Commentary

Roseanne and Trump Drive the Media Crazy

I haven’t written about insanity in the news media recently because I’ve been preoccupied with living my life, but this latest controversy is too crazy to pass up. In case you haven’t heard, actress/comedian/Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidate Roseanne Barr made an insensitive and racist tweet about Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, causing ABC to dump its popular Roseanne reboot.

Roseanne Barr’s original sin in their eyes was not only making (somewhat) supportive statements about President Trump, but then also having a hugely popular TV reboot starring a character that supports President Trump. Horror of horrors.

So when this whole controversy went down, of course the usual suspects in the media tried to make this about President Trump instead of the person who actually made the comment. Trump, who can’t help talking about himself, came out with a statement about the incident that, to no one’s surprise, also focused on himself.

Now, it really annoys me when politicians feel the need to release statements or make comments about everything that happens in the world, so I don’t think the president should have said anything about this. After all, it had nothing to do with him. However, after his statement, CNN came out with this article: “Trump breaks silence on Roseanne Barr scandal.”

Trump breaks silence? Like he was avoiding talking about it? Why should he say anything about it at all? What does a comment by Roseanne Barr about Valerie Jarrett have anything to do with him? Is Trump supposed to comment on every public spat between celebrities and public figures?

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Fake News about Fake News

The news media loves pointing out “fake news” in order to differentiate their alleged “objective” and “fact-based” reporting from the outright hoaxes and propaganda being slung around social media. I came across this article in the Providence Journal, purporting to do just that. The article, however, reveals biases of its own, and shows how the so-called legitimate news media engages in propaganda to push their own political messaging.

The Journal headline reads: “Fake photo of Emma González went viral on the far right, where Parkland teens are villains,” which already is suspect. Are all Parkland teens villains to the far right, or just the ones who exploited a tragedy at their school to push a pro-gun control message? Is Cuban flag wearing, buzzed haircut Emma González representative of all teens in Parkland? Never mind that she intentionally projects an image designed to piss off conservatives.

That’s why I thought the photo of her wearing a Cuban flag was the doctored photo in question, but no, it’s a photo of her tearing up a paper target doctored to look like she’s tearing up the U.S. Constitution. Now I don’t doubt some people actually thought this was a real photo. I’ve seen some of my own friends on social media taken in by obvious hoaxes. But the photo is clearly political satire. I remember when Democrats used to edit President Bush’s face onto images of Adolph Hitler and Nazis. No one in the mainstream news media raised a big stink over that.

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More Oprah Insanity

I wanted to continue to unpack Oprah Winfrey’s inane ramblings on Good Morning America. I absolutely cannot stand daytime television and its ridiculously simplistic and saccharine philosophy. Watching these audiences shrieking and screaming hysterically on command, forming cults of personality around people like Oprah and Ellen Degeneres, like the new American church, is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

In the course of telling people their highest calling in life was to “be themselves,” even if they were born a sociopath, I guess, she said this gem: “That’s why all the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world. That’s true. No matter what you look like.”

Huh?

“All the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world.”

So does that also mean “All the voices of the world mean something if your voice is not in alignment with all the voices of the world”? Or in other words, “if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world, all the voices of the world mean nothing.”

So is she saying everyone should just disagree all the time? There’s a general consensus around the world that murder is a bad thing, right? Unless you’re a terrorist. Surely we shouldn’t disagree with that?

Or if we all agree that you should treat other people with decency and respect, that becomes meaningless because we all agreed on it?

I’m not bringing this up to be snarky, and I don’t think Oprah is even arguing that. I think she doesn’t understand and/or hasn’t put any thought at all into what she’s saying. She just thinks it sounds good and it’s what her audience wants to hear.

If Oprah was just some guy on a street corner with a bullhorn spouting nonsense, it wouldn’t matter. But millions of people take her word for the Gospel (yes, I’m deliberately using religious terms), and just a few weeks ago there were people seriously talking about her running for president. And remember when she announced Barack Obama was “THE ONE”? Yeah, so maybe we should pay more attention to her insanity.

What does it mean to ‘be yourself’?

Oprah, just being herself

When asked her advice to young girls on Good Morning America, prospective presidential candidate and media mogul Oprah Winfrey replied, “The highest honor on Earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself.” She went on to add, “Your only job in the world, people think your job is to get up and go and raise money and take care of your families and stuff, that’s an obligation that you have but your only true job as a human being is to discover why you came, why you are here.”

When I was younger, I used to buy into this line of thinking. “Be yourself.” “Discover yourself.” “Discover why you’re here.” But if you start unpacking these ideas, they’re really just meaningless, and in the end, terrible advice. It’s the kind of thing you say to be utterly inoffensive and avoid taking an actual position or giving useful advice.

