Saturday, August 26, 2017

Matt Taibbi — The Media Is the Villain – for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump


Weekend reading.

Mat Taibbi sees the media as the sole factor, or major factor at least, in the rise of Trump. In my view, there are many factors involved, not the least of which is the state of the American character. This would not be happening if there were not appetite for it.

Rolling Stone
The Media Is the Villain – for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump
Matt Taibbi

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't believe either argument: from reports from "hillbilly USA" etc. it is pretty clear that most Trump voters regard him as an unreliable scoundrel and would have rather voted for Sanders, but that also they think that voting for the other candidates would have been even worse.

The campaigns by the Clintons and the Rubios are from their point of view the same: they all quite clearly promise lower wages for workers and lower welfare for the poor to make the USA "more globally competitive" and boost the incomes and living standards of USA business and property rentiers, who are their main voter and donor base.

Just like Corbyn in the UK, only Sanders and Trump promised something different. Given that Sanders was not allowed to be an option, and that the Republican primary was less "managed" than the Democratic one, and Trump as a result could win it, many voted Trump because at least his talk is not merely "more globally competitive", even if they were skeptical about whether the talk would become walk.

It is not probably entirely a coincidence that the Corbyn, Sanders, Trump campaigns were not mainly funded by business and property rentier interests. Nader pointed well at the origin point of clintonism:

bhttps://theintercept.com/2017/06/25/ralph-nader-the-democrats-are-unable-to-defend-the-u-s-from-the-most-vicious-republican-party-in-history/
«RALPH NADER: Do you want me to go through the history of the decline and decadence of the Democratic Party? I’m going to give you millstones around the Democratic Party neck that are milestones.
The first big one was in 1979. Tony Coelho, who was a congressman from California, and who ran the House Democratic Campaign treasure chest, convinced the Democrats that they should bid for corporate money, corporate PACs, that they could raise a lot of money.
Why leave it up to Republicans and simply rely on the dwindling labor union base for money, when you had a huge honeypot in the corporate area? And they did.»

Adjacent to the issue of source of campaign funds is also the alignment of the various candidates with various parts of the important israeli-american donor base: the Clintons and the Rubios are sponsored generously by some Likud far-right supporting billionaires, Sanders and Corbyn are sympathetic to centre-left haaretz/haavoda zionism, and Trump is related to the modern (centrist) and haredim (rightist) orthodox parties, something that the likudniks really detest.

Matt Franko said...

"boost the incomes and living standards of USA business and property rentiers"

This is absurd the last 8 years have NOT been good for business or property...

Maybe I'll give you the oil rentiers and Apple Computer rentier over the last 8 years....

Now the rent has come out of the oil... Apple still dominates...

But to say the last 8 years have been good for business and property is absurd and devoid of reality.

Tom Hickey said...

But to say the last 8 years have been good for business and property is absurd and devoid of reality.

How were the gains distributed? Who were the winners and who were the losers?

Ryan Harris said...

Given the infrastructure buildup, weapons movement and fortifications, it appears China is playing for keeps in their latest plans for expansion of the Han empire.

Ryan Harris said...

I hear these critical commentaries on Trump all the time. The way people I know from work and personally, in the course of normal casual conversation just break into commentary about Trump at random times during unrelated conversation as if it were relevant like the weather or some war or something everyone, everywhere thinks about all the time and everyone assumes you share their horror/outrage/mortification whatever. Aside from Twitter, I just don't think about Trump. Don't have a Tv, don't listen to radio, and have been out of country. What I've heard policy wise, I generally like except for the war mongering stuff and social conservative stuff.

The point is, It's never about policy or anything real that Trump has done, media commentary. It's always about the tweet, or how he said something, or how outrageous something is, how it violates some facade of etiquette. Taibbi characterizes Trump's behavior as a "Meltdown." Seriously? Trump is usually cool as cucumber and calculated in his public responses even if they are a bit spicy.

We hired the guy to throw a monkey wrench into business as usual in the beltway. It's supposed to challenge norms, force discussion and justification for status quo, and be a bumpy ride.
I never thought the media would eat itself and cause the country to learn this much about the lack of a single reality. What is surprising to me most about the whole chain of events is that poll numbers from people of color, primarily male have been surging and I think if you're poor or from a different social class, your reality has always been different. This is just another great freebie we get for making the change.
So many benefits to allowing diversity of ideology. Take. A. Breath. Country. Relax. Enjoy the spectacle.

