Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the media did its best to normalize Democrat craziness; today, though, the media trumpets Democrat craziness. That’s scary.
I was a child in the 1960s and a teen in the 1970s. Every morning, along with my parents, I read the San Francisco Chronicle while we ate breakfast. Every evening at dinner we all watched Walter Cronkite. I remember the nightly sense of satisfaction as Cronkite signed off with “And that’s the way it is.”
In the 1980s, after Cronkite’s retirement, we switched to Peter Jennings. My Mom had a crush on him; he was, after all, smoothly good-looking with a Canadian savoir-faire that appealed to my European parents. In the 1980s too my parents discovered Ted Koppel — “he’s so smart and, you know, he’s Jewish.” And through it all, they always read the Chronicle. By the 1980s, I was out of the house, but I still remember the prominent role played in our lives by what we now call the “mainstream” or “drive-by” media.
Here’s the thing about the media in those days: We believed it. We believed it implicitly. Walter Cronkite said “that’s the way it is” and we knew with certainty that this was true: Whatever he just told us was indeed the way it was. Cronkite was, after all, “the most trusted man in America.”
I don’t think young people today can imagine the shock to our system when we later learned that Cronkite’s famously stated opinion that America had lost the war in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive was 180 degrees wrong. In fact, after the Tet Offensive, the American military was in its best position ever since entering Vietnam. Cronkite’s preeminence in the American psyche, however, turned a huge American military victory into an even bigger Viet Cong propaganda victory. But we only learned that later.
In real time, I believe the 1960s media was genuinely shocked by the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. The middle class men in the American media were also repulsed by the hippies, although the hippies also worked a peculiar fascination on these men who still wore gray flannel suits. These social/cultural attitudes helped the media stay in contact with middle America. Despite those narrow repulsions, the media was already on board with dramatically increasing government’s role in American life, as well as with the new environmentalism (we’re all going to freeze to death), and with loosening America’s traditional sexual morality of marriage and family.
Thus, looking back, it’s obvious that the media in my childhood and teen years relentlessly propagandized for Democrats and they did so by normalizing those politicians. Kennedy was a god king, with the media ensuring that his health problems, his bungling in Cuba (which almost brought the world to nuclear war), and his relentlessly predatory sexual behavior stayed completely off the radar (an approach helped, in great part, by Kennedy’s close friendship with Ben Bradlee who basked in the glow of a god king president). Likewise, the media focused on Johnson being a good ole boy, while carefully hiding his disgusting behavior, and rank, crude, racist political calculations.
When Nixon came to power, even before Watergate brought him down, the same media that propped up Kennedy and Johnson relentlessly highlighted Nixon’s fundamental evilness. When Ford took over, this graceful athlete and decent man was turned into a bumbling fool. The media tried to prop Carter up as long as it could, until it simply couldn’t any more. There was no way it could downplay the lust in his heart, his lust for the Polish people, the killer rabbit, or that dreadful malaise speech. Still, media types weren’t too troubled when they attacked Carter both because they thought that Teddy Kennedy’s primary challenge would smooth the way into an even better Democrat administration and, when that failed, that Reagan couldn’t possibly win.
And oh my God! The shivs came out when Reagan became president. He was an actor. He was stupid. He confused his movie plots with real life. On and on and on it went. No wonder, when Reagan died, that the media was completely befuddled by the outpouring of grief. Still, compared to 21st century attacks on Republican presidents, the media still tried to present itself as a friend of middle America. It was attacking Reagan because it cared about America, not because it hated America. Bush Sr. too got treated badly. (I still don’t like him nor do I look fondly on his presidency.)
The media couldn’t cheer Billary enough. They were the magical, cool, hip, two-for-one dynamo, and we were told that, whatever you do, ignore Whitewater and the bizarre trail of deaths and rape/sexual assault claims in their wake, because those accusations all come from a cabal of right wing wackos.
And so it went, with the media constantly playing defense for Billary, savaging Bush Jr., and worshiping Obama.
In other words, at least since the 1960s, the media was always in the Left’s corner. Still, it was a different time — a simpler, more naive time, and a time without an alternative media. Back in those days, so many of us thought, along with Cronkite, that “that’s the way it was.”
