The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
The world has truly gone crazy now.
Thank you Donald Trump.
Or “Fuck You Trump,” as Alabama running back Bo Scarborough yelled as the Crimson Tide made its way through the tunnel onto the field to play the Georgia Bulldogs in college football’s National Championship game on Monday night in Atlanta, at least according to Newsweek and the Sporting News.
Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough yells “F— Trump” before tonight’s title game. pic.twitter.com/RhuhRyNFHh
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 9, 2018
How many times in your life have you heard someone say “the world has gone crazy” or “to hell in a hand basket?”
If it was never true before, it is true now.
We are being driven crazy by a man who should never have been elected president in the first place, who didn’t even expect to win the election, according to a new book out by sensationalist tabloid author Michael Wolff. According to a free version of the book posted on Google Drive by Wikileaks before Google deleted it for violating its community standards (copyright), the book makes the case that Trump and his family, especially his wife Melania, were not expecting him to win the election.
“A loss would have been a win for Trump business enterprises,” so the story goes.
But the involvement of Steve Bannon of Breitbart News in the final four months of the election, with libertarian tech billionaire Robert Mercer’s money behind him, helped Trump overcome the mainstream, liberal establishment’s support of Hillary Clinton.
You can now see a little of the book on Amazon. I would not pay for it myself. The author violates many basic standards of journalism ethics, including using material that was deemed “off the record.”
But some of the coverage of Trump’s reaction in the aftermath of the book’s release also violates my own journalistic standards, including coverage by the New York Times itself. I mean is this really worthy of being the lede story in the Sunday Times?
Has journalistic “fairness” simply gone too far in the age of Trump?
Watching the Alabama-Georgia game on ESPN through Sling TV online, we never saw any mention that Trump was even at the game in Atlanta, much less the video footage that is now available at ABC News showing him forgetting the words of the National Anthem. I’m told by some of my readers on Facebook who were watching the game on cable that the Bo Scarborough incident and Trump’s appearance were shown, but not covered as news, of course, since ESPN is simply a cable sports channel with no news division.
It took Newsweek, now owned not by the Graham family of the old Washington Post but Johnathan Davis of IBT Media, whatever that is, to report that Trump was greeted with the message “Fuck Trump” projected onto the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta when he arrived for the game (see photo above).
The message was part of a #ResistNow protest organized by a number of groups opposing the president’s visit to Atlanta, which he slandered after being elected president, saying the city was “in horrible shape” and “crime-infested.” The insults came after Congressman John Lewis, a celebrated civil rights activist who was a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, announced he would not be attending Trump’s inauguration after allegations of Russia meddling in the 2016 election were reported.
Trump responded by tweeting: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime-infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
Other messages projected onto the stadium during the game directed at the ill-prepared president included one that said “No one is illegal” and another saying ”Medicare for all.”
The president also got booed. But if you were watching the game on ESPN, at least through Sling TV, you would not know that either.
Yes, he got bood and this was posted all around the stadium along with towels the crowd waved saying Fuck Trump! Notice the crowd wasn’t shown😛that’s why my friend! pic.twitter.com/i1Pc7g2P47
7:28 PM – Jan 8, 2018
Fans also booed the president’s motorcade as it pulled up to the stadium earlier in the night. Some alleged they had been forced to stand outside the arena in the rain until Trump arrived and was escorted into the building.
The protest group said a number of fans were also waving towels with the message “Fuck Trump” written across them throughout the game.
The NAACP warned that it was expecting several groups to protest outside the stadium.
“Trump has made a terrible decision and is disrupting [the game] with his presence,” the NAACP’s Atlanta chapter had said in a Facebook post on Sunday. It had encouraged protesters to bring white towels to simulate a blizzard, playing on the “snowflake” title Trump supporters have repeatedly bestowed on them.
Good for the protesters.
In other crazy news, there is apparently an actual movement to run Oprah Winfrey for president after her heartfelt speech at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night.
Don’t get me wrong. I was moved by her words like everybody else. But at least one news outlet shared through an RSS feed on our front page had the guts to question the sanity of this move.
Clearly we have, but let me make my larger point.
Cable television was a great idea when Ted Turner launched it, out of Atlanta no less. But of course the corporations who own it now have ruined it. The idea was that if you paid for cable television, you would not have to suffer the ads of broadcast TV. But of course that idea has gone the way of the Dodo bird now. Ads are all over cable TV.
I refuse to pay for it. It is a bad deal.
Unfortunately, now that ESPN has so much money to bid on showing big sporting events, even to outbid the big broadcast networks for programming such as the “amateur” college football playoff games, they are nearly off limits to poor people and those who refuse to pay out the nose for the commercial ripoff that is cable TV. This is another version of the digital divide, which also prevents poor people from reading the New York Times or the Washington Post online.
If the CBS network had broadcast the national championship game, at least they have some reporters who could have let viewers know about the president’s presence at the game and about the protests of his appearance. Yes, we all found out about it the next day, that is those of us who can afford an internet connection.
Maybe the hashtag #ResistNow movement should also be protesting the digital divide and cable television. I am considering a personal boycott of all football next season anyway. The sport itself now seems like an affront to sanity and in the way of public attention to public affairs. At least the #takeaknee movement was something. Maybe we all need to take a knee and not watch football.
Oh, but wait. ESPN now owns all the programming for baseball games too. What used to be America’s great pastime is now simply another commercial enterprise for profit too. Everything is all about the money now.
Capitalism passes for democracy now, in spite of all the evidence that they are not one and the same thing.
There must be some free broadcasting in the public interest and a free press online somewhere without a paywall.
Never mind. The world has truly gone crazy.
Maybe it’s time to move to California, find some legal marijuana field to sit down in and smoke myself into a stupor. Back in the 1960s, there were those hippies who coined the phrase: “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”
I am about ready to join them, only we need to change the slogan to: “Turn on, tune out, drop out.”
Besides, this computer is on the verge of crashing and I’m not sure I can afford to replace it. So unless people get onboard to fund this work, we may be out of the running to be the news outlet for the resistance anyway.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Steve Bannon is out as executive chairman at Breitbart News for comments published in the Fire and Fury book.
He reportedly called Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in June 2016 “treasonous.” Mr. Trump disavowed Bannon after those remarks emerged, saying his former chief strategist had “lost his mind” and marginalizing Bannon’s role in his successful campaign.
Too bad. He was fun to fight, and beat.
© 2018, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.