TIME FOR A CHANGE: Carl Bernstein says it's time for a change!

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017

Part 1—We see him and raise him one:
There are only two slogans in American politics:

"Happy days are here again." Also, "It's time for a change."

Last Friday night, on CNN, Carl Bernstein said it's time for a change. More specifically, he said it's time for a change in the way the press covers Donald J. Trump.

Bernstein was speaking with Anderson Cooper, who definitely needs to change the way he covers Donald J. Trump. Cooper asked about Sean Spicer's latest disordered behavior as White House press spokesman.

In reply, Bernstein said this:
BERNSTEIN (3/17/17): Anderson, this is Donald Trump's M.O., as we know, and it's quite purposeful. And the real story here—and it's time for the press to maybe change our coverage a bit and look at what the real story is here, particularly cable television.

The real story is that the President of the United States is a compulsive liar.
And along with that, that this compulsive lying is taking place at a time when Mike Rogers has just pointed out the most important fact of all, that there is an FBI investigation that is closing in on some of Donald Trump's associates.

We don't know what the result of that investigation is going to be, but those of us who have been following it closely, and trying to learn about it, know that it is accelerated. It is going to be a major piece of news regardless of what it finds. And Donald Trump is trying to deflect us by making up these fabulist tales.

We need to start covering this president and his lying as a story unto itself.
Maybe we need an hour special on presidential lying. Let's look at Bill Clinton and Lewinsky. Let's look at Richard Nixon. Let's look at president who have lied. But we are now in space with this president of the United States where we have never been, with a compulsive liar who uses untruth as a basic way of governance.
According to Bernstein, it's time for the press to change its coverage of Donald J. Trump, especially cable news. According to Bernstein, CNN needs to do maybe an hour-long special on Trump's "compulsive lying."

Compulsively, Bernstein mentioned the presidential lying of Bill Clinton with respect to Miss Lewinsky. Later in the segment, he expanded on his prescription:
BERNSTEIN: One quick other aspect is the smearing of Barack Obama. This goes along with the birtherism. This is the same person who has been doing this kind of thing. No other president that I think in our history has said the kinds of things about his predecessor that Donald Trump has now said about Barack Obama. "A sick man, a bad man," he called him. It's extraordinary.

All of this theater, and I think we have to look at this part as theater, is of a piece, which is why I'm suggesting that the press has to find a new way to cover this and look at what the real story is and what the threads are that run through it and that has to do with untruth and that also has to do with trying to deflect attention from what Mike Rogers is talking about, about this investigation.
You've now seen everything Bernstein said on Cooper's program that evening.

We agree with Bernstein's basic idea. We too think it's time for a change! We think mainstream news orgs, especially cable, needs to make some changes in the way they cover Donald J. Trump.

Especially at CNN, we don't think that an hour-long special would likely suffice. If Cooper aired an hour-long special about Donald J. Trump's "compulsive lying," Jeffrey Lord would be prominently featured as part of a 900-member pundit panel.

Inevitably, the discussion would disintegrate in precisely the way it does every night on Cooper's program. For ourselves, we don't think Bernstein was thinking quite bigly enough.

We're also not sure that "compulsive lying" is necessarily the best way to go in covering Donald J. Trump. Is Trump involved in "compulsive lying?" Or is he engaged in something else, something which could be more dangerous?

One hour later last Friday night, Fareed Zakaria told Don Lemon that he wouldn't be inclined to second Bernstein's use of the L-bomb. Zakaria diagnosed President Trump in a different unflattering way:
ZAKARIA (3/17/17): I got into trouble during the campaign saying something about the president which I still think is true. I think the president is somewhat indifferent to things that are true or false. He has spent his whole life bullshitting, he has succeeded by bullshitting, he has gotten the presidency by bullshitting. It's very hard to tell somebody at that point that bullshit doesn't work because look at results, right?

But that's what he does. He sees something, he doesn't particularly care if it's true or not. He just puts it out.

And then he puts something else out. And notice again what he did this press conference. When pushed on it, he doesn't take responsibility. "I wasn't saying that. I was just quoting somebody else." When you have the White House press secretary quote somebody to prove a point, you are endorsing that view.

[...]

LEMON: Carl Bernstein— I heard him say, on Anderson's program, that we should be doing stories on the president being a pathological liar. That's Carl Bernstein's words. Do you think the president is pathological?

ZAKARIA: I think there's clearly a pathological element to his behavior by which I mean, you know, quite strictly, that he almost can't control himself. I happen to know from having talked to some of the people around him, people have tried to stop him and he can't. So in that sense I think, I'm not going to go with the second word because, as I said, I think there is an easier explanation.

LEMON: Not a psychologist.

