Saturday, April 11, 2020

CNN’s Slavish Service to Trump

I had to do a double-take when I saw this news item.  First came the headline, “Pence won't let public health officials appear on CNN unless Trump's disinfo briefings run in full”.  I thought, this is horrible: the administration is holding Fauci and Birx hostage to force CNN to cover not only them but also Trump in his daily blatherings.  But no, it was exactly the other way around.  Pence was keeping them from being interviewed on CNN unless the network also covered their regular briefings.  What CNN has been doing instead is broadcasting the Trump portion and then cutting away when people who actually have something to say step forward.

Bad enough that Trump has a high profile daily outlet for his ravings; it’s incredible the media would treat this as news and CDC updates as disposable filler.  I guess they think they are doing the guy a favor by giving him free media so he doesn’t have to buy as much.

This has been a peeve of mine for some time; see here and here.  We expect Fox to offer itself as a mouthpiece for Trump, but why should the self-designated “enlightened” wing of journalism be just as craven?  Yes, the owners care more about ratings than the political consequences of their coverage, but why do working journalists go along without a peep?  What would it take to get through to them?


Anonymous said...

Good grief, I read this and read this again before I understood.

Anonymous said...

Then again:

Jeff Hauser @jeffhauser

So much malevolence packed into this tweet....

Matt Pearce @mattdpearce

“New White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to see how to reduce wage rates for foreign guest workers on American farms”…

4:24 PM · Apr 11, 2020

Anonymous said...

And again:

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

I know there's a lot of other stuff going on, but surprised not to see more commentary about how weird it is for the U.S. president to be trying to organize an oil cartel 1/

Trump Pushes Historic Deal to Cut World Oil Output Toward Finish
The world’s largest oil producers were closing in on a deal to rescue energy markets from a coronavirus-induced collapse after U.S. President Donald Trump stepped in to try to broker a truce.

7:28 AM · Apr 11, 2020

Among other things, we are still a slight net importer of petroleum products, so higher oil prices, other things equal, hurt US real income 2/…

[ ]

What is true is that energy accounts for a surprisingly large share of business investment, so talking up oil prices is in a weird way a kind of Keynesian stimulus. But I thought Republicans don't believe in that? 3/

Also, fracking appears to be a huge, debt-fueled bubble, and attempts to avoid a reckoning are probably doomed to failure 4/

Coronavirus May Kill Our Fracking Fever Dream
America’s energy independence was an illusion created by cheap debt. All that’s left to tally is the damage.

Of course, it might be relevant to look at political contributions by the oil and gas industry 5/…

[ ]

My sense is that there's also a sort of ideological thing: conservatives love to talk about the wonders of fracking, and still think of renewables as hippie stuff even though they're now a huge sector 6/

Anyway, amid everything else it's hard to focus. But Trumpian favoritism on fossil fuels is quite something 7/

Anonymous said...

Thinking further about this anecdotal post by Peter Dorman, I realized that it takes me right to Paul Krugman's last column:

April 9, 2020

American Democracy May Be Dying
Authoritarian rule may be just around the corner.
By Paul Krugman

I realize that I now try not to know what comes the president and national Republican representatives because what comes from them directly threatens American democracy. Even in trying to compromise as here CNN has done is to go along the way to lessening the knowledge that is critical for democracy.

Imagine the president has taken to attacking even decidedly slanted FOX, the Wall Street Journal and the wildly slanted Voice of America. The point of the attacks is to further slant even this media. Krugman is right. said...


Actually very recently US has been a slightly net exporter of petroleum products. However some of that is refined stuff, so I think we have remained a slightly net importer of crude oil. I may be off on these figures, did not double check any of it.