As many Americans saw it, especially the burgeoning class of college educated Americans, people in the media — college educated themselves, and so obviously smooth and sophisticated as they read from TelePrompters we didn’t realize existed — had a completely rational bias towards equally sophisticated and educated candidates (as opposed to actors and Texans who weren’t LBJ). But they weren’t lying. They couldn’t be lying. They were journalists. They were professionals. We’d traveled two or three decades away from the crazed reporters portrayed in classic movies such as Roxie Hart or His Girl Friday. Bias, yes. Lying, no.
And as the nightly news and the daily papers always portrayed it, there was no crazy. Sure, hippies were crazy and Republican politicians were stupid, but Democrat politicians were always on the side of all that was right and good, gently advancing nice middle class values on behalf of decent people who just wanted to make the world a better place.
Fast forward to 2019, a world of Fox News, talk radio, and the internet. Today, Americans distrust the media, a distrust that even extends to those who agree with the media’s ideological slant. Slant? What am I talking about. It’s a steep slope, a deep dive, a sheer cliff into advanced Leftism.
But here’s where I’m finally getting to my point. It’s not just that we have Fox News, talk radio, and the internet that Americans distrust the media. It’s because the media has gone insane. Really, truly, literally (as in literally, not “Bad Touch” Biden’s non-literally literally) insane.
You’d think that, with the media unabashedly in favor of Democrat candidates, having long ago torn of even the last vestige of impartiality, that it would double down on its efforts to smooth out any rough edges in Democrat candidates. Thus, you’d expect a repeat of those dignified broadcasts from the 1960s, when Democrats were universally portrayed as totally, wonderfully normal Americans who could walk into any house in America, whether in San Francisco or Kansas City, and be right at home. We’d have a classy repeat of the 1960s, when those who still foolishly voted for Republicans always had to hold their noses, while those who voted Democrat were bathed in golden light because they were voting for all that was pure and honest.
But something funny happened, which was that the media not only stopped hiding the weirdness behind the Democrat candidates, it started reveling in it. Once upon a time, the media sided (or at least pretended to side) with middle Americans about hippies being icky, dirty, lazy, and dangerous. Today, it chastises middle Americans for daring to believe
- that there are only two genders;
- that the world, having failed to explode in environmental Armageddon in 2000, will also fail to do so in 20-whatever the next predicted year of Armageddon is;
- that while all Muslims are not terrorists, most terrorists today are Muslims;
- that it’s anti-Semitic to repeat centuries’ old stereotypes tying together Jews, money, political influence, and dual loyalties, because those same stereotypes have invariably been a prelude to the exile and slaughter of Jews;
- that socialism is a horrible political system which, by vesting all power in government, invariably leads to the dehumanization of the individual and the death of liberty, and that too often ends in mass starvation and death; and
- that Martin Luther King was right when he said that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than by external markers such as skin color (his concern) or (modern concerns) race, country of national origin, sex, or sexual orientation.
Those truths (and they are true), are now anathema to the media. If a candidate doesn’t insist on 57 genders, imminent climate Armageddon, the exquisite purity of the Islamist soul, the fact that Jews are indeed evil, the wonders of socialism, and the preeminence of superficial differences over shared values, all of it wrapped up in a big “America hatred” bow, the media will have no truck with that candidate. Look at how savage members of the press are with the anodyne, boring, anemic Howard Schultz, who is as close to a 1960s Democrat candidate as we’re likely to find.
Back in the 1960s, had the Leftist media (and it was indeed Leftist then) gotten a good look at today’s Democrat candidates, it would have done two things: It either would have used its influence to destroy them ASAP before they tainted the Democrat political brand or they would have downplayed the crazy. Today, though, they embrace the crazy and, indeed, encourage it.
I can only hope that after 50 years of Leftist control over news, entertainment and, most importantly, K-Post Doc education, Americans are still capable of recognizing insanity when they see it and still have the wisdom to reject it. Trump may be bombastic, but he’s honest where it counts and every initiative he’s done has benefited all Americans, whether in terms of the economy or national security. That’s reality, kiddos. Reality urges you to ride the horse instead of standing there waiting for the unicorn.