American Elephants


Language, Talking Points, and the Vanishing Profession of Journalism by The Elephant's Child

Selected language and preferred narratives seem to be going off into all directions. Some of it is quite deliberate, as Democrats in mass speak in focus-tested talking points. This is proven by the vast numbers of Democrats who emerge on a given day—all saying the exact same thing in the exact same words. The goal seems to be controlling the narrative of the day, and thus commanding the news cycle and, hopefully, the thoughts in the heads of Americans. Orwell would understand.

The ordinary news cycle seems to be all fouled-up as well. Hurricane Irma is the strongest hurricane ever in the history of the west, no, there have been regularly very damaging hurricanes and many of them. Irma has been downgraded to a Category 4.  José has been upgraded to a Category 4. The plots they are expected to follow change regularly. There are official websites with official numbers, but everybody seems to be using some alternates.

I may exaggerate a little, but it suffices as a description of the ordinary news. There’s Republican news and Democrat news with variances,and nuances, lots of nuances.  Many people have remarked that they don’t believe any major news sources and simply depend on a few individuals they trust. This is a remarkable situation, and I cannot remember any time when the media was so mistrusted, and held in so much contempt. It’s a very uncomfortable circumstance. Traditionally, the media was supposed to be the watchdog of the three branches of government, so that when the politics became too apparent, the truth would prevail. “Draining the swamp” as it were.

The visual media has made reporting a glamorous profession, and the pretty or handsome ones  become celebrities of a sort, like movie people — their names and faces are known. I’m not sure of the diagnosis — are there too many reporters chasing the same stories, is this a failure of the journalism schools, poorly educated reporters, or has everyone just become far too political? Journalism has always been political going back as far as  “Remember the Maine” and the Spanish American War, but the present case seems different.

Time will tell, and there are a great many curious cases to be fully explained. I did read that CNN has finally given up on the Russia connection.

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Letting Go by The Elephant's Child

Nobody has mentioned it, but we are seeing an excellent example of what no one really talks about. How to end a presidency or a campaign gracefully. For all the Democrat histrionics about George W. Bush and Iraq, he handled leaving the presidency with grace and character. Clearly he has felt deeply responsible for the war that took place during his tenure as Commander in Chief, and his efforts with wounded warriors, and honoring those who served with his paintings is impressive. But he clearly recognized, early on, that his legacy would be determined by the historians, and there wasn’t all that much he could do about it. What happened — happened.

Former president Barack Obama hasn’t quite come to terms with being a former president. He is working on how he can continue to be active in politics, bought a mansion in one of the tonier sections of Washington D.C. and continues to pursue his celebrity status. What neither he nor Hillary quite seem to understand is that when it’s over—it’s really over, and the party has moved on. They are interested in the future, who are viable candidates, what are viable programs and policies, and the former have no real role to play.

Hillary is embarking on her book tour, and Democrats are not pleased. Her book, which she sees as vindication and explanation for “What Happened” comes across more as a plaintive whine, and Democrats find it uncomfortable and wish she would just go quietly away. She is charging over $2,000 for her book tour appearances (book included). I ran onto a quote from early in Bill’s presidency when she was complaining about being offended, and saying that those giving offense just didn’t like dealing with a “very powerful woman.” Interesting. I never thought of her as powerful, at all.

Jimmy Carter wasn’t ready to deal with the end of his presidency either. He kept trying to interfere disastrously in international relations. I guess having the reins of power in your own hands is a feeling that is hard to give up. Someone should write a little “retiring with grace” book.



Irma, Jose, and Katia, and an 8.1 Magnitude Earthquake As Well by The Elephant's Child
September 8, 2017, 6:17 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The mainstream media suddenly has real news to report. Irma is expected to make landfall some time tomorrow. José is still undecided out in the Atlantic, but strengthening. Katia  is headed for the coast of Mexico, but not with the terrible winds of Irma. But the massive, but shallow earthquake just to the west of the border of Mexico and Guatemala is a big one 8.1 magnitude at 8:41 P.M. and was strongly felt even in Mexico City.  It’s too soon to have much report on the damage, which will be extensive.

Irma seems to be headed straight for Florida, and there have been extensive orders to evacuate, resulting in jammed freeways, Home Depots sold out of plywood. As a Westerner, unaccustomed to tornado, or hurricane —which is a cyclone over water, I can’t imagine the rush to prepare and escape. Officials started recommending evacuation early. Harvey has provided a pretty scary example, and focused everyone’s attention. Friday, the reports of the damage will begin to come in.

Most people are ready with a helping hand, and preparing to help Florida when Irma hits. Here’s a nice example, from Weasel Zippers, of a lady who was too late to get the last generator for her father’s oxygen supply. Americans are good people. That’s part of human nature too.

 




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