Part 3—Hitler, Trump and us: Lawrence opened Monday night's show with an admonition from an intelligent viewer.
His viewer has seen through the "cable news" game. Here's the way Lawrence started:
LAWRENCE (8/13/18): Well today, one of the people who follows me on Twitter, Patricia McClary, tweeted, "If you talk about Omarosa tonight, when there are still 700 children separated from their parents. then I will turn you off."McClary wanted Lawrence to talk about a matter of substance. She wanted him to attend to suffering children, victims of an astonishing crime by Donald J. Trump and them.
Lawrence proceeded to explain why he was going to talk and talk, then talk and talk, about Omarosa instead.
Needless to say, Lawrence's judgment has prevailed all over anti-Trump cable. Last night, the analysts groaned as we forced them to watch Erin Burnett at 7 PM Eastern, then Anderson Cooper at 8.
These clowning clowns of cable news clowned and clowned about Omarosa. At 9, the biggest clowning clown of them all finally appeared on our screen.
She barely mentioned Omarosa. Instead, the biggest narcissist on cable mugged and clowned through her whole hour, not just about the Manafort trial, but about silly piddle like this:
MADDOW (8/14/18): Prosecutors submitted this item into evidence, document number 452, in which the bank's CEO, Steve Calk, gave Manafort what amounted to his job application to join the Trump organization. It was his statement of qualifications. It was his full list of all the jobs he wanted to be considered for in the Trump administration.Maddow went on and on, then on and on, about this highly amusing trivia—about Steve Calk's entertaining and tribally pleasing but highly pointless misspellings. She mooned the wretched of the earth as she entertained, amused and fluffed her narcissistic self.
The list of jobs he wanted to be considered for was titled, by Steve Calk, quote, "perspective rolls" in the Trump administration. Not "prospective" but "perspective." Not "roles," r-o-l-e-s, as in jobs, but "rolls," r-o-l-l-s, like dinner rolls or somersaults. "Perspective rolls."
Calk, of course, is not on trial, nor is he a particularly important figure in the Manafort trial. He's a shlub who was somehow dumb enough to believe that he might be named Secretary of the Army if he loaned money to Manafort.
Calk, like Maddow, is one of those people who makes a sane person shake his or her head. Over the course of the past three weeks, Maddow has very much enjoyed herself, and entertained us, by ridiculing this insignificant figure.
Last night, lost in her self-involvement, she went on and on, then on and on, ignoring the wretched of the earth as she stroked herself about Calk's amusing misspellings. Suffering children rarely appear on the Maddow Show.
Millions of liberal viewers can't seem to see who Maddow is. That said, the occasional liberal—the Patricia McClary's of the earth—are apparently able to see through the "cable news" game.
McClary wanted Lawrence to talk about those suffering children, not about the latest entertaining circus clown. Needless to say, they won't be doing that on cable. Maddow takes us deepest into the circus, thus garnering the highest ratings from our own Homo sapiens band.
Has the so-called "Harari heuristic" ever been more valuable than it has been this week? According to the internationally-acclaimed heuristic, chance mutations long ago made us who we are.
That said, these chance mutations didn't make us more "rational," per Aristotle's dying assumption, or even more intelligent. According to the Harari heuristic, these chance mutations left us just as dumb as before, but they gave us two new abilities—the ability to engage in "gossip," and the ability to invent and affirm extremely potent group "fictions."
These new abilities let our ancestors cooperate in larger groups, driving other human populations to extinction. But they left us just as dumb as before. This explains why Brian's viewers saw the Washington Post's Philip Rucker talk about Hitler's dogs last night.
Brian brought Rucker on late in his show. Incredibly, Rucker and Williams said these things about Donald Trump, Hitler and dogs:
WILLIAMS (8/14/18): We launched an extensive web search that took us at least a few minutes and we could only find one photo extent in all the land of Donald Trump with a dog...Phil, the fact is, he's been a germaphobe a lot of his life. There was a period of time people here in New York, remember when he did not bring himself to shake hands when he met people. So maybe this is all of a piece. I don't know.Given the role played by "Aristotle's assumption" in our basic cultural frameworks—he cast us as the rational animal!—it's very, very hard to believe that the stars of cable news can really be this dumb. But these people actually are this dumb, as they've been proving for at least thirty years.
RUCKER: Well, clearly he's not comfortable living with animals in the house. He doesn't have any pets. And he uses "dog" as if it's a sort of like a negative thing.
In American culture, you know, a lot of Americans love dogs. They're loyal. They will love you back. A lot of people have dogs as pets in other cultures.
