The Sad End of a Corrupt Friendship

At a secret meeting following the election between top media executives and journalists, president-elect Donald Trump scolded them, calling them biased liars. Could the cozy relationship between presidents and the press finally be fracturing? Let’s hope so.

27 thoughts on “The Sad End of a Corrupt Friendship

    • There used to be national media ownership standards that prevented duopolic oligarchy propaganda from being tyranically focused by a single junta crew.

      But the laws were cancelled, and the media got bought out by a single point of view.

      DanD

  1. Over on gocomics, someone posted a link to Lew Rockwell, a right-wing anti-war isolationist website. The title of the webpage is ‘porn and cholesterol,’ so someone said the link was to a porn phishing site. The column starts by saying the US media has always worked the public into support for any and all wars the current president wanted. Mr Rockwell says the Spanish attack of the USS Maine, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the North Vietnamese attack on a US Naval ship in international waters, Saddam’s WMD, etc., etc. were all ‘contrived events’.

    Except for Pearl Harbor, all were fiction (and one could say Pearl Harbor was ‘contrived’ by FDR: it really happened, but only because FDR imposed a blockade on Japan).

      • That’s one of the symptoms of the duopoly. The pro-lifers get in bed with the pro-deathers. (death penalty and war hawks) It makes no sense, but that’s how it got divvied up.

  2. «[U]nprecedented hostility between the media and the White House» ? Not so sure -just as long as both do as they’re told by the people pulling the strings, I suspect they’re going to get along fine. Imagine, however, if Mr Sanders had managed to win the Democratic Party nomination and then the US presidency – that would really have set the cat among the pigeons….

    Henri

    • “Imagine, however, if Mr Sanders had managed to win the Democratic Party nomination and then the US presidency….”
      All numbers indicated that Sanders could have won the nomination and triumphed over Trump. I can’t help but wonder if the American people were duped by the DNC in a sophisticated con-game whose outcome was predetermined, without considering the possibility of a Trump victory.

      • «I can’t help but wonder if the American people were duped by the DNC in a sophisticated con-game whose outcome was predetermined, without considering the possibility of a Trump victory.» As it turns out, mein verehrter Lehrer, it would seem that while the DNC did manage to dupe themselves by thinking that if they could outmanoeuvre Mr Sanders, Ms Clinton would be a shoo-in for the US presidency, they didn’t quite manage to dupe a sufficient number of voters in the so-called «swing states» to make their vision a reality. I’d call it an own goal, were it not that I suspect that they greatly prefer having Mr Trump as US president to having Mr Sanders in that position….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday-
        And I think that Senator Sanders could have run as an Independent and still achieved the goal. (That’s just my own fantasy.)

      • As both you and I are old enough to know, mein verehrter Lehrer, alternative history is a difficult genre. We shall just have to wait and see what happens….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday-
        What are your thoughts on
        1) the recounts in 3 key states and
        2) the petition(s) for the Electoral College to vote for the winner of the popular vote (Clinton)?

      • «What are your thoughts on
        1) the recounts in 3 key states and
        2) the petition(s) for the Electoral College to vote for the winner of the popular vote (Clinton)?»

        These are no minor questions to ask of a poor foreign observer, mein verehrter Lehrer ! But as fools rush in and all that sort of thing, here goes :

        ad 1. From what I’ve read, it strikes me as unlikely that a recount of votes cast is going to make much of a difference. The fix, as I understand it, was in prior to voting ; i e, systematic discrimination of voters who, in the view of various state legislatures, were likely to vote the wrong way. That being said, some good can come of the attempt ; voters might possibly be made aware that there are alternatives to the evil-of-two-lessers duopoly. But the prospects for overturning the results of the elections seem dim….

        ad 2. The US Electoral College is often considered an anachronism ; if so, that is equally true of the provision in the US Constitution (Article I, Section 3) which gives each state, irrespective of population, two senators. I’ve heard arguments to the effect that Ms Clinton «really» won the election, as she garnered more votes than Mr Trump, but to my mind, these arguments are disingenuous ; had the contest been about gaining the most votes totalt in the whole country, rather than in the Electoral College, both Mr Trump and Ms Clinton would have campaigned differently and nobody can predict what the results would then have been….

        Summa summarum, to my mind, fixing the discrimination of would-be voters prior to elections is the most pressing task. Alas, this is hardly going to happen under Mr Trump ; rather the contrary….
        After dealing with the above issue – however that is to be done – the next task would be to modify the current first-past-the-post-in-one-man-districts voting system ; the US Green Party has put forward some interesting proposals in this regard. As I noted above, I don’t see a way forward here, given the current political situation in the US. But as we have seen this year, things which are deemed impossible can happen….

        I apologise for the prolix nature of my reply….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday –

        Very astute.

        I agree that the recounts probably will amount to much ado about nothing and have no effect upon the outcome.

