July 21st, 2017

Obama and Trump: the wild MSM pendulum swing

A few days ago I was thinking how extreme the media has become, beginning during the Obama years. That’s not to say that, prior to Obama’s candidacy, the media was trustworthy or objective. But I noticed that with Obama it became ever more obvious that the media was almost worshipful of him and increasingly unafraid to reveal that fact.

And with the advent of the Trump candidacy, the MSM pendulum has swung even further in the opposite direction. It’s not that Donald Trump is above criticism—au contraire, and I’ve done my bit here to add to that. But let the criticism be warranted, proportionate to the offense, and let it be based on fact.

That’s not the media’s approach, although it would have you believe it is.

But yesterday Victor Davis Hanson put it better than I could have, so I’ll leave it to him:

Between 2008 and 2016, the media were unapologetic about their adoration of President Barack Obama. Now, they are energized by their thorough loathing of President Donald Trump. In tragic fashion, the hubris of deifying Obama has now come full circle to the nemesis of demonizing Trump. The common denominator of the two extremes is the abandonment of disinterested reporting…

If the media became unhinged in the adulatory Obama years through hubris, it might have earned back its respect and professionalism by covering Trump in even-handed fashion. But Nemesis does not work that way: those it destroys, it first makes mad.

Please read the whole thing.

I would add a few observations, though. The first is that the press didn’t have much credibility even before Obama’s election, although I agree it destroyed the last shards of lingering respect by its behavior during his administration. However, plenty of people still trust the press in the sense that they believe most or at least much of what it prints. There are other people who are subtly influenced by its propaganda whether they admire it or not. Propaganda can work that way, just as advertisements can work that way, and it can sometimes operate without the person even realizing what’s happening.

My second observation is that part of the press’s extreme antipathy to Trump comes from their sense of utter shock at his election. Not only did they consider him a travesty, and an evil one at that, but the vast majority of them were completely convinced that his election was quite literally impossible.

For example, we have Rachel Maddow speaking to her viewers on the night of the election, when the reality of the Trump presidency had set in and yet not set in:

I maintain that they have never accepted that “this is real.” It’s something they believe is a bad dream that they can wish away, talk away, and above all write away. The pen is mightier than the sword—after all, they slayed the dragon once before (Nixon), and he was a legitimate president with a bona fide political history. I believe they reason that Trump—with all his manifold and obvious flaws—should be a much easier target.

29 Responses to “Obama and Trump: the wild MSM pendulum swing”

  1. huxley Says:

    From what I can tell my liberal friends and family are still drinking whatever kool-aid flavor of the day the mainstream media serves up.

    As far as they are concerned, the real problem is Trump and the terrible people who allowed him to become president.

    I doubt this will change until the country hits bottom in some very serious way. Maybe not even then.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    They were at the very brink of the promised land. It was just over the next rise and Hillary would be their Joshua, leading them into a land of milk and honey. Now Trump threatens to take it all away.


    Should the country hit bottom in some very serious way, they’ll never admit to having any responsibility. Their entire sense of self-worth is wrapped up in that kool-aid…

    dialog from “The Wild Bunch”

    Pike Bishop: A hell of a lot of people, Dutch, just can’t stand to be wrong.
    Dutch Engstrom: Pride.
    Pike Bishop: And they can’t forget it… that pride… being wrong. Or learn by it

  3. chuck Says:

    What made the Nixon removal work was Republicans. I don’t think the Democrats and the press will get as much help this time around.

  4. Gringo Says:

    Watching a full episode of Rachel Maddow’s show would constitute a “terrible, terrible dream” for me. 🙂

  5. Dave Says:

    was Nixon a beloved president? he won 520 electoral votes in the 1972 election, despite being in the middle of watergate, something you will never find out from the media unless you dig into it, just like the fact that Lincoln was a republican

  6. Cornhead Says:

    VDH, “those it destroys, it first makes mad.”

    We can see the madness. The destruction is coming soon. The destruction will be reflected in ratings and circulation numbers. My hope is that CNN gets spun out as a new public company as part of the ATT and Time Warner merger. Revenue and profit declines by bad numbers and cable subs down. Attacks on the stock by hedge funds. Mr. Market drives CNN to bankruptcy. The Chicago Tribune and Lee Enterprises were both BK.

    Today, I barely trust a word from the media. I have mostly tuned it out.

