17. … of doing any better on Trump. The flood of outrageous sh*t becomes white noise, a background hum. None of it really hits or sticks.
— David Roberts (@drvox) May 20, 2016
Oh for fuck’s sake.
Do your damn job. Your damn job is to report on the story you see in front of you.
It isn’t your job to worry about what is “sticking” and what is not. It isn’t your job to worry about what will spur a Congressional hearing, and what will not. It isn’t your job to wonder if this thing today will “take down” somebody who you’ve discovered is a horrendous bastard who is going to hell. It isn’t your job to notice, despairingly, that every ugly thing that’s discovered about a politician makes his poll numbers go up.
All this bullshit, this “outrage fatigue” and “people will start to tune it out” and blah blah blah, it’s just worrying about your influence. It’s worrying about whether you, Mr. Upstanding Journalist, can Create Change by Breaking the Scandal That Brought Down the Powerful. It’s worrying about your brand, your image, your status, making you afraid that if you publish a story that so-and-so is a war criminal who is breaking the law on the regular and people do not rise up and topple him, YOU will look bad.
When you worry that something isn’t “sticking,” you are worrying about who will LISTEN. That isn’t your job, to make sure someone will listen. Your job is to SPEAK.
It’s hard covering an endless flood of bullshit, just as it was difficult in the dark days of George W. Bush? It’s hard making time for each and every dumbass thing politicians like George W. Bush foisted on the country, and Donald Trump is threatening to foist? It’s a major bummer?
Guess what else is a major bummer?
Being the only Muslim kid in your kindergarten class and hearing your fellow five year olds talk about how your family is a bunch of terrorists.
Spending three tours of duty in Afghanistan, getting your left leg blown off, only to come home and have to wait 3 months for benefits to kick in.
Watching your grandbaby drink from a lead-poisoned tap because you can’t afford to move.
Hearing politicians spend hours and hours, days and days, discussing how mean they can be to one percent of the population that just wants to be left the fuck alone.
I swear, this is the election of everybody’s goddamn feelings and I’m about ready to send us all to bed without supper. Bernie bros muttering about conspiracies and elites, Hillary stalwarts complaining that young women haven’t paid their proper dues by being born after the Real Struggle, Republican “thinkers” writing 3,000-word essays about how awful they feel about having to lower themselves to associate with racists and plebes … These are groups of people who are going to be okay under Presidents Sanders, Clinton or even Trump, and they are filling up the Internets with high dudgeon over how they are Being Treated. Which, except for the recent incident of violent threats, is NOT A REAL THING. Almost none of it fucking matters.
“I can’t even begin to picture how we would deport 11 million people in a few years where we don’t have a police state, where the police can’t break down your door at will and take you away without a warrant,” said Michael Chertoff, who led a significant increase in immigration enforcement as the secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.
So give me a fucking break with this crap about it’s hard for the media to get their shit together when people are this evil in these quantities. It’s not hard. They just have to get over themselves, which in and of itself is a luxury. Your hardest day involves an existential crisis, half a bottle of Chardonnay and some soul-searching.
Your next hardest involves realizing that nobody gives a shit about your feelings, your brand, your image, your influence, or anything else about YOU. Focus on the damn story in front of you, and if you can’t, if you’re too tired and it’s too hard, get out of the chair. I got ten people in a line who’ll kill for the shot you have.