A Brief History of a Rigged System

Call them the ‘Bovine Media.’ They graze, walk and sometimes stampede as a herd. They seek safety in numbers and, when combined, have considerable weight to throw around. As with any herd, stragglers occasionally wander from the beaten path. Most return. But not all. Brit Hume never did. He became frustrated by the Washington press corps’ soft-shoe treatment of President Bill Clinton; a press corps that had just spent twelve years kicking two Republican presidents in the teeth. When Fox News offered Hume a way out, he took it – wise move – and didn’t look back.

I recall, from memory, a bit of political coverage by Sam Donaldson, one of the bovine bulls of yesteryear. It aired on ABC during President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign. The President took an old-fashioned ‘whistle-stop’ tour around the country, to give speeches and meet ‘average folks’ along the way. As I recall, Donaldson’s coverage focused on everyday citizens being inconvenienced by Mr. Reagan’s train moving through their towns and villages; as well as how difficult it was for some to get a glimpse of the President due to tight security surrounding him (the same President who had been shot and nearly killed three years earlier). The network’s story had little, if anything, to do with the message, most likely heartfelt, that Mr. Reagan shared with those whom he met and spoke to along the way.

When President Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, he also went on a ‘whistle-stop’ tour. His journey also got coverage from the Bovine Media. I don’t recall which of the three major broadcast networks I was watching that summer evening (of little consequence, really, since, like cattle, they’re comprised of similar parts), but the network’s coverage was sympathetic toward Mr. Clinton, focusing on his desire to connect with average Americans. At one point, Mr. Clinton stood gazing from his rail car, and commented introspectively on how that train tour reminded him of why he ran for president in the first place. This purported piece of journalism ran more like a campaign commercial, on behalf of the President, who came across in the network’s intimate portrait as a swell guy, deserving of admiration and support.

This historical illustration of media favoritism, seemingly tame by today’s standards, reflects a larger landscape upon which America’s political discourse occurs. For decades, and counting, a liberally dominated media class has favored Democrats over Republicans, and, along the way, promoted a leftist ideology. This year is certainly no different. CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, among a herd of others, are each more politician than journalist, and both interchangeable and predictable in their bovine mentality, as they provide an ongoing, institutionalized disservice to American voters.

Is the system rigged? … What do you think?

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Based on a True Story

As a mean-spirited 2016 campaign marches on, politicians left and right punishing each other badly, it’s easy to lose sight of one man’s ultimate responsibility for America’s sorry state. Thus, we begin a recurring series of profiles of the everyday, often forgotten, invisible American, all based on true stories.

William B. is 59 years old. He owns and operates a garbage and scrap reclamation business. He has owned his business for thirty-two years. This is what he has to say.

I love the smell of garbage. I breathe it in … breathe it out. The way it feels in my lungs. Makes me feel real … like, human. Reminds me where I came from. Hey, it’s my business, garbage. A guy could never stay in my line of work without being able to get along, with all sorts of people. I mean, you try collecting and selling, basically crap, for a living. (He laughs enthusiastically.) Know what I mean?

Lots of people coming at ya, from every angle … seems that way sometimes. But I know how to get along, how to make a deal with one guy, and make another deal with another guy. And they’re both good deals. Neither one … nobody wants the same thing. No two sizes fits everybody, know what I mean? So I take what one guy don’t want, and I sell what another guy does want. And it all works out in the end of the day. And I make a little money on the way. So, I basically make my living because everybody’s different, everybody’s got something they want to throw out. I like it that way. Because I can see past it, find the common element. Hell, you’re looking at it. (He extends his arms, acknowledging the mounds of garbage that surround him, where he sits on a wobbly chair at a small table).

I see these idiots in politics, they can’t agree on nothing. And Obama, hell, it’s like he won’t even shake hands with a Republican anymore. Unless there’s something in it for him … some kind of angle, ya know? I don’t trust his phony smile … nothing real behind it. Ya see this? (He extends his arms once again, and gestures as if to embrace the pungent air.)

This … is real. Obama … he ain’t.

What do you mean when you say he isn’t real?

Well, let’s face it … I mean I voted for the guy back when he ran, that first time. All that stuff he said he’d do for everybody. You know, like, make our healthcare less expensive. Yeah, right! Everybody’s I know has gotten more expensive … a lot more! Who’s the guy think he’s kidding? And … what else? … He’s supposed to get along with everybody. Make the different people, ya know on the left and on the right, sort of come together and all. And make things work. I mean, hell, we got big problems in this country. But that guy … he don’t get along with nobody … I mean nobody who ain’t in his own party. Just the Democrats. You can’t run a country with nothing but Democrats … know what I mean? So, I don’t know, I just don’t think this guy Obama is what he said he’d be. I think he’s something else.

So, what do you think he is?

What exactly … maybe … I’m hoping you can tell me. (He chuckles softly, then become pensive.) I mean, he just don’t seem real to me. He just … ain’t a real guy. Something phony about a guy who promised to be one thing … and then he turns out to be something else. That’s all I’m saying.