This is a developing story and I do not know much about the details therefore, I do not know if I am right and I don’t even pretend to glean the truth from the daily media circus. I told my theory to a friend this morning. He listened patiently and then he told me: “Whatever you are smoking, is good.” I laughed because I am not smoking anything at all, not even cigarettes.
I have followed American politics for quite a few decades and have observed the growing power of the media to “create opinion” by carefully presenting the news with a politically Liberal slant. Historically, most Americans have been too busy working hard to dedicate much time to Washington intrigues. Since the advent of television, it seems to me that the people have accepted the oracles of the glowing Moloch in their living-rooms without much critical thinking. For a long time reality was what Walter Cronkite said it was. One step at a time, the American Media grew in influence to become a kind of king maker invariably on the side of the American political left.
I watched Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and now Donald Trump trying to run that incredibly complex enterprise called the USA while being pelted all the time by a super-aggressive, completely unethical media. I cannot even imagine the amount of psychological energy needed to maintain focus in that kind of environment. It must be really hard to get something accomplished.
During the last Presidential Campaign there were some events that led me to believe that something is changing. I cannot quite put my finger on it but I can point at two basic elements:
- The American mainstream media appeared to have lost its grip on reality, pretty much like Pravda (“Truth”) and Izvestiya (“Information”) in the heyday of the old USSR, they are not concerned with the truth but with telling a story that will conform to the objectives of a ruling class. For the former USSR it was the nomeklatura; for the present USA is the deep state or what others call the globalist elite.
- A growing part of the American public appears to have developed the same attitude towards the mainstream media that the suffering USSR citizens had towards the official media of their day: “There is no truth in Izvestiya and there is no information in Pravda.”
As a candidate, Donald Trump managed to defeat his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who had all the support of the media, the polling institutions, and a seemingly endless supply of money to advertise and “create opinion” even in foreign countries. Here in far away Buenos Aires, the local media — mostly owned by British conglomerates — had crowned the Democratic candidate six months before the election. Her challenger was considered not much more than a sideshow if not a nuisance. Didn’t all the polls and media experts on the left and right considered Clinton’s election a fact?
There was not enough egg in the world to cover all the expert’s faces the day after the election. Paraphrasing Mrs. Clinton I ask: What happened?
Well, several things happened. Mr Trump and his spartan — almost family operated — campaign was extremely good at using free resources like Twitter. The tweets were adroitly designed to engage the adversary media, and the media bit them night after night, news cycle after news cycle. The glowing Moloch in the Joneses’ parlor did nothing but talk about Donald Trump’s tweets, drowning Clinton’s campaign in noise. At one point “anonymous hands” mailed two pages of Donald Trump’s tax returns to a notoriously Liberal anchor who gleefully presented them to her public. In their rush to smear candidate Trump with anything, they forgot to verify what kind of impact the actual tax returns were going to have on the public. In the end the returns were at best irrelevant and at worse they were favorable to Trump, who looked like another honest working American who made a lot of money and was overtaxed.
My question was then: who sent those tax returns carefully selected among many? I do believe the “anonymous hands” that mailed the returns were the very members of the Trump campaign. They played the media like a fiddle while Clinton’s campaign burned. The political profits of the “exposure” of those tax returns far exceeded the cost of the stamp. The asinine Liberal media swallowed hook, line, sinker, and part of the fishing rod.
Now we are in the middle of another mysterious “media event” — a writer called Michael Wolff and a Conservative political activist, Steve Bannon who had a measure of access to the White House in the early days of the Trump administration, are publishing a book, Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House. I know nothing about the book but what has been presented so far in the media. I am not going to repeat it here. Just for analytical purposes let me present you with the facts that will later fuel my feverish conspiracy theory.
- A book is about to be published allegedly containing information that disparages President Trump, his family, and members of his administration. The author is known to have told fibs before but Steve Bannon — infant terrible, strategist extraordinaire, web bomb-thrower, hated by the Liberal media with almost religious fervor — talks against his former boss in this book.
- President Trump reacts almost childishly against the upcoming publication of this book. The man who has perfectly played the media for months, making them fall for his tricks over and over … does exactly what any rookie would never do: give the offending book priceless publicity and exposure, foolishly sending the media a gift. Has he gone mad? Is he temporarily blind?
In my humble opinion, something here does not click. I may be absolutely wrong but I think this is either the work of a fool or a genius. You decide. The most important thing about this book is: there is nothing in it that was not published by the adversary media before in one way or another. If the President had dismissed it as another effort to discredit him and said nothing more, the book would have ended in the one-dollar table along with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton’s door stoppers. This time, the hound of the Baskervilles barked when it should have remained silent. How out of character.
Finally, here’s my conspiracy theory: President Trump designed this book. This is the anonymously provided tax returns on steroids, a ruse carefully designed to create much noise and send the media chasing after nothing. This is calculated to saturate the public opinion. The average American voters will get so sick of the whole thing that they will gather around the President because after all Trump is authentic, and in a world of phonies the authentic man is king.
I hereby solemnly declare that I did not inhale anything but the polluted air of Buenos Aires. On second thought, maybe that’s it.
P.S. Please read this brilliant essay The Stupid Animal by David Warren in The Catholic Thing.