    The most interesting thing is that the newspapers now have a trade association/alliance in which they somehow want to get paid by Facebook and Google. It makes sense somewhat. The newspapers provide the content and Facebook gets the content for free.

  7. arfldgrs Says:

    You left out that most of these newspaper kiddies are recent output of academia, and that has gone down the tubes WITH the press… big time…

    however this credibliity thing has a LONG history with a lot of famous moments of losing credibility or positive cache to which only a name change fixes it all

    Containment and Credibility: The Ideology and Deception That Plunged America into the Vietnam War

    A Pact with Vichy: Angelo Tasca from Italian Socialism to French Collaboration / By Emanuel Rota

    Encyclopedia of American Social Movements

    Communist opposiitino to roosevelts military prepardness program around the slogan
    “the Yanks are not coming, destroyed communist credibility among many new deal liberals
    The CPUSAs position also led to a wide variety of attacks on communists in the unions and on many of the
    organizations in which they played leading roles as organizers and activists like the national negro congress….

    the next paragraph of the book lies beacuse the term racist was not coined till AFTER the period discussed!!!

    Nonetheless, the communists maintained their focus on antiracist campaigns in the unions and communities and, in the line with communist parties throughout the worl, became more militant critics of global colonialism (in the late 1930s, communist campaigns against colonialism in europe and north america had been muted as communists worked to build support for anti nazicollective security alienaces wiht britain and france.

    but then, tradcraft..

    Communist propaganda is the scientific, artistic, and social promotion of the ideology of communism, communist worldview and interests of the communist movement. While it tends to carry a negative connotation in the Western world, the term “propaganda” broadly refers to any publication or campaign aimed at promoting a cause and is/was used for official purposes by most communist-oriented governments. Rooted in Marxist thought, the propaganda of communism is viewed by its proponents as the vehicle for spreading the enlightenment of working class people and pulling them away from the propaganda of their oppressors that reinforces their exploitation

    A Bolshevik theoretician, Nikolai Bukharin, in his The ABC of Communism wrote
    The State propaganda of communism becomes in the long run a means for the eradication of the last traces of bourgeois propaganda dating from the old régime; and it is a powerful instrument for the creation of a new ideology, of new modes of thought, of a new outlook on the world.

    and that is what you guys are experiencing that is taking about 100-150 years to do… but you have to BELIEVE it to oppose it. they do, but you dont.

    here are some of the rules…

    The Great Soviet Encyclopedia identifies the following functions of communist propaganda: [5]
    The link of the Communist Party with the working class and other working people
    Incorporation of scientific socialism into the worker movements and revolutionary activities of the masses
    Unification and organization of national divisions of the workers’, communist, and democratic movements
    Coordination of the activities of the above-mentioned movements, exchange of information and experience
    Expression of the public opinion of the working class, working people, their needs and interests
    Spread opposition to the bourgeois and revisionist propaganda
    Dissemination of statistical data about socialist society (i.e., the one of a communist state).

    Polarized values
    While somewhat modified since the times of the détente, communist propaganda is centered around a number of polarized dichotomies: virtues of the communist world vs. vices of the capitalist world, such as

    communists are for peace; capitalists are for war
    communists are for mutual cooperation; capitalists are for coercive exploitation
    communists are for democracy; capitalists are for oligarchy

    with that, you have all you need to be an operative with no connection… often with the hope that if yo do well, they will find you because of what you did (explains a lot as to the hoaxers and others, all trying to be rewarded by this thing that really only takes rewards)

  8. Sam L. Says:

    chuck Says:
    July 21st, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    What made the Nixon removal work was Republicans. I don’t think the Democrats and the press will get as much help this time around.

    They’re getting more GOP help than Trump seems to be getting.

  9. Cornhead Says:

    The best and worst thing about this Mueller investigation is that it gives the media content and the content is actually content-free.

  10. arfldgrs Says:

    Communist propaganda was delivered via:

    Printed media
    Newspapers and magazines
    Radio and TV broadcasting
    Congresses and conferences of various internationational organizations under various communist umbrellas, such as the World Peace Council
    Local communist parties and fellow-travellers

    hey!! isnt that the things we been bs about for 11 years now?
    wow, you could have bypassed the 11 years and just read wiki on communism.. sheesh.

    Character assassination / In a totalitarian regime

    The effect of a character assassination driven by an individual is not equal to that of a state-driven campaign.

