The Big Trump Media Story: Bannon and a Crew of Dangerous Propagandists Are in the Cockpit of National Power
Get ready for a media shitstorm.
Steve Bannon, Michael Savage and Alex Jones (among others) are now in the cockpit of national power, while the nation’s major newspapers and television networks are doing their very best to “normalize” avowed bigot and fascist (using Mussolini’s definition of the word) Donald Trump. Bannon is Trump's chief adviser. And as Salon reports, even the right-wing sympathists at AIPAC are "apopleptic" about Trump working with a man who as editor of the alt-right Breitbart "news" site called "conservative commentator Bill Kristol ... a 'renegade Jew' and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum... 'a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.' ...Bannon’s ex-wife has even testified in court that Bannon has 'said he doesn’t like Jews' and didn’t want his children to go to school with Jews."
Bannon and company are some of the most talented practitioners of the dark arts of political propaganda in this country, and they all came together like beads of mercury under Trump's banner. It’s essentially a Kristallnacht waiting to happen: the murder of a policeman by a black man or undocumented Hispanic, or a Muslim suicide bomber will fuel weeks of media melodrama in their hands as they continue to create an alternative reality for cable news while driving a policy agenda dictated by petro-billionaires.
Meanwhile, the TV networks (particularly cable “news”) are drooling at the prospects of huge ratings, as good as they had covering/promoting Trump on the campaign trail, on the back of a freshly inked four-year 24/7 contract with America's top reality TV star. As CBS CEO Les Moonves said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
As I laid out in The Crash of 2016, Roger Ailes supported a proposal to his old boss Richard Nixon for “GOP TV” back in the 1970s. It failed for lack of funding. But not this time.
Right-wing media experts, and the think-tanks and billionaires who fund them, will have unlimited fodder for these stories from the FBI-DOJ under Giuliani/Christie (or clone thereof), and they have the tutelage of the Bush administration’s response to 9/11 in hand to make maximum political use of any larger catastrophe.
Meanwhile, as the poor suckers in Indiana wait for Trump to save their jobs by stopping Carrier from moving their factory overseas, Reince Preibus and Mike Pence will be carefully stocking the incoming Trump administration with climate deniers (beloved and funded by petro-billionaires), women-haters (google “Periods for Pence”), gay haters, and every variety of corporate shill, neocon or bigot they can pull back in from the old Bush and Reagan administrations.
Maybe my old debating nemesis and white supremacist leader Matthew Heimbach for HUD expand=1] Secretary? = While that may be a bridge too far, there are many other authoritarian white supremacists across the GOP who know how to speak in code like Reagan did when he gave his first campaign speech near Philadelphia, Mississippi (where three civil rights workers were once brutally murdered and where Donald Trump Jr. gave a speech promoting his dad just months ago).
The corporate media is doing everything it can to normalize Trump and ignore the bigotry of Pence. But the well-funded right-wing media machine in America, from hate radio to Fox News to the Breitbart/alt-right web-based media will have no such restraint. They’re in full white “Christian” supremacy and corporatist mode.
Trump is an illegitimate president. Trump tried to say this about President Obama for the better part of eight years, but Obama won an overwhelming majority of the popular vote (and that doesn’t include the millions of votes that were “spoiled” because minorities were thrown off the rolls as was documented by Greg Palast. Trump lost the popular vote to Clinton (and would have been wiped out by Sanders).
Many will never recognize him as our president, and his claim to a “mandate” is as much a joke as it was when G.W. Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court after losing the popular vote to Al Gore by about a half-million.
To overcome this illegitimacy, there’s a full-court-press on by our corporate media to ignore GOP malfeasance from election fraud, to functional bribery and gerrymandering, to the role of over $700 million dropped into the last election by petro-billionaires and their friends.
Want to read their playbook? I recommend The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (such a sudden best-seller that Amazon is currently sold out), and Mein Kampf (today also a best-seller on Amazon). For the end-game, check out Milton Mayer’s classic, They Thought They Were Free.
As Karl Marx noted, perhaps presciently seeing Donald Trump in the dim mists of the future, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”
This time it’ll be both.