According to Leah Finnegan in her Thursday piece for The New Republic, when Steve Bannon cast the mainstream media as full-fledged opponents of the Trump White House, it wasn’t an accurate statement, but it may have been the next best thing: a self-fulfilling prophecy. “What if, rather than reflexively assuming its defensive posture of ‘objectivity,’ the press embraced this opportunity to go full-offense?” wondered Finnegan, who added, “In declaring the media the ‘opposition party,’ Bannon may have actually done it [sic] a great favor, tacitly casting it as a worthy adversary to Trump’s newfound power.”
New York Times arts reporter Randy Kennedy covered the controversy over the audacity of a white artist exhibiting a painting at the Whitney Biennial, based on photographs of the body of Emmett Till, the teenager murdered in Mississippi in 1955: “Painting of Emmett Till Draws Protests -- A white artist’s work at the Whitney Biennial has some calling for its removal.” Strikingly, the article, from a purportedly pro-free-speech media organization, included not a single word of dissent about the idea of leftist protesters wanting to have a piece of art not only removed from an exhibit, which would be awful enough, but destroyed. No one came to the defense of free expression in the face of a frankly racist attempt to suppress and destroy art based on the skin color of the artist
Sunday’s episode of Making History, “The Boyfriend Experience,” stuck with the theme of defiling the Founding Fathers, with Samuel Adams and John Hancock proclaiming themselves as “two of the world’s most accomplished lovers.” When Dan (Adam Pally) travels back in time seeking advice after his girlfriend, Paul Revere’s daughter, runs off, he finds Adams and Hancock leaving a church service. Hancock tells him that Dan has “come to the right place” before Adams chips in, “Where better to receive erotic counsel” than outside of a Church? Hollywood is probably really proud of that attack on both religion and the Founding Fathers in the same joke.
The topic of gun control is certainly a controversial one in the news today, but the fact remains our right to bear arms is upheld by the Second Amendment. FOX’s Making History demonstrated just how strongly the Founding Fathers loved their “gunnys” and refused to hand them to the British.
This past Tuesday, three prominent left-wing writers examined Paul Ryan’s health-care bill; what they see as the typical Republican attitude toward health insurance; and the modern GOP as a whole. Unsurprisingly, they found all three wanting. For example, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall contended that on occasions like this that call for wonkery, Republicans are ill-equipped to deliver it, inasmuch as they’ve “spent years since 2008 (actually before but especially since 2008) stoking their base with increasingly fantastical and ridiculous claims.”
Separatist and secessionist talk has burgeoned in 21st-century America. The day after the 2004 presidential election, sulky liberals began circulating a map that represented pro-Kerry regions of the country as part of the “United States of Canada” and pro-Bush regions as “Jesusland.” Grouchy conservatives weren’t sure they belonged in a nation that elected and re-elected Barack Obama. Now comes left-leaning novelist and journalist Kevin Baker to argue, given Republican control of the White House and Congress, that “it’s time for blue states and cities to effectively abandon the American national enterprise, as it is currently constituted.”
The penultimate fifth season of The Americans debuts at 10 PM EST/PST tonight (Tuesday) on FX. As I’ve written before, while the FX series humanizes undercover KGB operatives working in the U.S. on behalf of the Soviet Union, the show also illustrates the ruthlessness of Soviet communism and how the American Left in the 1980s helped advance Soviet interests.
FOX’s new show Making History premiered Sunday with a much different take on the American Revolution than we’re taught in schools.
In a Friday post on the website of The Washington Monthly, not of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Martin Longman discussed President Trump in strikingly medical terms. “The reason Trump has become so vulnerable so quickly is because he’s treating Washington like the pathogen when he’s the infectious agent,” declared Longman. “A better politician might be able to take over the host and turn to it his own purposes, but what Trump is experiencing instead is a massive and determined immune response.”
How is Donald Trump “not a normal Republican”? Let New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait count the ways. Trump is “crudely ethno-nationalist,” wrote Chait in a Tuesday post, and he’s “personally ignorant and undisciplined in a manner that sets him apart not only from traditional Republicans but most human adults.” That’s pretty much it for Trump’s deviations from orthodoxy, according to Chait, who thinks current White House economic and fiscal proposals are “perfectly orthodox” by party standards, notwithstanding blasts at them from GOP-aligned sources such as National Review.
On Morning Joe Tuesday, co-hosts Mika Brezinski and Joe Scarborough attacked White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as a "Leninist," based on remarks Bannon made to political scholar Ron Radosh, who wrote about the 2013 interaction in an article for The Daily Beast. In an email to Radosh, Bannon denied the remarks.
CPAC, currently going on just outside the Beltway in National Harbor, Maryland, has changed along with the conservative movement, believes Matthew Yglesias. Old-school CPAC, Yglesias contended in a Wednesday piece, was philosophically driven, populated by the sort of activists who “helped [Ronald] Reagan mount a primary challenge to incumbent President Gerald Ford.” In the past fifteen-plus years, however, it has become “to a substantial extent a live version of the conservative entertainment experience that one could also get on cable or on the radio.” In other words, it's now Donald Trump's CPAC, which “reflect[s] the reality” that conservatives are “older, whiter, and less educated than the population at large and [are] filled with a keen sense of nostalgia for the good old days.”