    The state-sponsored destruction of reputations, fostered by political propaganda and cultural mechanisms, can have more far-reaching consequences.

    One of the earliest signs of a society’s compliance to loosening the reins on the perpetration of crimes (and even massacres) with total impunity is when a government favors or directly encourages a campaign aimed at destroying the dignity and reputation of its adversaries, and the public accepts its allegations without question.

    The mobilisation toward ruining the reputation of adversaries is the prelude to the mobilisation of violence in order to annihilate them. Official dehumanisation has always preceded the physical assault of the victims

    you can even read waht stage your at
    but why peak? the destruction will be a fun surprise.
    eh 🙂

    by the way, all the things your seeing being done to trump, those are classical. here is anotehr term you should have learned a long time ago

    this one is one of the most used but usually with a honey pot and photos. but as we saw, they did manufacture a honey pot that did not exist and a piss story… but they are not stupid, their story was not about being believed, but about what it actually did do… it was not a failure…

    In Russian politics, Kompromat (Russian: компромат; IPA: [kəmprɐˈmat] (About this sound listen), short for компрометирующий материал, literally “compromising material”) is compromising materials about a politician or other public figure used to create negative publicity, for blackmail, or for ensuring loyalty. Kompromat may be acquired from various security services, or outrightly forged, and then publicized by use of a public relations official. Widespread use of kompromat has been one of the characteristic features of the politics of Russia and other post-Soviet states.


    so all your seeing is how soviet the dems have become till they are so shocking we cant believe that they are really SOVIET

    it has a very long history with them
    its a favorite

    In the 1950s, British civil servant John Vassall was a victim of a gay honey trap operation

    In 1997, Valentin Kovalev was removed as the Russian Minister of Justice after photographs of him in a sauna with prostitutes controlled by Solntsevskaya Bratva were published in a newspaper. In an interview with another newspaper, Kovalev said, “Kompromat is vile. Once it starts, it knows no limits. Kompromat is always effective in Russia”

    In August 2009, videos allegedly released by the FSB purportedly featured American diplomat Brendan Kyle Hatcher making telephone calls, presumably to a prostitute, then engaging in sexual activity with a woman

    April 2010, politician Ilya Yashin and comedian Victor Shenderovich were involved in a sex scandal with a woman claimed to have acted as a Kremlin honey trap to discredit opposition figures. The video was released only two days before the wedding of Shenderovich’s daughter

    In recent cases of kompromat, Russian operatives have been suspected, or accused of, placing child pornography on the personal computers of individuals they were attempting to discredit

    Kompromat is part of the political culture in Russia, with many members of the business and political elite having collected and stored potentially-compromising material on their political opponents

    they have whole organs of state devoted to different categories of this kind of thing…

    Kamera was poison.. as other agencies were for disnformatzia, kompromat, theft of secrets, etc.

    but why learn? its more fun to be surprised when you stand ehre and wonder how you lost everything.

    just imagine as it was that day…
    [mass deportation on 14 June 1941]
    a truck appears at the end of the block
    and at the other end
    you have 10 minutes to pack
    and your off to the Taiga or wherever

    if you dont see it and learn it, it will be gone and it will repeat…

    this one talks of norilsk nickel, which poisons you today
    Women Of The Gulag
    Children of the Gulag (2013)

    oh joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Soviet Story

    it was very interesting to watch the above in soho when all the liberals and everyone came out to learn… i wish i could have recorded their faces… their eyes. and they had no idea.

    careful shot to the back of the NECK…

  11. Kyndyll G Says:

    “I doubt this will change until the country hits bottom in some very serious way. Maybe not even then.”

    No, it won’t change their minds. The lefty set has the amazing ability to support bad ideas and do stupid things with direct, obvious consequences – direct and obvious to anyone of normal cognitive ability that is – and fail utterly to understand when those consequences come home to roost that the blame lies with them, and their bad ideas and stupid acts. They really cannot understand this. They blame those who pointed out the inevitable consequences, as if the act of doing so made it happen. If we of conservative leanings shut up and let them fail, they still blame us – for not sufficiently supporting their bad ideas and stupid acts (by posturing and preening online about it). If we disappeared off the planet tomorrow, we would still get blamed – simply for the fact that we ever existed.

    Cynical much? Yeah. I have a lot of lefty acquaintances and there are times in real life when I keep quiet because speaking my mind would affect current and future employment situations.

