The thing that still sticks in my mind a bit after reading The Atlantic‘s damning profile of still-new CNN Chair, CEO, and Senior Right-Wing Apologist Chris Licht is Licht telling Short Fingered Vulgarian Donald Trump to “go have fun” as Trump took the stage for his CNN town hall last month.
Trump did indeed do just that, given he was given a crowd for the town hall that was not allowed to boo and basically was hand-picked to be as Trumpy as possible. “Extra Trumpy” was the exact words.
This is what passes for fair and balanced among a frustratingly clueless segment of America’s DC media corps. The thing is, we have had eight years now of figuring out that Trump is what he is. There is nothing to learn from listening to him, despite Anderson Cooper’s finger-wagging lecture at us silly hippies to Listen to What the Man Says. I am not a Wings fan at all so I’d rather listen to that song on repeat at 5X speed for 24 hours than listen to what Trump says.
In the interview, Licht comes off as whiny, a little weird (his personal trainer is his guru which is a little too spot-on for a news executive), and kind of flailing about the situation over at America’s CNN. To be frank, he comes off as Tom from the HBO drama Succession. See Adrastos’ excellent rundown of the show here. Mine is also here.
Like Tom, he seems like a guy who puts up a good show of believing in himself, while deep down, I have my doubts. He seems really put out the whiniest of vibes when it comes to any criticism from the left and seems more responsive to criticism coming from the right.
In other words, there are a lot of Toms in the DC media, because Licht is not alone. There are writers like Jamelle Bouie, Margaret Sullivan, and Greg Sargent who see what is happening, but a lot of the DC media continues to labor under the delusion this is 1992 and the debates are over the estate tax. It is next to impossible to try to operate under so-called normal circumstances with Republicans, just as Kaitlan Collins. Collins was called a “nasty person” by Trump and was constantly steamrolled by him during the entire event. I guess Collins’ award was a prime hosting gig, but these people do not learn that Trump will steal their dignity and is good at doing it because he has no dignity.
The rest of the GOP is not much better. Trying to both-sides the transphobic campaign the Republican Party has turned into one of their main crusades is immoral. What exactly would a compromise here look like? Trans people are only allowed outside during specific time periods? The New York Times has really been driving this coverage with near-constant pieces with fluff coverage of anti-trans figures and “just asking questions” style inaccurate reporting on youth transitions. Then, they had the nerve to publish this:
A campaign against transgender rights has mobilized the Republican Party. How did that happen? Listen to today's episode of The Daily.https://t.co/hotxMVgjlg
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 1, 2023
The call is coming from inside the house.
These same people also carried water for the GOP’s cancel culture hysteria, while largely ignoring stories such as Republican attacks on voting and Biden’s achievements like the CHIPS Act. Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor-Greene gets normal profile interviews on 60 Minutes. Very similar vibes to the CNN town hall with Trump, Leslie Stahl, and Collins should go out for drinks and share stories and marvel at how they had roughly the same experience.
Nothing coming from the GOP is normal. Letting them do things like blame trans kids for teen girl suicide rates without any evidence is beyond loathsome (Jake Tapper saying nothing in response to Nikki Haley was awful).
We need much better media coverage in DC. None of this should be considered normal or politics as usual.
The last word goes to Pittsburgh’s own Anti-Flag, with an appropriate song for the moment.