By Mike Whitney
August 10, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "Counterpunch" - The people who own this country don’t like euthanizing one of their own. But they’ll do it in heartbeat if they think their world of privilege, patronage and power is at risk. Last Thursday, Donald Trump overstepped his bounds and crossed a line. In off-the-cuff remarks to a Fox moderator during the GOP presidential debates, Trump provided a window into a corrupt political system that is thoroughly marinated in the money of private donors. He explained in detail how the system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, and he admitted that wealthy donors contribute to political candidates so they “do whatever the hell you want them to do.” In one short 20-second exchange, the brash Trump revealed the quid pro quo that assures that the coffers at both the Democrat and Republican headquarters remain full-to-the-brim. He said:
“I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.”
Dear reader, there are things you can say in America and there are things you cannot say. You can criticize the government, support torture, applaud the racist arrest and incarceration immigrants looking for work, and cheerlead the bombing of civilians in the many countries around the world where the US has launched its vicious wars of aggression. But you cannot stand in front of an audience of 24 million Americans on national Television and explain in excruciating detail how the political system really works, how the tycoons and moguls pay for favors from the sock-puppet politicians, how the politicians do whatever they are told to do, and why the system is a complete and utter fraud.
The people who own the system will not allow that, after all, it is their system, a system which they created, which they control, and that provides the very foundation upon which their wealth and power depend. They have no intention of allowing a loudmouth, upstart casino operator to seriously threaten the credibility of their precious system by blurting out all kinds of insider information that exposes the rot at the heart of the machine. That’s not something they want to hear, and that’s not something they’re going to hear. Donald Trump is about to be crushed and destroyed in ways he never could have imagined. He’s about to discover a painful truth, that the vindictive and merciless people who run this country are not to be trifled with.
As of Saturday morning, there were 2105 articles in the mainstream news covering the details of a comment Trump allegedly made about Fox’s Megyn Kelly. This is how the landslide begins. The media settles on a particular narrative, and then reiterates that narrative from every paper, every televised newscast, and every privately-owned bullhorn at their disposal. Of the 2,000 or so articles written on the topic, nearly all of them are cookie-cutter hit-pieces that repeat the same unsubstantiated claims as the others. This is how elites shape public perceptions, by sheer volume and repetition, by deluging the masses with the same storyline over and over again however inconsistent, inane or mendacious it may be. In this case, the narrative has been fine-tuned at the nation’s premier propaganda headquarters, the New York Times, who led off with this tidbit in Saturday’s paper:
Donald J. Trump’s suggestion that a Fox News journalist had forcefully questioned him at the Republican presidential debate because she was menstruating cost him a speaking slot Saturday night at an influential gathering of conservatives in Atlanta. It also raised new questions about how much longer Republican Party leaders would have to contend with Mr. Trump’s disruptive presence in the primary field…..
With Mr. Trump at center stage, the event Thursday shattered television viewership records for primary debates: Nearly 24 million people watched. But any hopes that he would try to reinvent himself inside the Cleveland arena as a sober-minded statesman, or that he would collapse under scrutiny and tough questions, vaporized in the opening minutes.” (“Hand-Wringing in G.O.P. After Donald Trump’s Remarks on Megyn Kelly“, New York Times)
“She was menstruating”, you say?
Older readers may remember that– after President Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich– he faced the wrath of the plutocrats followed by years of vicious harassment. Whitewater, Troopergate, Vince Foster etc, etc, etc. One spurious brickbat after the other. It culminated in claims of “oral sex” in the Oval Office, a term that was invoked purely for shock-value, just as “menstruating” appears to be the verbal weapon of choice this time around. What it shows is that Donald Trump has replaced Putin as the new Hitler and has risen to the top of the media’s hit list where he will remain until they destroy him, his reputation, and his future.
But beyond the reference to menstruation, what can we deduce from this short clip from the Times?
Well, it’s clear that the Times thinks Trump is a sexist pig and a “disruptive presence” that needs to be removed from the campaign. Keep in mind, that this is the same narrative that appears in the vast majority of US print-media, which means that–among the elites who own the media–the consensus view is that Trump has got to go, even though he is the GOP frontrunner, even though he is the only person on the slate who generates any public interest, and even though he has not had any opportunity to acquit himself on allegations that he claims are false.
Why? Why have they decided to give “The Donald” the old heave-ho when it clearly hurts their chances of reclaiming the White House in the next election? Is it really because he made a crude sexist remark about Fox moderator Megyn Kelly? Is that it?
Since when has the GOP become the great defender of women’s rights? Is this a recent development or did I miss something?
The idea is absurd, just as it is absurd to think that the Times reporting is impartial coverage of the facts. It’s not. The Times is obviously inserting itself into the process, just as Megyn Kelly inserted herself into the process when she pummeled Trump with one incriminating question after another and then proceeded to lob softballs to the dreary and utterly lifeless Jeb Bush.