  12. Matt_SE Says:

    Propaganda can work that way, just as advertisements can work that way, and it can sometimes operate without the person even realizing what’s happening.

    IMO, propaganda most often works that way.
    I’ve got two parents mostly aware that they’ve been lied to serially by the press, but refuse to unplug from NPR, PBS, or 60 Minutes.

    As Jacques Ellul said, the people most exposed to propaganda are the most affected. It seeps in at the edges without ever having to be consciously confronted.

  13. J.J. Says:

    VDH: “In addition, the current generation of marquee reporters was schooled at the major journalism schools by veterans of the 1960s, when the “new” journalism saw progressive political activism—opposition to the Vietnam War and the promotion of civil rights, feminism, and environmentalism—as the proper counterweight to traditional and supposedly regressive American values.”
    Just so.

    As Professor Reynolds often says, “Most journalists are now progressives with bylines.”

    It is no longer Republican versus Democrat. It is now patriots versus progressives. The progressive model eventually leads to Venezuela or something worse. Most journalists favor that. They are not to be trusted.

  14. parker Says:

    This is nothing new, but the adoration of the messiah was blatantly extreme and the vileness directed towards Trump is extreme. JFK was the king of Camalot. LBJ was a civil rights hero. Nixon was a dark, sinister figure. Carter was the brilliant but humble farmer. Reagan was stupid. GB the first was out of touch. Slick Willy was a pop star. GB the second was dumber that Reagan. And so it goes.

  15. Ira Says:

    Cornhead Says:
    July 21st, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    VDH, “those it destroys, it first makes mad.”

    We can see the madness. The destruction is coming soon. The destruction will be reflected in ratings and circulation numbers.

    What about the fact that a significant, and perhaps growing, majority of Americans are in fact leftist? Hillary did get the majority of votes, and Millennials are further to the left that the dying-off Baby Boomers? We’re already living in a madhouse, with the ratio of crazies to sane folk increasing.

  16. Ira Says:

    That “?” after “Boomers” should be a “.”

  17. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “It’s something they believe is a bad dream that they can wish away, talk away, and above all write away.”

    Well, it kind of is. Civilization is imaginary, after all, and if enough citizens work together to turn the USA into a dictatorship, it can happen.

    The result will not be what they think it will be, but there is no law of physics saying it can’t be done, only a rapidly disintegrating net of laws, promises, and rights that the left it trying to get rid of as fast as they can, because it’s holding back Queen Hillary’s coronation.

  18. Lizzy Says:

    JJ – You’re right about being patriots versus progressives. This could not have been made clearer than when Mike Wallace famously asserted that he’s a journalist first, and American second (http://preview.tinyurl.com/j6evddj).

    The over the top Trump hatred, the desire to oust a sitting president by any means simply because they don’t like him shows they have little concern for America’s stability. As Kurt Schlichter has said, you won’t like the new rules, and you won’t like what happens next (should they succeed).

  19. FOAF Says:

    Before the election I was talking with a friend of mine who also intended to vote for Trump. Most of our other friends are libs who are aghast at DJT. We agreed that if Trump lost, as we were then expecting, we’d be very disappointed but we’d wake up the next morning and get on with our lives. But if he somehow won, our lib friends would go around the bend, they just wouldn’t be able to take it.

    That really is, or should have been, the biggest story of the last eight months – the insane unhinged reaction of Trump’s opponents to his election. Of course the media itself is part of that. They refuse to face up to the discontent that led to Trump’s defeat of Hillary. It wasn’t just because Hillary was a bad candidate though that helped.

  20. Sergey Says:

    Media firmly positioned itself as a voice of Washington establishment. So, it is a class war. And the ruling class suddenly understood that the rest of the country does not like their arrogance, hypocrisy and the sense of entitlement. But that is how they got Trump, and the reason why their attacks on him do not convince his voter base. But they can not help themselves and dig only deeper into the hole they bury themselves. Like French aristocracy in 1789.

  21. Ray Says:

    I was in college when Kennedy and Nixon were running for president. It was obvious the media loved Kennedy and loathed Nixon. The media would run gushing adulatory stories about Kennedy. It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say the media worshiped Kennedy. Kennedy was from heaven and Nixon was from hell.

