If The Medium Is The Message, What Is The Message?

When he first came on the scene in 2015 as a presidential candidate I was under no illusions of his unfitness for office, I was unaware of his lies about his family and how he got to where he is, unaware of Russian meddling, or of his campaigns alliance with the Russians, not unlike the majority of us.

Lying about where you came from and how you got to where you are is nothing new as white-washing and adding a dose of BS to your bio goes back millenniums. So Trump is not changing Washington if anything he’s just the same as any other politician. The only difference with him is that he has lied so much that any truth he speaks is drowned in the chaos that surrounds him.

With BuzzFeed’s salacious reporting hitting the newswires late Thursday night with these allegations from two unnamed federal law enforcement officers with knowledge of the special counsel’s investigation, and documentation to back up claims that Trump instructed Cohen to lie to Congress. BOOM! Or, so some thought.

Not surprising, Friday morn rolls around and the Twitter-verse and all news media is abuzz with the implications, and the din of calls for impeachment grow louder, and louder, until later that day a rare statement comes forth from the Special Council spokesperson, Peter Carr, in short, saying hold your horses.

Mr. Carr, whose stoicism is so well-known in Washington that he has the nickname “Mr. No-Comment,” wrote: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.

New York Times
BuzzFeed News Faces Scrutiny After Mueller Denies a Dramatic Trump Report
By Michael M. Grynbaum | Jan. 19, 2019

What this statement says, more or less, is that Mueller was cautioning against jumping to conclusions and that reports of some sort of damning documentation to back up Cohen’s assertion that Trump instructed him to lie are, em, overstated, not that Cohen did not say he was coerced, but what proof of coercion the Special Council actually has is not accurate.

See, not the message that Cohen says Trump told him to lie, but rather, the medium, ie. the documentation itself is not as ‘solid’ as the Buzzfeed article would suggest.

Ah yes, but remember, the medium is the message, so, here we are, and now I guess one can say more confused than before.

First a little background on Canadian Marshall McLuhan’s theory;

McLuhan tells us that a “message” is, “the change of scale or pace or pattern” that a new invention or innovation “introduces into human affairs.” 

[…]

…  the message of a newscast are not the news stories themselves, but a change in the public attitude towards crime, or the creation of a climate of fear. A McLuhan message always tells us to look beyond the obvious and seek the non-obvious changes or effects that are enabled, enhanced, accelerated or extended by the new thing.

utoronto.ca
What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message
by Mark Federman – Chief Strategist

Information now travels at the speed of light, as does fear, truth and lies and it is more important than ever to be cautious and to not jump to conclusions. THAT is the lesson, THAT is the message.

Humans being what they are, sometimes discerning fact from fiction can be a tall order sometimes in our fast-paced insta-world, with so much coming at us at once it is wise to always indulge a healthy skepticism and to recognize when that skepticism is warranted, but just as important when it is not.

Media Bias Chart as of August 2018
Media Bias Chart: Version 4.0 This is the most recent version of the chart, updated August 2018 – from https://www.adfontesmedia.com/

Too, be cautious with those who come bearing information that seems too good to be true, or always agrees with your own point of view. Most media outlets have a slight bias, though not all, and it’s important to know your source. {the graphic above is a handy guide}

Now, I am not saying that Buzzfeed is not trustworthy, or otherwise, but their hard-hitting reporting is a relatively new evolution as in the past they were known for viral vids and other tawdry clickbait.

Reality and truth do not often come wrapped up in a nice bow, as I know all too well. Life is messy, truth can be relative, rarely clear and straightforward as we all would prefer. So many factors today are at play and with a president who is the master of deceit and disguise, the water has become murky and hard to see through sometimes to what is truth and what a lie. Everyone has an agenda, and if Trump is one thing he is a magnate for greed and such a master of lies that many try to tag along in his wake of chaos and profit on the divide he has utilized.

Pundits gather around a desk on screen and debate the news and fight over their qualified views, and by the end of it, sometimes are more confused. Gone are the Walter Cronkite days of yore, when one was presented with the news of the day and left to decide the implications at leisure, on our own, in the privacy of our living rooms.

I wonder how someone such as Cronkite would report the news today though, with a president who inserts a lie almost in every tweet, speech or otherwise, in a White House that has made lying almost a fact, as in that if the White House or the president says it there is a good chance it’s a lie. Reporting the “facts” is complicated since facts do not generally slither from this current president of the United States, and highly questionable from his admin and the sincerity of most of his handpicked whatever is unclear at best.

Another message, the caveat here is that with Mueller spokesperson making a rare comment such as this, and by undermining the gist of the article, it is the first time we have had positive statements made from this president concerning the investigation.

In the long run that just might be more important, as this is no Witch Hunt, and the sooner his minions understand that the better off they will be.

In a recent Politico article it outlines how many Americans are still under the delusion that Trump is some self-made business tycoon, even though respected news outlets have reported on his manufacturing of this persona, with documentation to back it up, yet many I guess have tuned out, unfortunately, or just refuse to accept it.

The narrative of Trump as self-made is simply false. Throughout his life, the president has downplayed the role his father, real estate developer Fred Trump, played in his success, claiming it was “limited to a small loan of $1 million.” That isn’t true, of course: A comprehensive New York Times investigation last year estimated that over the course of his lifetime, the younger Trump received more than $413 million in today’s dollars from his father. While this exact figure was not known before the Times’ report, it was a matter of record that by the mid-1980s, Trump had been loaned at least $14 million by his father, was loaned at least $3.5 million more in 1990, had borrowed several more million against his inheritance in the 1990s after many of his ventures failed, and had benefited enormously from his father’s political connections and co-signing on loans early in his career as a builder.

Politico
Many Voters Think Trump’s a Self-Made Man. What Happens When You Tell Them Otherwise? \By JARED MCDONALD, DAVID KAROL and LILLIANA MASON |  January 17, 2019

I mean I did myself until recently. I knew very little about the man and his family, nor anything on how he actually got to where he is and accepted as gospel the character he played on The Apprentice, not unlike many, I bought the shtick hook, line and sinker.

My dislike of Trump was always about his policies, his misogyny, his racist rhetoric and his, well, and that he kind of always gave me the willies.

Trump has been playing with the media since the ’80s, making up pseudonyms in order to insert some tidbit into the news and getting his name in the buzz as much as possible, as he is never happier as when everyone is talking about him. He is a player, a grifter, a conman, and he knows how to play to an audience and has been playing this schtick for a long time, as it’s his cover, his guise, his mask.

And, I guess the next question really is, who is behind the mask?

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