I think that a very important point in Jared Yates Sexton‘s twitter thread is the suggestion that the media in the US [in my view not only the US] have a really bad history of collapsing political maneuvering and actual reality. Donald Trump understood that development of the media, and with his wall rhetorics he quite consequently created a situation where he took something that was just a mnemonic device, something “that wasn’t real and trusted that the media would then make it real”.
The too predictable echoing of rhetorics (eristics actually) is not something which only Trump can relay on. People like Nigel Farage in the UK play the press in Trump’s way as well. The facts of the Brexit just disappear in all the eristic noise which keeps the media very busy.
Actually, I believe that Trump and Farage need what they call “fake news” media just as they are to instigate permanent exitement. Unfortunately the media nicely play along with what Trump and Farage expects them to do. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the game could be changed within the media. Therefore I assigned a “hope” tag to this thread, because responsible people in the media could tackle this issue without waiting for a change in the present communications strategies of politicians.
Journalists have no choice if they want to survive as journalists. The game needs to be changed simply “because if it doesn’t we’re going to end up in a nightmarish hellscape where meaning’s not just broken, it’s lost forever.”
https://t.co/GBiEaGfUk9 belongs to an important thread which I compiled in https://t.co/zeBNRH4YPd. Jared Yates Sexton showed how Trump is playing the press. Trump won't change his way, but the media can do it by stopping to echoing rhetorics (eristics) so predictably.
— Goetz Kluge (@Bonnetmaker) January 24, 2019
Full thread of Jared Yates Sexton’s tweet:
Hey, so, this government shutdown narrative has swallowed itself and been bled of all meaning. Let’s get down, on the record, the important facets of this story that are getting lost and prevent its resolution, as well as see where this thing went so, so wrong. 1/
First of all. There’s no wall. There isn’t going to be a wall. There was never going to be a wall. It’s a metaphor, a story that was constructed by Trump [it probably was constructed for Trump in 2014] as a means to get elected and having this fight is a means of either saying he’s getting the wall or saying he tried. 2/
The media in this country has a really bad history of collapsing political maneuvering and actual reality. In this case, Trump understood that history and created a situation where he took something that wasn’t real and trusted that the media would then make it real. 3/
Throughout his first two years, Trump had control of the government. If the wall was a feasible thing, if anyone actually wanted it besides his rabid base, the Republican government would have passed it. This is a posturing, a battle he picked with an incoming Dem house. 4/
Trump is only able to stay in this fight for 3 reasons: 1. the media automatically reports political maneuvering as fact. 2. We have swallowed the lie of “security” in a post-9/11 world. 3. The GOP are still examining Trump’s base and determining whether they need them. 5/
For historical context, it’s important to remember that the largest attack on American soil in modern history (September 11th) happened during a Republican administration that was given due warning and did nothing. But what they did was grasp the narrative and rhetoric… 6/
The Republican Party is TERRIBLE at national security. They have no nuance. They only bomb things and overthrow governments that are eventually replaced by despots. They ruin up huge hypocritical debts. It happens over and over and over again. That’s the GOP’s legacy. 7/
Let’s talk about ACTUAL SECURITY. Right now, this shutdown is lowering America’s status in the world. It’s making us a laughingstock and is ensuring that other countries won’t partner with us. Trump does this daily, of course, and the GOP are standing idly by. 8/
Trump and the GOP sit there and talk about Democrats not being for security while shutting down the government and stripping funding from Homeland Security and other security efforts. NOT TO MENTION the security of safe food, safe flights, safe everything. 9/
Oh. Here’s another thing. I’ve been talking to people working in federal prisons. Get this. They’re working skeleton crews. The situation is getting very dangerous and very unstable. Guess who’s in some of these prisons?
ACTUAL TERRORISTS. 10/
That’s right. The places where the ACTUAL TERRORISTS ARE KEPT are being starved for funding and are thus becoming unstable and more dangerous. That’s not being talked about because REAL SECURITY isn’t RHETORICAL SECURITY. The media loves RHETORICAL, not ACTUAL. 11/
So. Because Trump and the GOP will act in blatant bad faith, we’re in a situation where the media and pundits are asking the party that acts in good faith to simply give them what they want, which doesn’t exist, won’t exist, shouldn’t exist. That’s what’s happening. 12/
Because horserace/status quo media want everything to be about the rhetorical process instead of the actual reality, we have a situation that has been completely drained of meaning and has no sensible way to proceed. But there’s something even worse than that… 13/
Because segments of the media refuse to learn from their mistakes of 2016 and earlier, they’re actually giving incentive for Trump and other politicians to create destabilizing crises in the future. If you do it, and if you lie, you’ll get a narrative that helps your cause. 14/
So, not only do we have a snake eating its tail, but we have a snake eating its tail that’s giving birth to more tail-eating snakes. There’s no way for this situation, as reported, as covered, as presented, to lead to a good solution. Not as long as the mistake continues. 15/
This is the result of decades, no, generations of bad faith and bad actions. Not to mention incompetency of history and context. It has to end, because if it doesn’t we’re going to end up in a nightmarish hellscape where meaning’s not just broken, it’s lost forever. 16/16