What does it mean to ‘be yourself’? Is every individual born with some innate purpose they need to discover? If so, how do you know once you’ve discovered it? Is it always good to be yourself? What if you’re a terrible person? What if the purpose you discover leads you to make bad decisions that negatively impact your life?

She continued. “Every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heart song that [speaks] to us. Your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus your head and your personality speaking, and if you follow that you will be led to the highest good for you, always.” That’s crazy. People make terrible decisions following their hearts instead of their heads all the time.

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Worst Academy Awards in History

To no one’s surprise, most Americans decided not to watch a bunch of pampered, virtue-signaling millionaires pat themselves on the back at this year’s Academy Awards. With an average of 26.5 million viewers, it was the least-watched Oscars in history, down 19 percent from last year.

The raw numbers don’t even tell the whole story. 26.5 million viewers today are a lot smaller percentage of the population than forty years ago. In 1970, 43.4 percent of U.S. households tuned in. Forty-three percent!

What do you expect when literally hundreds of people in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein’s outrageous behavior for decades, did nothing about it, or worse, helped to cover it up. Then they have the audacity to get up on stage for four grueling hours and lecture all of us about how we need to be more virtuous? Give me a break!

I’ve read plenty of excuses about how declining interest in the Academy Awards parallels declining interest in award shows or live events generally. That may be true, but do you really think an Oscars focused on entertainment, popular movies, and which was a reasonable length wouldn’t have pulled in a lot more views?

I guess I can only speak for myself, but I love movies and I’m staying away from the theater because it’s overpriced, the movies are crappy, and I’m constantly annoyed by having social and political messages shoved in my face in every film. So I have even less desire to watch an awards show in which everyone congratulates themselves over that sorry mess, and I think a lot of folks would agree.

What is wrong with the folks at Teen Vogue?

So world-famous evangelist Billy Graham died recently, and a 27-year-old Teen Vogue columnist named Lauren Duca decided to use that occasion to defame him on Twitter. Billy Graham was already old when I was born, and I’ve been a longtime critic of evangelical Christianity. I mention this only to explain that I have no vested interest in defending Billy Graham. I’m indifferent, but usually when a person dies, you take the time to say some nice things about them, or shut up. For the sake of their family and all that. It’s usually the decent thing to do.

Apparently Lauren Duca decided the advent of Billy Graham’s death was a good time to tweet, “The big news today is that Billy Graham was still alive this whole time. Anyway, have fun in hell, bitch,” and “’Respecting the dead’ only applies to people who weren’t evil pieces of shit while they were living.” (Over 3,000 people liked the post! Who are these people?)

What the heck? Billy Graham was an almost universally beloved figure. He ministered to presidents and had a close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. There are a lot of terrible people in this world, and a lot of evil people who commit atrocities, rape, and murder. Who in their right mind would lump Billy Graham in with them?

Someone who writes for Teen Vogue, I guess. Teen Vogue has become increasingly insane, publishing radical sexual content to teen and pre-teen girls, including a guide to anal sex that claimed, “There is no wrong way to experience sexuality, and no way is better than any other.” (Tell that to this person!)

Are the minds of the folks at Teen Vogue so poisoned, they not only have to push their Dionysian philosophy, but also have to shit all over people, like Billy Graham, who choose to be vocal Christians and promote a moral worldview? Allow me to suggest that someone who believes Billy Graham is morally equivalent with an ISIS terrorist (for example), truly has a deranged and unanchored moral compass.

Stop Watching Propaganda

I recently saw this meme imploring “Trump voters” to turn off Fox News and pick up a “real newspaper.” I won’t argue about the biases of Fox. Despite plenty of Trump criticism on that network, everyone knows they advance a center-right perspective. But the idea there are “real newspapers” telling you what’s REALLY going on is laughable.

What is a real news source? The Washington Post? New York Times? CNN? Since President Trump got into office, they’ve lead a 24/7 assault against his administration. CNN has been caught lying about negative information about the president and even had to force the resignations of three “reporters” after they got caught.

Hollywood has joined the crusade by lionizing the Washington Post in a recent film, The Post (2017), which of course according to critics is one of the best films ever made (88% on Rotten Tomatoes). The narrative about “an unprecedented battle between the press and the government” (hmm, sounds familiar…) stars Meryl Streep, who used her Golden Globes speech to attack Trump.

So even though Fox is a favorite target for the left, let’s not pretend the other news outlets are telling you the unvarnished truth either. They are advancing their own agenda aided by allies in other forms of media and entertainment. There is no “real news” anymore–only propaganda. A great deal of critical thinking is required to sift through this partisan battle for the public’s hearts and minds.

As for the meme’s other claim, allow me to let you in on a little secret: every politician in the history of human civilization has lied to their constituents. That’s a truth you can always count on.