In the Middle East, for example, dogs are seen as dirty. It's a more effective attack line. But Trump clearly doesn't seem to care much for dogs as animals in the house.
WILLIAMS: Full disclosure, dogs are easily 80% of our family text thread...
I guess [Trump] will continue to use it as kind of the ultimate put-down. It was bracing for Americans to read that word in relation to this woman we've come to know on television and who was until recently a White House aide.
RUCKER: Yes, I that's right, Brian, and we've been making light, a little bit, of the president not wanting to have a dog in the house. But it's deadly serious what he does with that word, using it as an attack.
He's dehumanizing his enemies. That's the goal there. And there's a long history actually of authoritarian leaders who have used animalistic slurs as insults to dehumanize individuals or groups of people. We remember in—during the Holocaust, the Nazis would call Jews "rats."
I interviewed a philosophy professor who explained the history and how it's become—it's a very useful image for leaders to use to try to stir up resentments between Us and Them in a society. So there's a pattern here through history. I think Donald Trump is smart enough and strategic enough to know what he's doing by repeatedly using the dog, the imagery of a dog, as a slur to attack his perceived political enemies.
In turn, we liberal masses are so dumb that we've been unable to see who and what these people are, and what they've been doing along the way.
The occasional Patricia McClary complains. The rest of us swallow the product we're served and cheer these idiots on.
Like Trump, Adolf Hitler didn't care for dogs! Plus, the Nazis would call the Jews "rats!" Completely seriously, Rucker explained that he'd spoken to a philosophy professor, from whom he'd learned the way this sort of thing works.
According to the newly enlightened Rucker, there's a long history of authoritarian leaders who have used animalistic slurs as insults to dehumanize individuals or groups of people! Incredibly, this silly piddle was served on cable last night.
Before we offer a blast from the past, let's review that heuristic:
According to Professor Harari, our ancestors came by some chance mutations 70,000 years ago. These chance mutations didn't make us smarter or wiser. Indeed, it could be argued that they made us that much more dumb.
According to the widely acclaimed Harari, these chance mutations gave us two new abilities—the ability to gossip and the ability to invent and affirm sweeping tribal group "fictions."
These new abilities, which didn't make us smarter, gave us the ability to cooperate in much larger groups. Our ancestors used these new skills to commit the first "ethnic cleansing," driving all other human species into extinction.
We didn't get any smarter. Instead, we learned to gossip and to affirm group fictions. So it was that the New York Times' slippery new columnist jumped on the Omarosa gossip train yesterday morning:
GOLDBERG (8/14/18): Of course, just because Manigault Newman is telling the truth about some things doesn’t prove that she’s telling the truth about everything, including the alleged existence of outtakes from “The Apprentice” in which Trump uses racial slurs. “Unhinged” has lots of evidence-free gossip, including speculation that Trump was sleeping with Paula White, the pretty blond prosperity-gospel preacher who gave the invocation at his inauguration. My opinion of Trump could scarcely be lower, but I won’t be convinced that he floated the idea of being sworn in on “The Art of the Deal” instead of the Bible, as Manigault Newman claims, until I hear it myself. (Lordy, I hope there are tapes.)Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Mainly, though, the slippery climber couldn't wait to pass on the "evidence-free gossip" about Trump's delicious alleged affair with the pretty blond preacher.
Needless to say, the New York Times was only too happy to put this gossip about the pretty preacher in print. Elsewhere, waves of liberal cable stars pretended to be offended by the fact that Trump had called someone "lovely."
Deliciously, Goldberg passed on the gossip. This is the way these idiots think. This is what they are.
As we close this morning's report, let's return to Rucker, writhing about what he learned from the philosophy professor.
Had Trump called Omarosa a dog? "There's a long history actually of authoritarian leaders who have used animalistic slurs as insults to dehumanize individuals or groups of people," the thoughtful scribe had learned. Indeed, "it's a very useful image for leaders to use to try to stir up resentments between Us and Them in a society."
Inside our spartan Cable Viewing Chamber, the youthful analysts roared. They remembered one of the most heavily plagiarized posts in the history of the Net, Jacob Weisberg's memorable post from the 2000 White House campaign.
Candidates Gore and Bradley had staged their first debate, an erudite affair which focused on the nation's health care. That said, an ugly war was on, so when Weisberg posted his instant review, other major "journalists" began to copy-and-paste.
Candidate Gore wasn't simply an animal. He had been "feral" this night!
WEISBERG (10/28/99): Al Gore performed this evening on a stage at Dartmouth College. He told jokes, blasted his rival's proposed health-care reform proposal as too costly, expressed disappointment and anger at President Clinton, and kissed up shamelessly to members of the audience. Bill Bradley was also present at the event.Candidate Gore wasn't just an animal; he was a "feral" animal. Upon release from his cage, he had begun to scamper furiously in every direction at once. He oozed from every pore!