Tom Hickey said...

Given the infrastructure buildup, weapons movement and fortifications, it appears China is playing for keeps in their latest plans for expansion of the Han empire.

More like struggle for strategic advantage than territorial expansion, similar to Israel taking the strategically important Golan Heights on the border with Syria.

Matt Franko said...

Wouldn't that be a howl if China and India end up the ones getting into it... nobody is predicting that...

Matt Franko said...

Taibbi is just another left coastal elite with his technical incompetent metaphors.... "vampire squid!" his claim to fame.... good explanation!

Bob Roddis said...

How were the gains distributed? Who were the winners and who were the losers?

Seeing that we've had Keynesian funny money and deficit spending regime on steroids since 2008 (which is somehow blamed upon libertarians and Hayek), I would expect a sputtering economy with most wealth being siphoned to the rich.

And then it all happened, just as expected.

Bob Roddis said...

I note that this website always posts articles telling the truth about Obama's and Hillary's war mongering and war crimes about which the MSM never allows any mention at all. The MSM has always lied, but never so openly and relentlessly about almost everything. IMHO.

Matt Franko said...

Just about all the deficit since 2008 went to foreigners...

Matt Franko said...

Try to do some accounting Bob...

Taibbi could do the same thing but he is too stupid to figure it out... all he's got is metaphor ...

Matt Franko said...

Taibbi:

"He later stated that he was addicted to heroin while he did this early writing.[9]"

He's got a BA from Bard ... probably in writing...

Heroin addict with non technical degree: "vampire squid!"

"Give him a Pulitzer!"

Tom Hickey said...

From 2009 to 2012, average real income per family grew modestly by
6.0% (Table 1). Most of the gains happened in the last year when average incomes grew by 4.6% from 2011 to 2012.
However, the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012. Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.


Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States
(Updated with 2012 preliminary estimates)

Wealth inequality, it turns out, has followed a spectacular U-shape evolution over the past 100 years. From the Great Depression in the 1930s through the late 1970s there was a substantial democratization of wealth. e trend then inverted, with the share of total household wealth owned by the top 0.1 percent increasing to 22 percent in 2012 from 7 percent in the late 1970s. (See Figure 1.) e top 0.1 percent includes 160,000 families with total net assets of more than $20 million in 2012.

Figure 1 shows that wealth inequality has exploded in the United States over the past four decades. e share of wealth held by the top 0.1 percent of families is now almost as high as in the late 1920s, when in recent decades, only a tiny fraction of the population saw its wealth share grow. While the wealth share of the top 0.1 percent increased a lot in recent decades, that of the next 0.9 percent (families between the top 1 percent and the top 0.1 percent) did not. And the share of total wealth of the “merely rich”—families who fall in the top 10 percent but are not wealthy enough to be counted among the top 1 percent—actually decreased slightly over the past four decades. In other words, family fortunes of $20 million or more grew much faster than those of only a few millions.

The flip side of these trends at the top of the wealth ladder is the erosion of wealth among the middle class and the poor.


Exploding wealth inequality in the United States
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman October 2014
Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkeley• September 3, 2013

Matt Franko said...

If everybody took turns rotating into and out of the 1% for 100 years everybody would make the same amount of munnie what is your point?

Matt Franko said...

Nobody is getting a STEM degree while on heroin...

Matt Franko said...

You need to have your shit together...

Tom Hickey said...

If everybody took turns rotating into and out of the 1% for 100 years everybody would make the same amount of munnie Nobody is getting a STEM degree while on heroin...

You need to have your shit together..


The 1% (income) and the .01% (wealth) are the only people that have their shit together?

Matt Franko said...

I'm challenging Taibbis technical competency to write about any of this ... he doesn't have the training with an Arts degree and is a heroin addict... people on heroin don't have their shit together...

Tom state lotteries create 1000s (maybe millions?) of 1%ers...

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, you are really grasping at straws.

Matt Franko said...

How can a heroin addict call ANY body else dumb?????

Tom Hickey said...

Taibbi is in the Gonzo journalistic tradition of Hunter S. Thompson and Paul KrassnerPaul Krassner.

Writing about Krassner, George Carlin summed it up on this journalistic style, which has been extremely influential.

George Carlin commented: "The FBI was right, this man is dangerous – and funny; and necessary."[7]