Great piece by Alex Pareene on the result of decades of profitably telling lies to stupid people:
But the complete and inarguable disaster of the Bush administration—a failure of the conservative movement itself, one undeniable even to many consumers of the parallel conservative media—and his abrupt replacement by a black man, caused a national nervous breakdown among the people who’d been told, for many years, that conservatism could not fail, and that all Real Americans agreed with them.
Rather rapidly, two things happened: First, Republicans realized they’d radicalized their base to a point where nothing they did in power could satisfy their most fervent constituents. Then—in a much more consequential development—a large portion of the Republican Congressional caucus became people who themselves consume garbage conservative media, and nothing else.
That, broadly, explains the dysfunction of the Obama era, post-Tea Party freakout. Congressional Republicans went from people who were able to turn their bullshit-hose on their constituents, in order to rile them up, to people who pointed it directly at themselves, mouths open.
Now, we have a president whose media diet defines his worldview, interests, and priorities. He is not one of the men, like most of those Tea Party members of Congress, whose existing worldview determined his media diet—who sealed himself off from disagreeable media sources. He is, in fact, something far more dangerous: a confused old man who believes what the TV tells him.
If you want to see this in action, yesterday I tweeted up a string about the whole Susan Rice unmasking nonsense:
In the future, this Susan Rice thing should be a case study in the puke funnel.
— Sad Trombone Sound (@Johngcole) April 4, 2017
Basically, it works like this. Some lunatic (in this case, Mike Cernovich, but it could be literally anyone- Jim Hoft, an anonymous poster named IHATEBLACKS at the Free Republic, some random at Red State, the Confederate Wanker Bob Owens, one of the retrograde morons at the Powerline- anyone, really) pukes up some utter nonsense about Susan Rice. It is quickly picked up and amplified by the wingnut noise machine of inplace media sites like the Daily Caller, Red State, Breitbart, WND, etc., ad nauseum.
Then someone in the media will pay attention, in this case Eli Lake, and cover it and give the claim a veneer of respectability. Lake, who last week had to tell his readers he was a fucking idiot for believing the load he swallowed from Devin Nunes has either apparently learned nothing is just a fucking easy lay with a healthy thirst for choad.
From there it creeps into the “respectable” media, like Fox News, the NY Post, the WSJ, etc. That’s when the MSM really has no choice but to cover it, but since they have fired all of the reporters who cover beats and have a deep but narrow purview, it takes them some time to get caught up to speed. Meanwhile, the puke funnel keeps blowing out chunks, and Jake Tapper only has one foot in his HAZMAT suit and is already up to his knees in bullshit.
Additionally, this is another ripe target, for several reasons. First, Susan Rice is a professional and did nothing wrong, but we’re dealing with territory that not a lot of people understand, so it’s super easy to turn “unmasking” into some sort of nefarious deal. Second, civil libertarians tend to be absolutists, so even though Rice did nothing wrong, they’re just pissed she’s doing it at all. Third, the hard left has hated Susan Rice and Samantha Power from the get go. Fourth, Rice is, as we said, a professional, and isn’t going to go spewing top secret stuff to defend herself so the charges will just linger. Fifth, the Obama admin is no longer in power, so there is NO ONE to defend her. And finally, as is often the case, she is a woman and a person of color.
So that’s where we are, as the unmasking puke assault rolls over us. Sure, there are some rear guard actions. Ryan Lizza has a great piece, as doess Brian Beutler, but at this point it’s akin to charging a machine gun nest alone when the rest of your platoon is already dead- we’ve already moved on to Trump claiming Rice is a criminal.
That’s good, in a sense, that Trump is now involved, so this will continue until it has actually been debunked and Rice has been vindicated. But it will just happen again with something new tomorrow, because the bullshit factory never sleeps, and its workers are well payed and highly incentivized. The other day it was released the nutters at Breitbart make six figures, and Cernovich’s punishment for his latest sin against truth? A massive profile piece in the NY Times.
See also this excellent Media Matters rundown.