When you are totally immersed in your own spin reality becomes irrelevant.
The media is thus immersed.
The Mainstream Media Has a Donald J. Trump-Sized Blind Spot
Nothing is quite as trite and boring as journalists parachuting in to report on the pathologies of Trump supporters through a phony anthropological prism.
From The Daily Beast: By MICHAEL TRACEY, 09.06.16
A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook went on national television and declared: “There are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”
For all the talk over the past 14 months about how Trump has obliterated the supposed “norms” that typically govern the operation of presidential campaigns, this was a norm-buster for the ages. “Puppet for the Kremlin”? That’s the stuff of a dystopian espionage thriller. If true, it’d constitute a scenario utterly without precedent in American history, potentially shaking the very foundations of the Republic. One might think, then, that Mook’s stunning attack would’ve engendered a wave of calls from sober-minded pundits for due diligence and avoidance of hyperbole.
It’s worth considering why.
The total paucity of avowed Trump supporters in elite spheres—including prestige media outlets, think tanks and academic institutions—has created an unprecedented imbalance in our electoral politics. During any given week this summer, commentators might have charged Trump with committing treason(a crime punishable by death), seeking to carry out mass genocide, beingclinically insane, or chomping at the bit to instigate civilization-destroying nuclear war—not to mention secretly working to undermine the entire American system of government at the behest of Russia’s dastardly leader. Such extreme besmirchments have become so common now that they seldom even raise an eyebrow.
Of course, given his penchant for inflammatory blather, Trump himself bears plenty of responsibility for provoking some histrionic name-calling. But even so, when a presidential candidate nominated by one of the two major parties can be called a literal traitor and virtually nobody within the domains that traditionally regulate mainstream public discourse feels compelled to come out and object—something’s off.
Something intrinsic to the fundamental order of the polity is fraying, and it threatens the continued existence of a functioning, governable nation state.
Elite journalists, usually quick to condemn politicians or celebrities for failing to evince sufficient self-awareness, appear to have lost any notion that they too are obliged to maintain a sense of perspective. Roughly 0% of political reporters and commentators with sizable platforms at reputable publications favor Trump, who’s two months away from garnering the votes of at least 50 million American citizens. (That said, I have heard from several journalists at progressive media outlets who privately favor Trump, so maybe the figure is closer to 1%.)
A more self-aware media would be highly cognizant of the inevitable distortions created by this Trump-sized blind spot. If no one in your social and professional cohort feels even a pang of doubt when a presidential candidate is accused by his rival campaign of treason—a high crime for which, it should be again emphasized, the United States penal code explicitly prescribes death—then your cohort has fallen perilously out of touch with the sentiments of the broader population. And if your business model depends on maintaining the trust of readers, this should be seen as doubly worrying.
But far from acknowledging the blind spot and trying to compensate for it, every day brings a new wave of mindless Trump hysterics. Nobody would argue that the candidate’s statements should go unscrutinized—that’s a red herring. But to hang on his every trifling word as if the fate of humanity depends on it is going way, way overboard. It generates such a tiresome cacophony of noise that many voters, especially casual news consumers largely indifferent to politics, simply tune out.