Friday, January 13, 2017

"Trump’s attacks on the media served to say that his language, his expressiveness, his ability to connect with the audience was more potent than the media’s."

At Newsweek, Michael Wolff writes,
... (In an interview with Trump shortly after his nomination was secure, he told me he was sure of victory when for the first primary debate, the usual audience increased almost tenfold because of his presence: “I’m more entertaining than the media.”) The media, in thrall to the culture establishment—and signed on to its cultural rules and concerns (hence its Pussygate shock)—was inauthentic and he was the real thing. For “CNN sucks”-screaming Trump supporters, CNN sucks for, in fact, the same reason that it sucks to everybody else—it’s phony and slavish—but Trumpsters were suddenly saying it, screaming it. (Liberals took this as an attack on free speech; on Trump's side, the view was that the media stifles real speech.)

...There is a new left and a new right. On the one side there are the unremitting orthodoxies of correct behavior and language reaching its apogee in that weird children’s crusades on college campuses, a frightening and ineffectual exercise in cultural re-engineering. (The Clinton campaign tried to display “best cultural re-engineering practices” with its near-parody of inclusiveness at its Philadelphia convention.) On the other side, there are cadres of radical provocateurs who provoke their foes into greater and greater flights of hysteria—mocking the left’s uptightness the way the left used to mock the right’s. And, on each side, there are social media guerilla forces to support them. The cultural establishment sees its natural allegiance to the academic and millennial left, no matter how loopy. The new Trump establishment lets the new right rile the new left into an ever-greater lather of appalled inexpressiveness, its enemies all fascists, white-supremacists, anti-feminists, transphobics. The more the left is provoked, the more it defends itself, making it more difficult for anybody in the ever-left-leaning culture business to deviate from the prescribed rules.
Read more here.

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