Saturday, 25 April 2020
Donald Trump is an idiot. There, I said it. Actually, I have rarely thought of him in any other way, except for seeing in him what so many of ‘the usual suspects’ utterly refuse to comprehend. He is not whatever else is on offer. He is not a practitioner of slick politics. Far from it, politically he is like Tommy Cooper, busking away when his tricks failed, only to finally pull that rabbit out of that hat. (Or in his case “Glass, bottle, bottle, glass… just like that!”)
Did he become a billionaire through brilliance or luck, or dodgy dealing? Did he even become a billionaire at all? But none of that matters because what Donald Trump really is, is ‘none of the above’. Politics has been mired in subversive deals with lobbyists, elected representatives not representing those who elected them and has been exercised in a manner detached from the lives of those who have to live by what politicians decide. The stench of corruption, real or imagined, is palpable, thick and offensive.
But, right now, as thoroughly loathed as politicians are, this position is being strongly challenged by a press which seems to have lost its mind. Just as in the UK the media as a whole think that their preferred politics – leftish, ‘liberal’, ‘progressive (in their estimation) – is the only obvious and logical stance to take. Anybody thinking otherwise is regarded as Untermenschen needing protection from self-destructive instincts and who really ought not to have a say, for their own good.
And so frenzied is their ambition to topple populist leaders, like Trump, that they cannot help but rewrite reality, even where no such rewrite is needed. Now forever dubbed Dettol Don, the president, unable to marshal his thoughts and consider them before opening his big, bellicose mouth, rambled along with a stream of consciousness which demonstrated a barely rudimentary grasp of recent research findings. But at no point did he suggest that people should inject themselves with disinfectant.
This ignorant monologue just wasn’t enough for the press, though; they just had to embellish it. It is possible that the alarming revelation that some people have actually done this and been admitted to hospital as a result may owe more to the way the press reported his words than what the orange-haired buffoon actually said. What he said was stupid, but what the press say he said was even more stupid. It might look like a clever move in retrospect, now that he has responded like a clumsy, guilty child, claimed it was just a joke and refused to answer more questions, but he never needed any encouragement to look like a clumsy, guilty child.
The press think their job is ‘to hold the government to account’ or ‘to speak truth to power’, but it isn’t. The job of the press is to diligently and even-handedly report the news. Not to distort it, not to inject it with spin which reveals their own bias. And certainly not to change it, communist style, especially when the actual source of their stories is available for all to see on the internet. So, journos, stop making it all about you. Report what actually happens and let the idiots hang themselves out to dry.