Sunday, April 29, 2018

Once again, comics tell truths because "legit media" won't

With all the repression, mendacity and flat-out lies coming from our government these days, it's telling that we need comics more than ever to tell the truths that our "objective" media won't.

While I find Bill Maher to be very hit-and-miss, he was on it Friday night. Maher mentioned how it's odd that Roseanne Barr and her character on "Roseanne" became a Trump supporter, when it's obvious that Trump and other GOPs have done nothing but give away money and power to the rich, which is something Roseanne railed against for years.

"The elites (Trump) rails against on Twitter got billions forever, while Roseanne Conner got peanuts with an expiration date. He cut the corporate tax from 35 to 21 percent. I don't remember "the forgotten American" clamoring for that. This is what his fans have so much trouble seeing- the constant bait and switch."

"[Trump] talked tough to the pharmaceutical companies. He said 'We're going to get drug prices so far lower than they are now, you're head will spin.' Is your head spinning, Roseanne? Because in the first scene of your new show, you and Dan are trading your meds, because you can't afford the ones you need. Because Trump sold out to Big Pharma and sabotage Obamacare, the program designed exactly for people like the Conner family." _Bill Maher

Our media won't be this blunt, and call out the double-talk and flat-out lies that permeate from the average Republican these days, because they think they will be called "liberal and biased" by the right-wing media complex. But what if the truth is liberally-biased (or what is portrayed as "liberal" in "both-sides" media)?

This is where the comics have to step in, which is what is so infuriating about the faux-trage from comic Michelle Wolf's routine at last night's White House Correspondents dinner. As someone who has been watching the "Handmaid's Tale" with my wife recently, this comment really hit home.

The subtext of that show in how freedoms are eroded to reach the end goal of authoritarian fascists, and how many people are willing to enable them. (SPOILER ALERT) In the most recent episode, the main character has to hide in the former newspaper offices where the people that Aunt Lydia works for murdered scores of journalists. Given some of the "lock em up!" and "fake news! along with the hate-stirring that is part and parcel of Trumpism, it makes it hard for me to watch that show sometimes, because it illustrates the depths that we could sink to with right-wing depravity.

Here's the other part of the fauxtrage that drives me nuts. Some of the invited guests to this DC Circle Jerk claimed "elitists" like Wolf deeply offended them. Which is especially rich because the circles THEY run with are p[laces 99.5% of us can only dream of.

Wolf had another big target in her speech last night. She ripped on corporate media's role in enabling this awful president, the corruption that permeates all parts of his administration, and the corrosive politics that we are dealing with today. Because that media treated Trump as a reality show star that wasn't to be discussed seriously, and therefore ignored the heniousness that he stands for.

Even when Trump became a serious contender for the GOP nomination and their eventual nominee, they kept treating him as a celebrity and as a sideshow (and still kind of do as president) instead of castigating him as a clueless, anti-democratic fool who has no business ever being charge of a country with the ability to (ab)use political power.

And the reason why? Ratings and access.

When this fact was pointed out to the media's faces, Coastal Establishment insiders like the New York Times' Maggie Haberman and NBC's Andrea Greenspan...COUGH....Mitchell complained about Wolf's "tone" and fauxtraged about what they claimed were shots against Huckabee Sanders' appearance (which they weren't, by the way).

Which makes this response by Wisconsin-raised Jeremy Scahill so on the money.

It illustrates the fatal flaw in much of the Beltway's "journalism". They only care about what affects them and the other politicans and insiders they cover. They don't have a problem if people make jokes that punch down at the everyday person, but if someone turns the spotlight on them and the fraudulent game they're in on , then it's "deeply offensive." Cry me a river, millionaires.

And why is the media caring about the fee-fees of right-wingers anyway? the Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Republicans will lie and whine regardless of what the press does, and the press then shrugs and gives their dishonest bile as "one side of the story." Which plays right into the GOP's hands while hurting the media's reputation with everybody.

The media's constant enabling and allowing of bad-faith right-wingers to poison the well of discourse leads a lot of people to be turned off from 2018's politics and treat it as a reality show to watch and be entertained by. And that's dangerous in a time when both media members and average Americans need to be active citizens that give a damn about the destruction of our democratic system of governance, along with the lack of accountability and checks and balances that is currently happening in GOP-run DC.

So as long as our "legitimate" media continue to value ACCESS over REPORTING, we're going to have to rely on partisans and comics to give us the truth and connect the dots on things these days.


  1. It's an old story - only the clowns and the "mad" (Shakespeare's fools and Cassandra maybe?) are truly free to speak the truth.

    Part of wisdom is being willing to listen to discomforting people.

    I do wonder exactly what access our journalists so treasure. Is being there for Sarah darling's pronouncements and inevitable defensive posturing really a benefit?

  2. Roseanne Barr may be pro-Trump, but her new show is not. I’ve seen every episode of the reboot and love it. A subplot of the pilot episode has Roseanne Conner and her sister, Jackie, arguing about the 2016 election. Jackie, who despises Trump, points out to Roseanne pretty much what Bill Maher did. It ends with the sisters making up and moving on.

    Since the pilot, there has not been one mention of Trump or politics at all. None. It’s a pleasant surprise, seeing as the media was shouting things like “the new Roseanne proves there’s still room in prime time comedies for Trump lovers” and “maybe there won’t be much of a Blue Wave after all.” Trump, of course, crowed “I’m the reason the show is a hit!” Whatever.

    This seems to prove Michelle Wolf’s point that the mainstream media loves to profit off of any and all news related to Trump. Even blowing things out of proportion just to grab readers.

    1. I saw the first two episodes and liked them. But then the media got hold of the "Trump" meme, and between that and Brewers games on Tuesday nights, I haven't gotten myself around to it.

      I didn't like how they made Jackie a "life coach" with new age crap, but otherwise I thought it was fine. I especially liked that it dealt with the hard times that blue-collar people have to deal with, like Roseanne and John Goodman splitting up meds and characters showing/discussing the effect of working crappy jobs in a dying town (at least the 2 episodes I saw).