Friday, December 15, 2017

Why The New York Times Should Look In The Mirror As They Tut-tut Trump's Lies

If there is one thing that is obvious about the regime of Donald Trump, that is indisputable, it is that the Donald Trump that people voted for was 100% a creation of the American media, the American "free press" which these days means "free camera," talk show, "news", and most of all entertainment media through his various TV appearances and the "reality show" he was the star of.   Oh, remember that word,  "reality" it turns up again later in this post.

I have at times had people react with puzzlement at the many times I've cited the famous Sullivan v New York Times decision of the supreme court as the beginning of Republican-fascist ascendancy.   It was the ruling that said that politicians had an all but impossible task to face when they were seriously lied about in the media.   Here, from a description of the case at what appears to be a minor player in the civil liberties industry,

The Times appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court. The newspaper argued that it had no intention of hurting L.B. Sullivan. The newspaper had no reason to believe that the advertisement included false statements, so it did not check their accuracy. The Times argued that if a newspaper had to check the accuracy of every criticism of every public official, a free press would be severely limited.

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times. In order to prove libel, a “public official” must show that the newspaper acted “with ‘actual malice’–that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard” for truth. The Court asserted America’s “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” Free and open debate about the conduct of public officials, the Court reasoned, was more important than occasional, honest factual errors that might hurt or damage officials’ reputations.

That innocuous sounding decision opened the floodgate for lies about liberals, Democrats, by the corporate media which has had the actual effect of turning the word "liberal" into a dirty one and which led to the country, in the very next election first having Lyndon Johnson decide not to run, for the press - with the help of the left - sandbag Hubert Humphrey and install Richard Nixon who began to appoint horrible members to the court among other things, before his criminality and evil caught up with him in the Watergate scandal and the marginally law abiding Republicans - of a kind which don't seem to much exist anymore -  forced him to resign or face certain impeachment

The timeline between Nixon losing the election in 1960 and him being elected in 1968 is almost divided in half by the Sullivan decision, among the things people want to notice in this fall from the height of American decency in one week in 1965, not the one in which the Sullivan decision was issued but the week that saw passage and adoption of more decency and democracy than we have ever seen before or after in the history of the country, to the election of a liar, a crook, a war criminal and the man who cynically mounted the Southern Strategy to convert racists into Republican voters.

This is worth mentioning because of this passage in yesterday's New York Times editorial about how much Trump lies jumped out at me

“Trump is different.  When he is caught lying, he will often try to discredit people telling the truth, be they judges, scientists, F.B.I. or C.I.A. officials, journalists or members of Congress. Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant.”

Yes, he is and he's succeeding, with the help of hate-talk radio, shock-jock radio, FOX and CNN and, lest it be forgotten, all that free time MSNBC gave candidate trump pn air to boost ratings, with the gutter press, including that owned by Murdoch of FOX, the Wall Street Journal and everything up to and including those ad spots they have during the hours when more lies are told in the media than any others, the ones in which talking heads and politicians and political operatives are lying all over TV instead of going to church. 

And unlocking of the door to all of that lying was The New York Times in the Sullivan Decision the same editorial column was bragging about a few years back on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.  That the period since that permission was given by an idiotic Supreme Court which was addicted to setting up landmarks by that time, exactly coincides with the long period of traditional American liberalism being in the political wilderness.  That is no accident, it was the foreseeable intention of the corporate owned media having carte blanche to lie about liberals. 

The war on reality began when the Supreme Court said the New York Times could lie about public figures and politicians with a practical level of complete impunity, setting an impossible hurdle for a lied about politician or public figure to stop lies told about them.   It continued in other "civil liberties" rulings that freed the media, especially the electronic media, to lie on behalf of the owners and ad buyers and the class of people who the owners, publishers, editors and so many of the writers either were in or aspired to join.  The court could have let the Times' penalty for carrying minor falsehoods - which they didn't fact check - stand and said that the punishment should be a minor payment to the creep they lied about and a prominent retraction.  Instead they opened the stops on the streams of poison that have led us to Trump. 

A lie is an attack on reality, you can't both be against lying and and its results, one of those being Trump's current war on reality while crowing about how you made those lies possible.

The Donald Trump people thought they were voting for was a creation of the media AND THE HILLARY CLINTON THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE VOTING AGAINST WAS ALSO A CREATION OF THE MEDIA, ONLY NOT WITH HER HELP.   The media, perhaps most of all, the New York Times created the "scandals" a quarter of a century ago that painted the most vetted, the most prepared, the most competent candidate we have probably ever had get the nomination of a real political party as a cartoon villain.  The rest of the media which had the same permission to lie that the Times ran with in her case, including everything down to the gutter level of Jerry Falwell peddling videos accusing her of murder, but it started with the Great Gray Whore doing what the Warren Court so stupidly allowed the media to do.

Note:  I got some whining about what I said about Eugene McCarthy the other day.   Apropos of todays' post, "Clean Gene" along with the New York Conservative Party and its defacto leader,  James Buckley and some others, including parts of the civil liberties industry, were the ones who brought us further along to fascism in the Buckley vs Valeo ruling.   He railed against Jimmy Carter, calling him "the worst president" we've ever had and supporting the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.   Eugene McCarthy was a Nader sized ego with Nader sized resentment and desire for revenge but without a Green Party fraud to help him install more Republicans.   Eugene McCarthy was as phony as Paul Ryan but without the effort. 

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