Gore arrived on stage like some sort of feral animal who had been locked in a small cage and fed on nothing but focus groups for several days. Upon release, he began to scamper furiously in every direction at once. Assuming his stool 20 minutes before showtime, he volunteered to take extra questions from the audience. At the end of the hour-long non-debate, he promised to stay and answer even more. As of this writing (10:30 p.m.) he's still at it, sitting on the edge of the stage with his wife,talking about human rights in Africa and offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with a few dozen New Hampshirites.
Gore came across as a kind of manic political vaudevillian. He oozed empathy from every pore, getting all over every questioner like a cheap suit...
(Note the way Gore was criticized for answering citizens' questions. This is what our highly "rational" species is actually like.)
Rucker seems to have been a sophomore in high school at this time. Astonishingly, he graduated from Yale in 2006, after prepping at St. Andrew's (Savannah).
Rucker didn't plagiarize Weisberg's animalistic script, but many big pundits did. It was all part of the ugly, ongoing gossip war which eventually sent George W. Bush to the White House, sending large numbers of people all over the world to their deaths.
Were children separated at the border this year? It has probably occurred to Patricia McClary that thousands of children were "separated from their parents" by all those deaths in Iraq—the deaths for which our tribe's new favorite, the star of Dateline: Cocktail Hour, served as President Bush's large-toothed "pin-up girl." That's what Rucker's predecessors accomplished with their twenty-month war, which included this remarkable instance of "animalistic imagery." Just like the professor said!
Rucker seems like the nicest guy in the world. That said, a pair of genuine idiots were on cable last night, discussing Hitler, Trump and dogs.
Williams' past lunacies are legion; they take several forms. But because, like Burnett, he's highly telegenic, no amount of idiocy could keep him off the air.
Insult was dded to injury as Brian signed off. Believe it or not, this is what the "Harari hunk" said as he ended last evening's entertainment:
WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go here tonight, a couple of numbers in the news tonight that come from two different ongoing stories, neither of which will be judged by history as our proudest moment as a country.In other words, Williams ended by citing the kinds of topics he and his "cable news" colleagues have been almost completely ignoring for the past millions of weeks.
First number is 328. That's the number of days some people in Puerto Rico went without power since Hurricane Maria. 328 days until today when the last customer was put back online.
We've said this before. While Puerto Ricans are American citizens, it's difficult to imagine storm victims in Miami or Virginia Beach or Nantucket living in the dark without power to their home for 328 days.
Our second number is 559. That's the number of children who remain separated from their families as a result of the administration's so-called zero tolerance policy...
McClary begged Lawrence to cover such serious topics. Lawrence said thank, but no thanks. That's the way cable works with lovers of gossip in charge.
For the past two decades, we've searched for ways to describe these puzzling life forms. It seems to us that Harari's heuristic starts to explain the weird behavior these life forms dearly love.
Way back in 1968, Bally tried to warn us about this gang with its highly prophetic RockMakers pinball machine. They showed us an extremely limited humanoid species:
As it turns out, Bally's rock-makers were us!
Tomorrow: On to the professors
Caging the feral animal: Gore and Bradley discussed health care for the bulk of that debate. Here's what the repellent Mary McGrory had to say in the Washington Post about their discussion:
MCGRORY (10/31/99): Vice President Albert Gore came to his fateful encounter with newly menacing challenger Bill Bradley carrying heavy baggage. He was wearing an outfit that added to his problems when he stepped onstage at Dartmouth College: a brown suit, a gunmetal blue shirt, a red tie—and black boots.That's how Mary McGrory's poisonous column began. That standard gossip about Gore's clothing was all she had to offer.
Was it part of his reinvention strategy? Perhaps it was meant to be a ground-leveling statement—"I am not a well-dressed man." It is hard to imagine that he thought to ingratiate himself with the nation's earliest primary voters by trying to look like someone seeking employment at a country music radio station. Maybe it was the first step in shedding his Prince Albert image.
By that time, Williams had spent the better part of a month lodging bizarre nightly complaints about Gore's unremarkable wardrobe and the nefarious motives behind it. This is the way these idiots acted for a solid two years.
This was the debate, by the way, where the press corps, locked in a press room at Dartmouth, hissed, booed, hooted and jeered at everything Gore said. (On-the-record sources: Tapper, Mortman and Pooley.)
Rucker seems like a very nice person. We'll guess he's never heard about that. What happens in those brain-dead press rooms quickly gets disappeared.