The Press Is Failing Us

I am totally fed up with press coverage of Donald Trump that is rooted in failing to understand, still, who he is.

Or conspiring to pretend that he is something other than what he decidedly, demonstrably is. And has been. For decades.

In some cases, it's just an unwillingness to accept the reality that he is actually as terrible and as dangerous as he actually is, either because it's too painful to contemplate or because that would mean facing up to their own complicity in his ascension to power by having treated him like a joke and failing to take him seriously far sooner.

In other cases, it's an active attempt to enable and protect him, and abet his vile agenda. (I'm looking at you, New York Times.)

In any case, it's fucking depressing. And enraging. And scary.

Even the outlets and/or individual reporters who are doing a decent job of reporting accurately on what he's doing, day in and day out, are still just documenting, without meaningfully conveying to the public how extraordinarily grave a predicament we're in.

It is just a colossal failure by the press to honestly talk about what's happening; how quickly and profoundly the erosion of our public institutions is happening and how difficult all of it will be to restore.

The comprehensive insistence on treating all of this as "bad, but still within normal range" is gaslighting on an unfathomable sale.

We need facts, and we need straightforward discussion of those facts.

He is a liar. He is a manipulator. He is wildly unethical. He has contempt for the rule of law. He is corrupt. He is colluding, right out in the open. He is cruel. He thinks his abuse is wit.

He is an authoritarian. He hates democracy. He is disloyal to the nation he is meant to lead.

The 2016 election was a coup. Everything since has been a consolidation of power behind a white supremacist, nativist, patriarchal despot.

And we can't even begin to address any of that, if we can't even speak about it plainly.

If the people who try to speak about it plainly are demeaned and dismissed as alarmists hysterics crackpots conspiracists bitches.

If being a person who speaks about it plainly is considered somehow worse, more toxic, embarrassing by the political press than being the authoritarian who thrives in a vacuum of accountability.

The only fate worse than being doomed to lose what you value to the crushing oppression of an authoritarian tyrant is to lose it to the echoing memory of that tyrant being called a clown, until it was far too late.

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