        However, I believe that there is a minimal chance that the Electoral College will possibly make history by naming the winner of the majority of votes the victor. (We are living in a time of unpredictable occurrences.) In that case, you may await the resulting civil war.

        How do you arrive at your analyses?

      • A lot of Americans don’t realize it, but there is no federal law specifying that the electors must vote the same way as their state, nor do all electors for a particular state need to vote for the same person.

        Several electors have stated that they can’t vote for Trump. Multiple states have publicly stated that they’ll start allocating their votes proportionally rather than winner-take-all … just as soon as everyone else does so. That’s one way to rid ourselves of the problems associated with the electoral college without resorting to a constitutional amendment.

      • «How do you arrive at your analyses?» As mein verehrter Lehrer surely will recognise, that’s a very difficult question to answer. Given the size of the country, even those who reside in the US must rely on secondary sources to get a grasp on what is happening at the national or state level ; this obtains in spades for foreigners who, like myself, attempt to understand an extremely complicated process from abroad. As an example of the sources I’ve used – aside from articles and comments in newspapers and journals to which I subscribe – I’ve found this source useful when it comes to the Electoral College. With regard to the US Green Party, which proposes reformation of the voting system in that country, the most salient points of which are the following :

        «Enact proportional representation voting systems for legislative seats on municipal, county, state and federal levels.
        Enact Instant Run-off Voting (IRV) for chief executive offices like mayor, governor and president and other single-seat elections.» More information can be found here….

        One thing that has always bemused me about the US system is that members of the electorate are require to «register» themselves in order to exercise their right to vote. Here in Sweden, as a Swedish citizen residing in the country and having reached the age of 18 (pardon me if I don’t say how long ago), I don’t have to register for anything ; the Election Authority, based on an electoral roll compiled 30 days prior to the election, sends me a voting card, which I must have with me, along with an ID (I use my driver’s license) if I am to participate in early voting, which opens 18 days prior to election day. In my case, what happens is that on one of the first few days after early voting has opened, I hop on my velocipede, take myself + voting card + ID to the local branch of the city library, present myself + card and ID to the election officials sitting at a table somewhere on the library premises, and cast my vote from behind a screen by marking the relevant ballot papers (i e, for local, regional, and national representatives) and placing them in an envelope, which I hand to the officials who then place it while I’m looking on, in the ballot box. We have a parliamentary system at every level, with multiple representatives for each district, and party strength in these legislatures is determined proportionally according to the proportion of votes each party wins at that particular level….

        Does the system always bring to power those whom I should like to see there ? Far from it – cf our lick-spittle government which is more or less a branch of the one in Washington – but I consider the voting arrangements themselves (not) so much the campaigns prior to the elections, which are skewed, naturally enough, to a neocon right) about as fair as they could be, and always participate. On the other hand, I don’t stay up late on election night or participate in any parties ; I’m content (if that’s the word) to wake the next morning, turn on the radio, and hear whom our blessed overlords will be for the next four years (but nothing of course, concerning who’s pulling their strings)….

        So it goes….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday –
        “Most commentators seem to agree that while the Electors could choose to elect Ms Clinton, rather than Mr Trump, to whom a majority are pledged, it is unlikely that this will happen.”
        *
        I’m not giving up hope (and change) until after the fact. 😀

        —–
        “…when is Ted going to offer an option to correct errors after posting to the commentary threads ?”
        *
        I’ve tried ever since the transition to the new site to get Ted to agree to this option, but his resistance stems from the fact that contributors will alter or delete comments that destroy the continuity of the discussion. I still think the webmaster could build into the system a 15-minute window of opportunity to change (correct) comments, after which they will be locked in. (?)

      • «I’ve tried ever since the transition to the new site to get Ted to agree to this option, but his resistance stems from the fact that contributors will alter or delete comments that destroy the continuity of the discussion. I still think the webmaster could build into the system a 15-minute window of opportunity to change (correct) comments, after which they will be locked in. (?)» One alternative could be the temporal window that you mention, mein verehrter Leher, It’s used by, among others, the WaPo (not that I want Ted to take after that newspaper in other respects !). Another alternative would be the system employed by the Guardian (which, no more that the WaPo, should be imitated in other respects), which allows one to preview one’s post before posting….

        Hope that Ted will provide us with some sort of alternative….

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday-

        “Hope that Ted will provide us with some sort of alternative….”
        *
        My situation is probably one in a million. I have a Lenovo laptop whose keyboard is unpredictable. I type by touch and if I am typing from hard-copy I have no way of knowing whether the text will be continuous or whether keystrokes will be inserted at random somewhere else within the material previously typed. On occasion, I’ve had to recruit my wife to stand over my shoulder and observe the screen while I keep my eye on the hard-copy as I’m writing. Even writing with my eye on the screen can be challenging, because the cursor jumps around and inserts keystrokes willy-nilly, rather than where I expect them to appear. That is especially challenging.

