Jeff Bezos' whistleblowing indictment about how American Media Inc. has been "weaponizing its journalistic privileges" sheds new light on what has been an increasingly creepy and destructive media enterprise. And, if his allegations hold up, a criminal one.
What began as a mnemonic device to help an attention-challenged presidential candidate stay on message is now being promoted by a mnemonic device created by that President to build support for, well, actually building his wall. "BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL," he tweeted not once, but twice this morning -- just in case you weren't paying attention.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Given the shenanigans of the past couple of years, I've begun to wonder whether voters are beginning to check out of political media and marketing altogether. So when 'MediaPost' hosted some of the leading practitioners in the field here Tuesday, I asked them what they thought.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Continue fooling me, and we have a seriously dysfunctional relationship. That's how I feel about the media after watching last night's prime-time broadcast of wolf cries from the Oval Office.
Day 12 of the government shutdown and the news cycle has been successfully commandeered by the President's demands for funding a wall on the Southern border. His defenders say it's not a real wall, but a metaphor for a secure border. Metaphors abound with this presidency, even if it's not always clear what they represent. During today's cabinet meeting, the President sat with a "Game of Thrones" styled poster in front of him, trumpeting, "Sanctions Are Coming -- November 5," for no apparent reason.
The midterms may have resulted in a blue wave, but the run-up in October showed some ebb and flow among the most prominent "red" news sites, according to an exclusive analysis by political spectrum news site tracker TheRighting. "Several prominent conservative websites posted steep double-digit drops in unique visitors in October 2018 compared to October 2017," TheRighting President Howard Polskin notes, citing the following examples: Infowars (-66%), Hannity.com (-49%), Breitbart (-42%) and Newsmax (-28%).
What's that you say, "No Schitt?" Yes, I know I'm stating the obvious here, but I'd still like to make the case why one of the most destructive forces of this presidency is not its stated goal: "the deconstruction of the administrative state." It is the deconstruction of our social fabric.
Lawsuits aside, there may be a better way for the press corps to reassert its First Amendment right to cover this White House. They could simply stop covering its press briefings altogether.
If the White House wanted to create a massive distraction to draw media attention away from the outcome of the midterm elections, it couldn't have planned a better one than to hold a press briefing discussing the outcome of the midterm elections.
The midterms are over, but the biggest loser wasn't a candidate for office. It was the credibility of a national "news" network.