  22. DNW Says:

    Sergey Says:

    July 22nd, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Media firmly positioned itself as a voice of Washington establishment. So, it is a class war. And the ruling class suddenly understood that the rest of the country does not like their arrogance, hypocrisy and the sense of entitlement. But that is how they got Trump, and the reason why their attacks on him do not convince his voter base. But they can not help themselves and dig only deeper into the hole they bury themselves. Like French aristocracy in 1789.”

    Yes that is true in general outline. But I fear that in this case it may be more like a group of sans-culottes and their comfortable bureau dwelling crony capitalist instigators lined up against the Vendee.

    But our Vendee is bigger and better organized than the other one was.

    The middle of this country took a very long time to realize that the antipathy of the left establishment was ultimately existential: and informed by a self-glorifying ideology of “evolutionary progress”.

    They were in a game played against nominally fellow Americans for much higher stakes – unlimited stakes – than they had realized.

    Whatever bombast and rhetorical hyperbole and alarmist language the right may have engaged in over the years, I think it has only recently occurred to most of them that they were indeed being slated for gradual extinction through ideologically driven political policies; policies of hectoring and dispossession implemented by the progressives whenever they had the levers of state coercive power in their hands.

    Obama can talk about fundamentally transforming America, and advancing his left fascist theory of replacing constitutional liberty with “positive liberty”, but it takes time for these things to be digested.

    A decade of economic decline in the productive middle, their forced selling off of the stored capital of two generations in order to survive, seeing the blatant and cavalier weaponization of the IRS and other government agencies against conservatives, and finally the hysterical “Kill the (american) Boer” social media vaunts of progressives, finally took effect.

    Even some American liberals were staggered by the obviousness of what amounted to a progressive social restructuring program that aimed to evolve the traditional American out of existence through incremental dispossession. Neo has linked to such articles here.

    Trump is what we got when millions of Americans realized that the left was deadly Serious about its deadly aims.

    What the final outcome will be is anyone’s guess.

  23. Jesse Larner Says:

    The media “deified” Obama? They “were unapologetic about their adoration of President Barack Obama.”? Huh? When? Can you give any actual examples of this? I must have missed this. Yes, the fact-checked media did take on the insanity of the birthers, things like that; but was very harsh on Obama in many ways, sometimes justified, sometimes not. Whence this conservative delusion that “the media” was overly kind to Obama, much less adoring? Again, can you find any actual examples?
    Obama – unlike Trump, obviously – was a man of great charm, integrity, competence, and concern for the country. There was less to legitimately criticize him for. But he did come in for criticism, lots of it. Just because the fact-checked media didn’t hate him as much as the unhinged conservatives doesn’t make this untrue.

  24. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Jesse Larner Says:
    July 22nd, 2017 at 5:50 pm has been living in a Leftist enclave obviously, when the LIght Shined Down Upon them and made them believe, the sea levels were lowered, and so on.

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Cynical much? Yeah. I have a lot of lefty acquaintances and there are times in real life when I keep quiet because speaking my mind would affect current and future employment situations.

    Heh. I usually just laugh inside at the antics of these human trash. They are even better and more outrageously loud in person than on video and writing.

    Humans only utilize 30% of the bandwidth in verbal communication and wording. The rest is in body language, and I have mastered quite a number of language tools in that department. That plus specially activated voice tones, works far better at communication than the usual Ymar page length rants and condemptations of evil.

    Some black guy out in the public street even got angry/afraid because I walked outside on the road to see what the weird car and people were doing. He wasn’t even close enough to realize he was putting his life in jeopardy by his actions. Leftists are like zombies and animals, they understand far more of danger in body language than they ever will in words.

  26. GRA Says:

    @Jesse: Okay, that was funny. I can find many examples of where the MSM was gushing over Obama. Your post is classic leftist tactic filled with self-denial – blame the other side if not share the blame. Try not to critically look at yourself in the mirror.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Vampires weren’t supposed to look in mirrors.

  28. Big Maq Says:

    “I maintain that they have never accepted that “this is real.” It’s something they believe is a bad dream that they can wish away, talk away, and above all write away.” – Neo

    trump represents an escalation, as chosen by “us”.

    The msm are responding accordingly, as their audience sees it as an escalation.

    Not agreeing that the msm are right in any way to be this way, but just saying it is so.

  29. Ymar Sakar Says:

    This is Thesis, antithesis, which creates a synergy. This synergy becomes the new thesis, which requires an opposing force. Thus the Demoncrats crew fake news, and a Demoncrat now becomes the anti thesis to fake news.

    It’s all from the same control group and play book.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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