This is why people are angry, right, because they think Trump was treated unfairly. And this is why they’re not buying the media’s BS storyline, because they’re sick of the media telling them how to feel, what to think and who to pick. They resent it, in fact, it pisses them off.
Now you’d think that if you had a brand-spanking media-machine that can crank out 2000 cookie cutter articles overnight blasting “sexist” Trump as a first-class scoundrel and praising the dainty Ms Kelly as the unwitting victim of abusive male bullying, then dastardly Trump would plunge in the polls, right?
Wrong. Trump is still comfortably in the lead and more popular that ever.
Because people don’t trust the lying media. Because people don’t trust the lying liars who run the Republican party.(or the Democratic party) And because people resent the fact that they’re being manipulated. Is that so hard to understand? The feeling now, is that, “if the assho**s who run this country are against Trump, then I’m for him. It’s that simple. It’s not about populism or channeling anger and frustration to a rebel candidate. Trump is no rebel, and he’s no reformer either. And he’d probably be a shitty president too. But Trump has one thing going for him that is sadly lacking in all the other candidates, all the party honchos, and all the flannel-mouth, stuffed-shirt fake politicians who are presently in office. What is that, you ask?
He tells the truth, at least it sounds like the truth to a lot people. And that makes all the difference.
Think about that. Think about what that says about the pathetic state of our national politics, that the bar has dropped so low, that a brassy, outspoken business tycoon can move to the head of the pack simply because people believe “He speaks his mind and doesn’t pull his punches.”
That’s why Trump’s popularity has not been impacted by the media’s irritating smear campaign. Just look at the blogs, the comments sections of the daily papers, and the twitter storm that has focused overwhelmingly on Fox’s blonde Rottweiler, the amiable Ms Kelly. She’s getting totally raked-over-the-coals, skewered at every turn, and (surprisingly) nearly all the criticism is from right wingers who feel thoroughly betrayed by Fox News, a station they trusted and that they thought shared their values, but now they realize they were wrong. Fox doesn’t share their values. It’s a freaking franchise for rich fu**ers who want to manipulate conservative principles to fit their own self-aggrandizing agenda. That’s Fox News in a nutshell.
This whole Trump-flap has sparked a rebellion in the conservative ranks, a rebellion that anyone who is even slightly interested in politics should be paying close attention to. The workerbees appear to be increasingly suspicious of the party leadership and their wavering commitment to conservative values. Case in point: Here’s an excerpt from an article that appeared at the far right WND website titled “Rush (Limbaugh): ‘Orders from GOP donors to take out Trump’. Here’s an excerpt:
“Who won the great debate?
According to the mainstream media, the winner was … Fox News.
According to Rush Limbaugh, the loser was … Fox News.
At least, in the sense that the network may have blown its credibility with conservatives.
And Limbaugh said he saw it coming.
“Everybody should have known this was gonna happen,” he said. “This is presidential politics, and Republican candidates are where media people score their points. It’s where they build their careers. It’s where they establish their credentials.”
The conservative talk-radio giant saw another motivation for the moderators’ attack-dog tactics. He said GOP bigwigs ordered Fox to take out Trump.
On Friday, Limbaugh began by telling listeners how, on the day of Thursday’s debate, he had learned “that big-time Republican donors had ordered to take out Donald Trump in the debate last night.”…
Rush said it was clear that Fox News had it out for Trump when his colleagues refused to pile on, even when given multiple opportunities to bash the front-runner.
“Not one of the remaining nine candidates joined Megyn Kelly in taking the shot at Trump. Not one. Yet we have been told that there were orders from Republican donors to take Trump out.”….
As for which candidate actually won the debate, reactions were all over the map. Opinion appeared evenly divided on whether Trump helped or hurt himself. But, according to the Drudge Report poll…he was the landslide winner.”
(“Rush: ‘Orders from GOP donors to take out Trump‘, Garth Kant, WND)
Is Limbaugh right; did the “big-time Republican donors” order that Trump be taken out? And, if so, doesn’t that suggest that the “menstruation” allegations are just a phony pretext for demonizing Trump in the media?
Of course they are. It’s all fake. None of this has anything to do with Megyn Kelly. None of it. According to Limbaugh, Trump was a “marked man” from the get-go, before the first question was ever asked. Kelly was just one of three stooges chosen to play the role of political assassin. She’s just a bit-player in a much bigger drama.
So now we move on to Phase 2, where the bullyboy puppetmasters come down on Trump like a ton of bricks. He’ll never know what hit him. One day he’ll be playfully sparring with the press corps on the front steps of his Manhattan penthouse, and the next thing you know he’ll be frog-marching across Times Square in handcuffs and leg-irons. You can bet on it.
Trump’s got to know what’s coming next. He’s a smart guy and he’s seen this play out many times before. The bottom line, is that if you fu** with these guys, you’re going to wind up “sleeping with the fishes.” It’s that simple. He ought to know that by now.