ZAKARIA: And in terms of the "liar," I mean.
Zakaria didn't want to go with "liar." He was inclined to go with "bullshitter." He said it provided an easier explanation for Trump's behavior.

That said, Zakaria doubled down on the powerful term "pathological." He seemed to say that Donald J. Trump can't control his own behavior. In our view, this is the more troubling aspect of Donald J. Trump's apparent profile, now that Donald J. Trump is the man in charge of the nuclear codes.

Is it time for a change in the press corps' coverage of Donald J. Trump? Zakaria offered no such suggestion. Bernstein proposed some fairly weak tea for cable news.

That said, we've been saying, for many years, that news orgs should treat it as news when major public figures mislead or misinform the public about significant matters. We've persistently said that such conduct should be treated as front-page news. That resembles what Bernstein was saying.

Is it time for a change ion the way the press covers Donald J. Trump? Since Bernstein was speaking on Cooper's program, we'll take a look this week at the Groundhog Day-flavored way that program covers Donald J. Trump on a nightly basis.

Plainly, it's time for a change on Cooper's program. But we'll also suggest that it's time for a change within our own liberal world.

It's commonly said that addicts can't start to change until they "hit rock bottom" and are able to acknowledge that fact. By our way of reckoning, we liberals hit rock bottom last year when we managed to lose an election to a disordered crackpot like Donald J. Trump.

As with the press corps, so too with us: it's time for decades of our own behavior to come under review. It's time for a change Over Here.

That said, we liberals are having a hard time acknowledging the fact that we hit rock bottom last year. In the manner of vintage tribal denial, we tend to think it's time for a change by everyone else, not so much by us.

In our view, it's time for a change in several broad spheres of American life. Before we return to Cooper's program, we'll take a quick look at Us.

Tomorrow: Paul Krugman's latest column. Also, the historical role of music men like Professor Harold Hill

9 comments:

  1. Is Bernstein serious? Does he think it would be a change if the media focused on Trump's lies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and bigly yes.

      Delete
    2. That said, Zakaria doubled down on the powerful term "pathological."

      Wow. FZ is essentially the spokesman for Planet Davos. So the world's owners are saying we have a pathological Commander-in Chief. What if he starts a bigly war? What do we do?

      Delete
    3. That said, we liberals are having a hard time acknowledging the fact that we hit rock bottom last year. In the manner of vintage tribal denial, we tend to think it's time for a change by everyone else, not so much by us.

      Besides getting rid of Maddow, what other specific things should be done?

      Delete
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  3. Hello,
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    because we work together. This will be the final week or work and then I
    wont be around him constantly. Unfortunately, I broke one of the rules in
    the article and have been sleeping with him. Something I’m not proud of,
    especially since he has a girlfriend. Not to mention that she’s a girl he
    dated off and on for 3 years before he dated me.
    When I asked him why he kept sleeping with me even though he was in a
    relationship, his response was because I wanted it, and he wants me to be
    happy. But obviously what would make me happy would be to have him all to
    myself. That was when i read about Dr alexzander on how he help people in
    saving their relationship and i was really desperate for his help. There
    were things in our relationship that were tough. We traveled for 4 months
    right in the beginning, and it was hard due to different expectations. When
    we returned our living situation was unstable which caused a lot of stress
    on my end. And when I ask why he didn’t give me a chance to make things
    better he said he gave me tons of chances. Oh, and he compared our
    relationship with his past. He says that things were great, and then they
    went bad really fast, and that why his back with is Ex. Because it at least
    took them years for things to get that bad. So i was very sad and
    disappointing and decided to contact this spell caster for help with tears
    running out of my eyes and Dr alexzander promised to make things right in
    my relationship and also assured me that my boyfriend is going to come back
    to me within 78hrs. At first i was shock and didn't believe him because i
    thought it was impossible to do. But i gave it a try and trusted him. Dr
    alexzander asked for my details and his, then guarantee me of his return.
    Truly my ex lover started calling me and also begging me to forgive him and
    that's his willing to give us a second chance, then promised me never to
    love any other woman apart from me. it all seem like a miracle to me till
    now. Dr alexzander. Words can't express how i feel right now. it been 2
    month now since you caste that love spell for me and nothing have gone bad
    between us. his now caring more than ever and also the loving kind of Man i
    have ever wanted for myself in life. I thank you Dr alexzander for saving
    my relationship. Indeed you are the best. I want to use this media to share
    my testimony for the whole world to see and know that there is still hope
    in your broken relationship, No matter how bad it seems don't give up hope
    and also contact this man who saved my own. you can reach him through his
    website address http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com or contact him
    direct with his email address alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. I thank you
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    social media or place i may go to.
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    Mrs Tracy Grilli.
    http://tracygrilli.blogspot.com.tr
    https://tracygrilli59.blogspot.com

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