The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


In his typical hyperbolic manner, Donald Trump obliquely referred to the now infamous anonymous op-ed in the New York Times as "treason." It's hardly that, although the op-ed certainly is a self-indulgent, hubristic attempt at moral preening that will thrill the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd but few others.

Frank Miele comments:
The word treason has been thrown around recently to describe the attempts to undermine the presidency of Donald Trump, and though treason as a crime has a very narrow definition in the United States, it also has a broader meaning that is certainly appropriate to describe the betrayal of the president and the Constitution by various powerful people and institutions.

In some ways, we are living through a new and more intense version of “The Treason of the Intellectuals,” described by French author Julien Benda in his book of that name in 1928. “Our age,” he wrote, “is the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds.” Anyone who watched the Senate Judiciary Committee’s disgraceful hearing on the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court knows that we are still living in such an age, only more so.

Benda wrote at the beginning of the age of mass communication, and yet he already saw that “political passions have attained a universality never before known. … Thanks to the progress of communication and, still more, to the group spirit, it is clear that the holders of the same political hatred now form a compact impassioned mass, every individual of which feels himself in touch with the infinite number of others, whereas a century ago such people were comparatively out of touch with each other and hated in a ‘scattered’ way.”

The internet has accelerated these changes in ways that Benda could never have imagined, but he did state that these “coherences” of passion “will tend to develop still further, for the will to group is one of the most profound characteristics of the modern world.”

It seems that we are now living out Benda’s worst nightmare — an age of manipulation of the masses by those who think they know better — whether you call them the “deep state,” the “opposition party,” “the national elite,” “the entrenched bureaucracy,” or just “the establishment.”
I have noted in previous posts that at least part of the fury exhibited by the media and directed at Trump and his supporters is due to the simple reality that the media no longer has the influence on public opinion it once did. What infuriates the media is their inability to destroy Trump with the clear implication that their influence has waned. After all, the tsunami of negative news offered up by the media has resulting in polling data that indicates a rise in Trump's standing among the general public—exactly the opposite of what has been intended.

The media is no longer trusted as it once was. And it certainly doesn't present the intellectual or analytical fire power it once had. The media has become a partisan extension of the Democratic party, not the objective arbiter of national events and policy.

Miele, the retiring managing editor of The Daily Interlake in Montana, a media source that is about as far removed from the New York Times as geography, culture, and editorial position allow. He concludes with this comment:
... let me conclude by saying that “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the News Media.” To paraphrase the Times’ anonymous op-ed, I believe my “first duty is to this country” and that the news media “continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.” I am not loyal to the news industry but to the truth. Anonymous sources, biased reporting and smirking superiority in the newsroom should be decried by everyone who works in this business. We can only get to the truth by putting aside our personal beliefs and telling stories fairly and without an agenda of our own.

The news media should not be “the opposition party” to Republican presidents; rather, it should be the umpire that fairly calls balls and strikes. Is that too much to ask?
In today's world, I must sadly conclude the answer is 'yes.'