FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2021
Who cares about people like these?: Did Donald J. Trump believe he had Covid when he debated Joe Biden?
(Full disclosure: At the present time, we can't answer that question.)
Did Trump think he had Covid? We opened yesterday morning's report with that very question. We had just watched a pseudo-discussion on Morning Joe in which Joe and Mika and Willie—but also Jonathan and Elise—engaged in the practice now widely described as Pathological Storyline.
(Alternate technical descriptor: Pathological Novelization.)
Remarkably, the Morning Joe staff has posted the videotape of that pseudo-discussion. We can't link you to the tape at this point, but you can find it here. It runs a bit more than eight minutes.
Last night, we watched another such pseudo-discussion—a pseudo-discussion of that same question—on CNN's Anderson Cooper show. That second pseudo-discussion was staged by Anderson and Gloria, with Lena apparently agreeing to withhold what she presumably knew.
We plan to discuss that second pseudo-discussion, in detail, in tomorrow's award-winning post. For now, you can review the transcript of that "managed discussion" simply by clicking here.
According to experts, Pathological Storyline—AKA, Pathological Novelization—has become a widely-observed psychiatric disability among this failing nation's failing and failed corporate "journalists."
The syndrome is characterized by the pathological need to create Perfect Novelized Renditions—highly selective accounts of complex sets of facts, accounts which advance the Vastly Preferred Prior Storyline of some particular group (or "tribe").
These pseudo-discussions of Trump and Covid are prime examples of this syndrome at work. So too with much press treatment of the events in Kenosha in August 2020, and of the subsequent Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
In the past few days, we've called attention to Nellie Bowles' account of the looting and arson which occurred in Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The shooting occurred on August 23, 2020. A large amount of destruction ensued. As we've noted in the past few days, Bowles' nugget account of the matter included this:
BOWLES (11/16/20): In Kenosha, more than 35 small businesses were destroyed, and around 80 were damaged, according to the city’s business association. Almost all are locally owned and many are underinsured or struggling to manage.
“It’s a common problem, businesses being underinsured, and the consequences can be devastating,” said Peter Kochenburger, executive director of the Insurance Law LL.M. Program and a University of Connecticut law professor.
As we noted yesterday, Bowles described the losses, financial and otherwise, experienced by various people in Kenosha as their businesses, and sometimes their residences, were summarily burned to the ground.
Money was lost; pets were killed, children's winter clothing went up in flames. Apartment dwellers lost their homes—and, according to Bowles, the losses were greater among lower-income business owners, especially among those who weren't "white."
Are looting and arson valid components of "protest?" Opinions differ on that. At the very start of her lengthy report, Bowles described the attitudes which sometimes prevail on the bluer side of the nation's current tribal divide:
BOWLES: It’s a prominent refrain these days from activists in the aftermath of arson and looting—businesses have insurance. Buildings can be repaired. Broken glass is a small price to pay in a movement for justice.
One new book, “In Defense of Looting,” for example, argued that looting was an essential tactic against a racist capitalist society, and a largely victimless crime—again, because stores will be made whole through insurance. The top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer resigned amid an outcry for publishing the headline, “Buildings Matter, Too.”
Do mere buildings matter too? At this point, are people even allowed to make such ridiculous statements?
At any rate, so began Bowles' lengthy report—a report which was, for whatever reason, buried inside the Business section of that day's New York Times.
In print editions, her report appeared on page 5 of the newspaper's Business section. Later in the lengthy piece, Bowles returned to the question about the propriety of looting and "property destruction:"
BOWLES: Many on the left decry anyone who criticizes looting, arguing that it is a justifiable expression of rage, widely quoting (out of context) the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that “a riot is the language of the unheard.”
At a recent antifa gathering in Portland, Ore., protesters shared literature arguing for the righteousness of property destruction with titles like “Why Break Windows.”
In a media critique earlier this year published on the website Refinery29, Britni de la Cretaz wrote: “Putting the focus on stealing objects from a store (during a pandemic, no less!) rather than on the injustice behind the looting, the horrific loss of life and racial violence that Black folks live with every day, is sending the message that property matters more than people. It just demonstrates the way that white supremacy sees more value in a TV set than in the life of a Black man.”
And Preston Mitchum, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said in an interview: “Businesses will be OK. You can revive a business. You can’t bring back people who are killed by the cops.”
These adjunct professors today! Businesses will be OK, this particular scholar said.
As she continued, Bowles alleged that, in many instances, businesses owned by lower- or middle-income people will not be OK.
