The Media Is Clueless

The Media Is Clueless

Basic business ethics requires that you perform a business function with competence. Yet, our American media simply doesn’t understand the American people.

The success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are in the minds of our media incredible beyond all bounds of rationality, and they continue to write long serious stories about how both of them will explode and crash any time now -basically the same articles they’ve been writing for months.

(Now understand clearly, it is not hard to see that Trump and Sanders are very different phenomenon. The only reason I’m talking about them both at the same time is that the media doesn’t get either one.)

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The Media Is Clueless

I’ve been reading much of the discourse about the two candidates since the beginning and the old fabled beltway, villager, very serious people analysis is failing and they are astonished; aghast that their establishment alternatives (always very limited in number) are not the public’s choice. And therefore, according to them, the American people are just stupid. 

Well, there is stupidity here and it’s a mile deep but it is not the American peoples’ problem. It is the gross incompetence of a complacent, servile media. It is the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of our ruling class whose servitude to the intellectually shallow concept (more of a puddle, actually) of Neoliberalism has wrought havoc on the lives of millions with little discernable gain unless you are a billionaire. 

Why are the media and the ruling class unaware of the anger of the American people? Because they live in an economic bubble. They literally don’t know anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year. And that means, they don’t know anyone who has to work three jobs. They don’t know anyone with a terminal degree doing adjunct work making an average of $22,500 a year. They have never met someone who works a job where their schedule is created by a computer for the company’s convenience so they can’t hold a second job, get an education or have any kind of home life. 

In short, they are ignorant of the lives of the great mass of the American people. They walk this land like tourists, living in nice hotels, eating in nice restaurants and keeping the locals at a safe distance. 

I don’t know how you can live in this country and not know that things have gone badly wrong. The economic statistics by themselves are staggering in their implications. The United States has a huge underclass, a seeming flood of the homeless and mentally ill and a real continuous problem with people not having enough to eat.

And if that isn’t enough to get your attention, we have a brand new study showing that white males with less than a college education have diminishing life spans due to suicide, drug and alcohol abuse. These people are dying but apparently unless they throw themselves under the wheels of a press bus, our media elites are not going to consider the implications.

It takes a lot of willful stupidity for the media act and treat us the way they do. I think they’re paid to be stupid. I think that our media outlets find the stories of the lives of real Americans and the real suffering that people have to be unpleasant and not worth covering. Furthermore and most importantly, the elected officials they idolize, the decisions they respect, are all corporate just like them. That’s why there was little coverage of the Flint, Michigan water crisis until the ugly facts became overwhelming and, dare I say it, that people began to die (legionnaire’s disease). 

I don’t expect them to get any better. But there are a few writers who seem to have some grip on the situation. 

Here’s Jeb Lund writing in the Guardian – 

Anger is pretty easy to miss when it’s something pretty difficult to feel. When you sit at the center of the world and are unlikely to ever lack for the basic materials of self-sufficiency, the idea of blind, gnawing resentment – let alone of feeding that resentment even with irrational aims – is ineluctably beyond your ken.

It’s harder still to understand that there are millions of people in America whose ambitions for a life of steadily improving conditions cratered sometime around nine years ago and have never recovered. If you can hardly imagine that you could follow the Horatio Alger script to the letter and still find yourself sinking in quicksand, you’re never going to understand why someone would be so contemptuous of the pieties of a system that only pays attention to you when doing soft-focus interviews in search of a journalism award or a campaign ad.

And anger isn’t something so easily ratiocinated. When your job is explaining world events, irrational phenomena lie fundamentally outside your brief. Explaining things with, “Well, people are angry!” is like surrender; it’s explaining badly resolved story lines in a TV show with, “A wizard did it.” Journalists learn to see the world in terms of the push/pull of conflicting ideologies and the necessary stratagems within a needlessly complicated governmental system; they’re necessarily going seek their explanations for seeming irrationality in the more elegant realms of philosophy and economics and political science.

He’s right. 

We are being ill served by our news media and the ruling elites that have created this giant economic nightmare.

Perhaps this election will not just change politics but upset the mindset of the blindingly stupid who write our news and create our policies.

James Pilant

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