Monday, August 24, 2015

Hypocrisy on the march

Will this coming presidential campaign season be a referendum on serious policy questions of importance to all Americans? Hah! Who is kidding who? It has already turned into a “referendum” on hypocrisy and gender politics. Take for instance the Fox News-sponsored Republican debate (or so it was styled) some weeks ago that turned out to be little more than Donald Trump-bashing affair—not, of course, that he didn’t have it coming to him. For his part, Trump thought he “won” the debate of 10, although if moronic histrionics full of lies, fiction and race-baiting is what moves the Republican base, let’s just say that wouldn’t surprise me. 

As might be expected, a debate hosted by a right-wing “news” network was more interested in conservative social issues than actual policy that means anything. Other than Sen. Ted Cruz’s pathetic and failed effort to prostrate himself before the Anglo voting gods, the “star” of the show was of course Trump, who followed up his claim that all Mexican (male) immigrants (and “probably” those who are not) are “rapists” with the assertion that  all immigrants coming across the border are basically the scum of the earth: "They (the Mexican government) send the bad ones over because the stupid leaders of the United States will take care of them and that's what's happening, whether you like it or not.” He “elaborated” that all Mexican immigrants are hardened “criminals” and the U.S. government is allowing them to run wild in the streets robbing and killing.

Now to his credit, Fox co-debate moderator Chris Wallace took Trump to task on this insinuation, demanding that he supply evidence in support. Eventually, Trump could only lamely say that he was told this by unnamed border agents, as if they had an unbiased opinion on the matter. But CNN in its post-debate “fact check” never actually addressed the claim that “all” immigrants are “criminals,” instead lamely pointing out that “The Pew Center shows that the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico has actually declined after the recession of 2008 and the undocumented population is stable at 11 million people. The Pew report also notes that the deportations hit a record high in 2013, around 400,000 per year, and many were criminals.”

Nothing here about the fact that the vast majority come here for work to support themselves or their families—unlike some “natives” who do nothing if it is not given them, and expect someone or something else to “support” them in their miserable indolence.  Of course, it would be too much to expect CNN, which has contributed to the poisonous propaganda against Hispanics as scapegoats, to actually address what Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald wrote after the debate:

“None of them (the Republican candidates), with the possible exception of (Jeb) Bush, made a thorough argument that the majority of the 34 million people of Mexican origin in the United States are good, hard-working people. Bush said most undocumented immigrants ‘want to provide for their family,’ (but) immediately added, ‘but we need to control our border.’”

On the other hand CNN, like its counterparts (with the exception of Fox News), continuously kowtows to black political propaganda, since blacks have a monopoly on the racism trade. I frequently hear whites and blacks “commiserate” about the “common enemy,” the “Mexicans,” and I recall once listening to some disgusting caricatures of “Mexicans” when I called out the (white) person making the comments which I considered racist, and he and his listeners claimed that they didn’t believe the comments were saying was “racist,” to which I reiterated my belief that I thought they were. The point, of course, is that negative propaganda against Hispanics has gone unchecked and unquestioned by the major media, and while CNN has numerous black talking heads to talk about racism, all the network allows for the largest minority group in the country is one toadying Republican political commentator.

So where are we to find media willing to discuss the “truth”—say, one of “liberal” Seattle’s two “alternative” weeklies—like The Stranger? It has lately taken to publishing a weekly “airing” of Elvis Presley’s “dirty laundry,” as if 95 percent if its current readership has ever heard of him or the slightest bit familiar with his music. What’s the point? Are there not more important things to discuss? I’m sure that everyone has done something that they cringe at the thought that someone might actually remember it, or have done things that people can “construe” to be strange if viewed from a particular angle. I’m sure that Madonna has done things she wishes that she never did, like putting out that “Sex” book with the metallic cover; on Amazon’s review page, someone named “Wong” wrote this: “Me hate this book. It have Madonna undressed and she horrible and grimey. Me no want see that slob with clothes on, but with no clothes, me had to rinse eyes with bleach after seeing that mess. If you like upset stomach, then this book for you. Ah-so, me no likey. Me want shove spoon in eye after that.”

Anyways, The Stranger further emptied its credibility into the privy stool by joining the ranks of the media and other so-called “progressives” in providing a stool load of lame excuses for the contemptible behavior of three “black lives matter” women who put their ignorance on parade at Westlake Center. One of the Stranger’s apologists claimed that Bernie Sanders wasn’t the “straight shooter” that many take him to because he didn’t “address” the BLM incident directly at a later UW event. OK, I’ll give you some “straight shooting.” Sanders shouldn’t have been expected to degrade himself by mentioning the embarrassing behavior of BLM folks; their actions spoke for themselves, and he was doing them a favor. 

Other commentators justified the behavior because of longstanding racial prejudice that hasn’t gone away, and white “progressives” don’t “get it.” Maybe what they don’t “get” is why that justifies rude and obnoxious behavior, obliviously to the rights of others; I see that all the time at the Kent Public Library. I agree that many white “progressives” are only interested in their own “right” to do whatever they want to do, and are only interested in minority concerns insofar as it doesn’t interfere with their own. But BLM folks should know that there is a difference between those who do bad and those who at least don’t make things any worse; that was a lesson that should have been learned in 2000. 