        I’ve tried to discipline myself and write first with the use of WordPad. After I’ve finished my text, I read through it to make certain that there are no stupid mistakes as a result of random movements of the cursor. If satisfied with what I’ve written, I then copy and paste to the thread and go ahead with “Send” — that’s the only alternative I have found.

        I still think there should be a 15-minute delay before a post is locked in.

        (Ted, are you listening?)

      • «I have a Lenovo laptop whose keyboard is unpredictable. I type by touch and if I am typing from hard-copy I have no way of knowing whether the text will be continuous or whether keystrokes will be inserted at random somewhere else within the material previously typed. On occasion, I’ve had to recruit my wife to stand over my shoulder and observe the screen while I keep my eye on the hard-copy as I’m writing. Even writing with my eye on the screen can be challenging, because the cursor jumps around and inserts keystrokes willy-nilly, rather than where I expect them to appear. That is especially challenging.»

        I hope you will forgive me, mein verehrter lehrer, if in the following I state something terribly obvious which you’ve already tried and which hasn’t helped, but it sounds to me as if your typing is disturbed by a trackpad that doesn’t automatically turn off when you are typing, which leads, as they can be very sensitive, to just the phenomena that you describe. You don’t say what version of which operating system you use, but I presume that you are using Windows (not my favourite !). If you are using Windows 10, you can try Settings → Mouse and Touchpad → Touchpad. Click then the button that allows you to adjust the length of the delay and chose one of the two more lengthy delays….

        Hope this helps – and again, pardon me if the above is something of which you are very much aware and have tried without success !…

        Henri

        PS : for general use, I recommend a mouse rather than a trackpad, the former offers far better control….

      • @ mhenriday –

        To avoid derailing Ted’s board any further, let’s take the discussion to email:
        derlehrer[at]prodigy[dot]net[dot]mx
        🙂

      • @ mhenriday –

        Wow! Another one of those strange anomalies!

        I was notified by email less than an hour ago that your post from December 2, 2016 at 3:37 AM had arrived.

        Do you suppose it had been intercepted by the CIA or other lackluster organization?

      • «Do you suppose it had been intercepted by the CIA or other lackluster organization?» Mein verehrter Lehrer, I shall here refrain from burdening either you or this thread with my penchant for conspiracy theories…. 😉

        Henri

      • @ mhenriday –

        Just remain alert. Listen for those noises that might be emanating from drones — and when heard, TAKE COVER!

        😀

      • «Listen for those noises that might be emanating from drones — and when heard, TAKE COVER!» As mine is (claims to be) an environmentally friendly land, mein verehreter Lehrer, the US government would of course use drones powered by (environmentally friendly) electricity. Wouldn’t hear a thing….

        Henri

    • @ mhenriday –

      My wife informed me that she read today that one elector from Texas has resigned because he couldn’t vote for Trump in good conscience.

      The electors in those few states that presently have the freedom to vote against the majority of voters in their state do not add up to enough to swing the decision to Hillary. None of them are obligated to vote for the winner in their state and they can “buck the system” if they are willing to pay a fine (which I believe to be $1,000). What the heck?

      • «A lot of Americans don’t realize it, but there is no federal law specifying that the electors must vote the same way as their state, nor do all electors for a particular state need to vote for the same person.»

        As the source to which I attempted – but failed ; when is Ted going to offer an option to correct errors after posting to the commentary threads ? – above to link, the situation is the following :

        «… the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1952 that states could require electors to take a pledge to support the party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees from its national convention. And many do. Some even prescribe fines of $500 to $1,000 to so-called “faithless electors” for not voting for the party’s nominee, or allow them to be replaced by an alternate.

        Whether those pledges or fines could be upheld by the Supreme Court is unclear. As the National Archives notes, “No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.” In addition, more than 20 states do not have a state law or party or state pledge requiring electors to back the candidates with the most votes in their state.

        “Presidential Electors are theoretically free to vote as their consciences dictate, something the founders anticipated Electors would indeed do under Hamilton’s Electoral College invention,” Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, told us via email.

        Tribe said the constitutionality of imposing a fine on a “faithless elector” is “open to doubt, and it is even more doubtful that a court would compel any Elector to be ‘faithful’ to the State’s winner-take-all outcome. Nor is it likely that the Vice President, who presides over the process of opening the Electors’ ballots and counting the votes cast by the 538 Electors, would feel free to ‘correct’ a faithless Elector’s vote. So, in theory, if enough Electors pledged to Mr. Trump decline to make him President-elect and vote instead for Secretary Clinton, she would become the President-elect and would be the 45th President upon taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017.”

        But Tribe said such a scenario is highly unlikely as a matter of practice, in part because it would likely be opposed by President Obama and Clinton herself.»

        Most commentators seem to agree that while the Electors could choose to elect Ms Clinton, rather than Mr Trump, to whom a majority are pledged, it is unlikely that this will happen. But as all familiar with quantum mechanics and US politics are aware, strange things happen….

        Henri

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