The Public Thirst For Outrage
Media carries a lot of blame for the current state of social, legal and political turmoil in America. At least that is the charge and I must say that day by day the evidence piles up.
I never liked the term ‘fake news’
Truth in news better suits my sensibilities. Just as figures don’t lie, but liars figure, news commentary may be untrue, but it is never fake. Case in point; Mike Lindell's South Dakota rally: Proud Boys, Joe Piscopo and a can't-miss investment
“MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell held his much-anticipated-by-fans "Frank Speech" rally Monday night at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, where there was no shortage of baseless claims about the 2020 election. The event was billed as providing a venue for Lindell to relaunch his failed social media platform Frank, but no announcement about the platform occurred.
“Before the event began, a long line of people waiting to get into the venue wrapped around the outside of the building. But once they got inside, the situation was less impressive. Only around 1,500 people tuned out for the event, which Lindell had initially boasted might draw a crowd of 30,000 supporters. (In fact, the Corn Palace's seating capacity is just 3,200.) Even so, Business Insider's Grace Dean noted that some attendees waited in line for seven hours before the doors opened.”
To my mind, there’s a lot wrong with Mike Lindell’s various accusations and he seems to me to be a bit of a nut-cake. His claims may be proven untrue, but the news of his appearance in South Dakota was certainly not faked.
And then there’s Tucker
One letter away from truth in advertising. The media adores Tucker Carlson because he’s their substitute stand-in for the missing Donald Trump. Plus, he’s articulate and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a positive or negative but he’s throwing both liberal and conservative media an economic lifeline. And do they ever need it. Some have lost as many as 70% of viewers since Donald got his election 'stolen.'
Tucker Carlson: The White House approves gasoline shortage, it's their Green New Deal
“They paid millions of Americans more than they make at work, to stay home and do nothing. To justify doing this, they used the word "COVID" quite a bit, but it had nothing to do with the pandemic. They just wanted to break the system. And so they did.
“And the rest of us immediately wound up with a bewildering combination of rising unemployment in the middle of a severe labor shortage. So, at the very same time, we found ourselves with too many workers, and also too few workers. That doesn’t even make sense, but thanks to their policies, that’s now exactly what we have.
“And then, finally, in case 2021 didn’t remind you enough of a grimmer version of the 1970s, we now have serious gas shortages, in a country that just recently was energy independent. All along the east coast of the country today, people couldn't fill up their cars. The footage looks like Venezuela.”
There are whisperings of Tucker running for president in 2024. Since he drives truth into a ditch on a daily basis, why not give him the keys to the family car?
There used to be a show called “Truth or Consequences”
It ran for seventeen years from 1940 to 1957, first on radio and then on TV. The premise of the show was to mix the original quiz element of game shows with wacky stunts. The show host ended each episode with the phrase, "Hoping all your consequences are happy ones." If only. Even though the show lasted from WWII through to Vietnam, we were truly a more naïve and trusting nation in those simpler times. Simpler? How weird does it seem to categorize two major and horrific wars with ‘simpler times?’ Yet now there are no consequences for mangling truth—not small untruths, but major lies that shake the foundations of society and bring us fist-to-fist in the streets.
And my voice adds to the chaos
Not all that many people are my readers, but the very subject of this column adds my writing to the shame I point at with others. Conspiracies are not only theories of the misinformed, they’ve become the background for a nation profoundly confused and split from neighbors we once considered friends. Worse than that are the families that once had reasonable political differences and now no longer speak.
What are the circumstances that bring about a thirst for outrage? I wish I knew. It’s not Trump, nor is it Lindell or Tucker. It’s woven deeper than that in the American fabric…a constant drip of failed dreams, hidden racism uncovered like a dirty sheet and a winner-take-all attitude at the poker game of success, however we choose to define that.
The America I knew and grew up in is twisting in the wind
It will settle and regain its senses. It always has. Through wars, the Great Depression and several that were nearly great, symptomatic racism, economic imbalances, assassinations, misery, chaos and pandemic, we have always somehow risen to our feet once again. And I'm pleased to predict, Tucker, that you're on the wrong side of history.
Image Credit: theguardian.com