Someone named Rick Smith complained that Sanders’ didn’t “apologize” for “talking over” some BLM and lesbian “protestors” shouting inanely at him at that Arizona event, who again just saw an old white man challenging the favored one. Maybe that’s his secret “point.” Interestingly, Hillary Clinton has not been subject to these actions; at one recent event, Clinton was “warned” of the arrival of some BLM people, and rather than having an embarrassing video clip of a shouting match to explain, she had the protestors physically barred from entering the campaign event, promising to talk to them “privately” later. There has never been any information provided given the nature of that “private” discussion; one wonders if a “deal” was made, and its nature. It wouldn’t be difficult to deduce.

Meanwhile, you shouldn’t be surprised by how many black commentators on the Internet who attack Sanders because he is “old,” has “white” hair and is, well, an old white man with “old” values. Oh, and Hillary isn’t an “old” woman? Well, at least we can say her “values” are “new,” insofar that she will eagerly kowtow to angry, hypocritical people who never ask questions like “Do black lives matter to the blacks who are responsible to 90 percent of the murders of other blacks?” Please answer the question; some of those killed were innocent people killed “accidentally” in random drive-by shootings. The attitude toward life these killers display is no doubt the same one that police encounter every day—yet only what they do is worth “discussing.” At least Sanders is talking about solutions to the problem of having too many angry people on the street with nothing “better” to do.

If the “alternative” media can’t muster up any credibility (and don’t even get me started on the right-wing variety—which includes Ron Paul and his racist and “doom and gloom” propaganda), then surely the “mainstream” media is giving us “just the facts”? I think we already discovered what to expect, but it doesn’t hurt to add more grist to the mill. As if Sanders’ candidacy doesn’t have enough problems with the BLM hypocrisy on one side, there goes the media trying to keep the focus on gender rather than issues that affect most Americans. Why must we be assaulted for refusing to genuflect in fear before the demands of a small but accusatory rabble rather seek substance? When Barack Obama was elected president, many people expected “big” things to happen, and we can say that healthcare reform was the “biggest” thing the federal government has done positively for all people since the New Deal. What do we expect from Hillary? Does it even matter? Is just being elected enough for some people?

Apparently so. Sanders supports and has supported for at least 50 years many progressive policies, yet the mainstream media, as expected, isn’t interested in the “issues” that effect most people, particularly in the sub-median income range; after all, they are all owned by gigantic corporations too with executives in need of fat paychecks. No, they’d rather keep Wall Street-friendly Hillary afloat by allowing its (mainly white female) commentators to talk about—hair. Even the New York Times’ Ana Marie Cox through objectivity to the wind, unable to conceal her pique that anyone would have the temerity to “challenge” Clinton’s unquestioning media-greased path to the White House. Cox asked Sanders why he thinks that Clinton’s hair is getting more “attention” than his; Sanders, confused, asked her to repeat the question. 

“Hillary’s hair gets more scrutiny than my hair? Is that what you’re asking?” Sanders clarified. Cox confirmed that was indeed what she was asking. Sanders went on

O.K., Ana, I don’t mean to be rude here. I am running for president of the United States on serious issues, O.K.? Do you have serious questions?

 Cox: I can defend that as a serious question. There is a gendered reason…

Sanders: When the media worries about what Hillary’s hair looks like or what my hair looks like, that’s a real problem. We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we’re the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people.

Cox: It’s also true that the media pays more attention to what female candidates look like than it does to what male candidates look like.

Excuse me, but isn’t that the media’s problem, not Sanders? The American people don’t care about Clinton’s hair, her pantsuits or the ton of face powder she uses to disguise her prune face. They care about the “issues”—or at least some of them do.

And if anyone doubts that this has become a “gendered” election months away from the first presidential primary, get a load of all the fallout from Trump’s harrumphing about Fox’s Megyn Kelly, who he accused of having “female problems” in asking questions that some could interpret as being nothing more than personal attacks—not of course that Trump doesn’t deserve to be personally attacked, but just that the person making them has little credibility on any issue, and that includes gender issues. Oh sure, Kelly has the same self-obsession and pomposity as other women (alright, and men too) in the media business, but I found it odd that while it was true that Trump may have made some politically-incorrect gender observations, many on the left have said worse about Kelly and her habit of making inane comments and giving a hearing for the views of all sorts of far-right bigots and anti-government fanatics, while continuing Fox’s usual policy of avoiding the airing of alternative viewpoints. 

Of course, those people unexpectedly defending Kelly did so for “gendered” reasons, not for the actual “issues.” That’s a surprise?  After the Trump blowback, Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, was suddenly being described as a “alternative” to the pick-em’ white males currently on the Republican roster, with some in the media (mainly females) salivating over the possibility of both parties nominating a woman for president. Again, it has nothing to do with the issues; while Fiorina has been publically critical of the terms many Republicans use, she is by no stretch more “moderate” than, say, Ted Cruz. 

It is still early in the process, but that may be the point: The media is trying to “shape” the “message”—or lack of one—to try to “influence” the course of the “debate”—or lack thereof—to satisfy its advocacy for conceit. What matters in the average person’s life is not important.

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