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John Warner @biblioracle
, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
This arming teachers "debate" illustrates a structural weakness of the mainstream media that has dogged them for the entire Trump presidency, that because he is president, what he "proposes" must be taken seriously, but some things should simply be mocked, dismissed, shitcanned.
It's not an idea that even merits a moment's discussion and yet I've seen half a dozen "debates" about this on cable news. Sure, the anchors ask good questions of those who support this nonsense, but rather than saying, "How will the police tell a killer from a teacher?" cont...
...the questions should be more along the lines of, "You know this is ridiculous, right? You know you look like an idiot for going on national television and even suggesting such a thing?" But no, it has to be discussed seriously.
If Trump suggested going to the moon to harvest the green cheese to feed the homeless, rather than dismissing it as the ravings of a loon, they would bring someone on to talk about the logistics of getting to the moon, and someone else on the dangers of a moon cheese diet.
Meanwhile, the core delusion persists, and rather than dealing with the underlying issue, guns, we're having a sober discussion about ridiculous nonsense. If the media can't filter out nonsense, what good are they?
I actually think a bunch of journalists are doing their best on this front, which is why I identify the problem as structural. They're "required" to take these things seriously because to be scornful seems like bias or a violation of journalistic balance.
This is why the systems need re-examining. Maybe CNN needs to hire a designated John Oliver or Trevor Noah type as an "opinion" contributor who isn't constrained from mocking the ridiculous. The reason The Daily Show and Last Week feel like such antidotes is because they are.
Why couldn't CNN build that spirit into the news? Oliver and his team are rigorous in their research and fact checking. They're better than 60 Minutes. They're essentially doing journalism. They just aren't artificially constrained by "balance."
But as judged against an observable and verifiable reality, who delivers a more accurate rendering of the world, CNN or John Oliver? If the fact checkers went to town on the average CNN show and Oliver's show, would there be any difference?
Trump has exposed a lot of systemic weaknesses in the culture, the fact that political norms are rooted in absolutely nothing is chief among them, but the difficult of the legacy media in dealing with conscience-free people in power is way up there.
The problem of the daily brief with Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a case in point. She lies her ass off day after day and the legacy media has nothing because they're set up for people who don't lie so easily and without conscience.
The media has no response for this in their current arsenal. All of the fact checking and the "that's not exactly true" pieces do absolutely nothing to recenter reality. They need new tools, new approaches.
This is what I'm talking about. This is utterly ridiculous. She said it on Fox, but if this was on a non propaganda outfit, they need someone to just mock the shit out of it until the "idea" is in tatters. The legacy media doesn't have the tools for it.…
The best we get is the occasional light scorn from Anderson Cooper or righteous indignation from Jake Tapper, but I'm talking about straight-up mocking, outright ridicule, not just of the idea, but the dunderhead who proposed such a thing.
Rather than refuting Santorum's bad faith idiocy with facts and figures the response should be something like. "You know what else single mom's ruined, Rick? Season Two of True Detective," and then you turn to the next panelist and ask them a new question.…
By the way, legacy media, I have a long career in making fun of stuff professionally if you need a consultant. Look me up.
Like imagine a panel discussion hosted by John King, including Santorum and Jack Kingston, and when one of them says something beyond the pale and deserving of mockery, someone hits a gong in the background and they have to leave the set.
Imagine this kind of commentary at the end of a CNN panel. This is the approach I'm talking about.…
Or this one. In this case, the satire and deliberate irony tell more truth than debating Rubio's mewling.…
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