Large corporate entities would generally be OK, Bowles said, but it works out differently for many Others. She even offered this:
BOWLES: The Rev. Jonathan Barker, who is a pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, said the riots hit Kenosha’s most vulnerable population. And he added that they tapped into an existing racial tension in the neighborhood.
Although there are many Black residents, most of the shops are owned by Middle Eastern, Asian and Latino families.
Some businesses will never bounce back, said Mr. Tagliapietra, who has been involved in citywide discussions on redevelopment.
There the Rev. Barker went, wantonly playing the race card!
According to the Rev. Barker, the looting and the arson "hit Kenosha’s most vulnerable population." As for Bowles, she let one of the malcontents make the following claims about the people who allegedly engaged in these forms of protest:
BOWLES: At the local used tire shop, the owner, Linda Tolliver, who is white, is waiting for new windows to replace those broken in the riots (her landlord’s insurance is covering it)...
The night after her shop was broken into, she stayed inside to guard it and watch what was happening. She was shocked, she said, to see so many white protesters destroying property in the name of Black lives. And they seemed to be well-off young people, with little sense of what a storefront means to a family like hers.
“It’s some blue-haired, latte-drinking hippie in Seattle coming here to raise hell while they go home to their nice beds,” said Ms. Tolliver, who is in her late 50s. “They don’t care about any of us.”
Stating the obvious, Tolliver's claims were highly anecdotal. Crazily, she seemed to be saying that highly-principled "white" protesters don't care about lesser beings such as herself.
Who burned down all those buildings in Kenosha? We can't tell you that. We can't cite the "race" or the family incomes of these people. We can't give you percentages about how many people of which demographic were involved in doing what.
That said, is arson a valid component of protest? Opinions differ on that question, often in complex ways. In the end, there is no ultimate answer on which everyone can be made to agree.
Having said that, we'll also say this—almost surely, Tolliver was right on one basic point.
Frequently, members of the blue elite actually don't seem to care about people like her. To cite one high-profile example, the Washington Post's Robin Givhan philosophized rather broadly after the Rittenhouse verdicts.
Along the way, the Post's senior critic-at-large dismissed the lessers in the manner shown:
GIVHAN (11/16/21): But all too often, White men with guns do not see themselves as a danger. They cannot fathom that their actions are suspect. They cannot envision themselves as anything but patriotic and godly. Their moral certitude has been so deeply embedded into the collective mind-set that what they choose to protect, whether a nondescript auto center or a vulnerable human being, is quickly presumed to be valuable and worthy of protection.
On August 25, 2020, a group of "White men with guns" (including at least one "white" teenager) had been guarding a used car lot at which 140 cars had already been set ablaze.
To the exquisite and lordly Givhan, the family-owned business in question was just "a nondescript auto center." Who but a bunch of vigilantes could have "presumed" such a nondescript place "to be valuable and worthy of protection?"
When we read words like those from the likes of the Princeton-credentialed Givhan, we think of Woody Guthrie.
The Givhans have always regarded the lessers in the way she so clearly conveyed. Back in the Dust Bowl days, Guthrie's protagonist said it this way in one of his greatest songs:
I've mined in your mines and I've gathered in your corn
I've been working, Mister, since the day I was born
Now I worry all the time like I never did before
'Cause I ain't got no home in this world any more.
Now as I look around, it's mighty plain to see
This world is such a great and a funny place to be.
The gamblin' man is rich and the workin' man is poor,
And I ain't got no home in this world any more.
Guthrie's (former) working man pretty much had it right.
Today, the gamblin' man is still rich, but so are the lordly beings who may inhabit Givhan's guild. All across the fruited plain, "from California to the New York island," The Others are able to see our tribe as we behave in these ways.
As is true with most human tribes, we're generally unable to see ourselves. More and more, and more and more, our corporate journalists may be inclined to keep us in the dark.
We'll continue this study next week. We'll continue to discuss the information presented on Fox News concerning Kenosha, as opposed to the reams of information which got disappeared Over Here.
As our tribunes disappeared those reams of information, Storyline conquered Kenosha. The Others were told about what we were doing. We ourselves remained in the dark, barefoot and largely clueless and feeding on Storyline
Next week: The things our tribe never heard
Two performances: Ain't Got No Home In This World Any More is one of Guthrie's greatest songs. For the classic Guthrie recording, you can just click here.
Back in 1988, Bruce Springsteen recorded the song for a Folkways tribute album. In our view, it was an inspired performance.