Friday, May 26, 2017

Your Lyin' Blue Eyes

I've been watching the news week like almost everyone else. The Teevee brings the news to us here in the woods. It's been raining most of the week, so there's not a whole lot to do outside. Last night Jared's name has been explicitly added to the list. The lad has a nice dimple and seems an unlikely black hat. He's much too young. But his looks deceive, and his family company is apparently as ruthless as Trump's. Likes attract sometimes.

I was thinking of writing about the Gianforte thing. It's surely notable that a reporter asks the candidate about the horrible Republican "health" care plan and the candidate responds by beating him up. In early coverage the fact that the candidate beat him up was so remarkable that the question that elicited the assault got kinda lost in the glare. Gianforte also won his election and actually raised $100 K on the story! A news story last night featured photos of a teeshirt at some right wing rally, possibly Gianforte's, which was touting the lynching of journalists. Really, this is what the shirt "said": "Tree. Rope. Journalist. Some Assembly Required." We have arrived in Mussolini-land. (Speaking of which, I read today that Mussolini did not allow non-Italian aircraft to overfly Italy, which caused travelers on long trips such as, say, going from London to Sydney, Australia, to depart aircraft altogether at Italy and take a train across the Italian peninsula.) Laura Ingraham made fun of the assaulted Ben Jacobs on her radio show, saying he was crying about someone stealing his lunch money. A California Republican congressman said Jacobs should not have been assaulted. Unless he deserved it.

One of the better features of the Gianforte/Jacobs story was that it turned out that a Fox news team witnessed the action, and could counter the rather blatant lies of the Gianforte response, which tried to accuse Jacobs of being the aggressor, Gianforte the victim of the of course liberal press. But what doesn't get attention is the subtlety of spin these days. We're not still living in Mussolini's Italy. Ezra Pound, who was once a notable American man of letters, called Mussolini Italy's Jefferson back in the '30s, and even wrote a book on that subject.


We get played. Over and over.

The most remarkable event in the Trump/NATO visit might be this, captured and preserved on Youtube (for as long as Google cares to maintain its extensive and expensive bank of servers).

There are of course many other candidates.

I was interested to see that Gianforte has antecedents. Of course the most notable is, again, Mussolini. A reporter once asked him what his first plan was, should he be elected. "Why, to kill you!" Mussolini responded. I've always thought this was actually a pretty good definition of fascism. Turns out Senator Joe McCarthy also assaulted a journalist, the notable Drew Pearson, in 1950. Richard Nixon broke up the fight.

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