Part 1—When Milbank and Stormy get blue: How ridiculous does it get when we commit ourselves to The Chase—to thrilling tribal entertainment and to nothing else?
How ridiculous can it get? For starters, consider Glen Kessler's weekly hard-copy report in the Washington Post.
As always, Kessler's weekly report appeared in Sunday's editions. We refer to his weekly report as top dog at the Post's "Fact-Checker" site.
For the record, yesterday's report followed a fraught week or two. It had been the week of the seventeen high school killings. It had also been the week of the sixteen indictments.
It had been the week when Dreamer legislation died in the Senate. Donald J. Trump had recently released his budget plan. In the wake of some utterly bollixed reporting, a wealth of basic questions remained about the Rob Porter matter.
Quite a few topics had flooded the news. So what was the Post's fact-checker checking?
The Post's fact-checker was fact-checking the first lady's mother and father! Do they belong in this country at all?
Hard-copy headline included, he stated his brief as shown below. We'll throw in the word "inaccurate:"
KESSLER (2/18/18): White House tight-lipped on the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parentsAccording to the Post's fact-checker, some readers had spotted some social media posts! Naturally, those social media posts had set these readers to wondering!
Several readers asked about the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, after spotting [inaccurate] social media posts such as this one:
"Here are Melania's Parents. Viktor and Amalija Knavs. They live in the United States Permanently now because of Chain Migration after Melania's Visa Expired & she stayed here Illegally and married Donnie for Citizenship. None of them have a degree or a job".
With congressional debate beginning on overhauling immigration laws, it’s certainly an interesting question. President Trump has favored bills that would severely restrict “chain migration,” including the granting of immigration visas to the parents of U.S. citizens. So naturally, readers have wondered whether the president is being hypocritical.
This explains the embarrassing report which appeared in Sunday's Washington Post. In the face of a vast array of serious major important news topics, Kessler had spent his week asking the first lady's parents to please show their papers.
Kessler went on to produce a lengthy, somewhat insulting fact-check on this utterly pointless topic. He listed four possible bases on which the parents may be in this country. The fourth basis he listed was this:
Parole"Parole," the fact-checker wrote in bold. They might be here on "parole!"
In the face of all those serious topics, Kessler engaged in a lengthy frisk of the first lady's parents. At one point, he warned us that the parents could be engaged in illegal conduct if they've been taking care of their grandson, Barron Trump.
Humans, might we speak? That's the kind of bullshit to which we're inclined to descend when the tribal thrill of The Chase makes us take leave of our senses. To wit:
Some readers spot something stupid somewhere. Working from a very high platform, a journalist takes a deep dive.
It was much the same with Dana Milbank in the same Sunday paper. In a full-length, page'filling column, Dana Milbank, like Stormy Daniels, was feeling both ballsy and blue. Hard-copy headline included:
MILBANK (2/18/18): Why Stormy Daniels isn't a bigger stormAlas, poor Milbank! "Trump in an adulterous affair?...You couldn't invent a better scandal," the blue-balled blue-blood sadly said. But because of all the other scandals, the Stormy scandal hasn't been getting its due!
President Trump is a force of nature. Actually, he is a full-blown meteorological phenomenon.
This week, what in any other presidency would have been a Category 5 hurricane made landfall at the White House. It felt more like a drizzle.
The president’s personal lawyer confirmed that he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, reportedly so she wouldn’t talk about an alleged affair with Trump dating to 2006, months after Melania Trump had given birth to their son, Barron. Daniels’s rep said she is now free from her confidentiality agreement and ready to talk.
Trump in an adulterous affair? With a porn star? And hush money? You couldn’t invent a scandal better than this.
Stormy hasn't become the full-blown scandal of silly-boy Milbank's dreams! There are too many others things in the news, so people like Milbank can't reap the full joy of sexy-time stories from Stormy!
(They way they did with Gennifer Flowers, who almost surely invented her stories! Remember how great that was?)
These pitiful pieces by Kessler and Milbank help show us the shape of the times. They help display the hard-wired drift of our journalists' tiny small minds.
Once you let these life-forms commit to The Chase, this is the bullshit you're going to get. And we haven't even mentioned the harrowing report by Robert O'Harrow, who has spotted a Trump nominee behaving in much the way CNN does.
O'Harrow's report appeared in the front section of yesterday's Post, along with Kessler and Milbank.
When journalists commit to The Chase, this is the kind of behavior you'll see. For several decades, they committed to The Chase against Clinton, Clinton and Gore. Now they're chasing a disordered person named Donald J. Trump, while displaying their own disorders.
How do they want to conduct The Chase? Let us count the ways:
Milbank gnashes his teeth at the lack of attention to Stormy Daniels.
Dylan Farrow—in The New Yorker!—burns acres of trees to the ground so we can learn about a consensual affair with a former Playboy model.
Glenn Kessler fact-checks social media posts about Melania's parents. On CNN, Don Lemon and a second ghoul stroke their privates as they discuss that Playboy model's claim that Melania always preferred a separate bedroom.
(CNN never did post the transcript of Lemon's second hour last Friday night. We'd be embarrassed to post it too. We'd also be inclined to take Lemon off the air until he can get it together.)
Children, let's review:
The first lady always preferred a separate bedroom. Reportedly, that is!
The first lady's parents might be breaking the law if they take care of their grandson!
The first lady stopped at the Holocaust Museum only because it was on the way to the airfield!
We should be discussing Stormy much more. Also, Trump engaged in sexy-time sex with a former Playboy model! In 2006!
This is where these people go when they're allowed to commit to The Chase. People are dead all over the world because they've done this in the past. You're rarely told about any of that in service to liberal careers.
Citizens, can we talk?
Long ago and far away, Eddy Arnold enjoyed his biggest hit. "Make the World Go Away," the velvet-voiced country star wonderfully crooned.
The lyrics were even better than that. "Say the things we used to say," Arnold crooned. "And make the world go away."
With one small change in those lyrics, that's what's happening now. Our pundits are saying the things we want them to say and making the world go away.
What parts of the world are they disappearing, including on Rachel and Lawrence? We'll answer that thoughtful question all week. For now, though, a trigger warning:
Anthropologists sadly say this may be the best we can do.
Tomorrow: Making Paul Krugman go away. Coming, Patrisse Khan-Cullors!
For your listening pleasure: To hear Arnold's hit, click here. According to the leading authority, it hit #1 on the country charts, #6 overall.