Chickens, when beheaded, do not know that they’re dead. They run around, spurting blood and making a mess for a while in a fit of nervous expulsion. If the chicken isn’t beheaded quite right, the parts of the brain that sustain survival functions — respiration, movement, heartbeat, excretion — still exists. The chicken can live for quite a long time in this visionless, morbid state, but one wouldn’t exactly call that existence living.
So the media finds itself: half-brained, blind, but still flailing around. It’s not quite alive and certainly not useful, but it’s not dead either.
The irony is that these pressies blinded themselves and like the notorious headless chicken, Mike, needed to be dropper-fed by an Obama administration willing to keep them alive for their helpful novelty. Mike, the Mainstream Media, loved being a pet. Being blind and incapable of caring for itself, it trusted in the almighty state lead by Barack Obama. They didn’t even need to think to survive. They simply had to trust. And trust, they did.
The constant care and feeding is over, now. Donald Trump knows his enemies and the headless chicken media is chief among them. They know it, too, and their malice is revealed in this bizarre piece by Jack Shafer at Politico:
In his own way, Trump has set us free. Reporters must treat Inauguration Day as a kind of Liberation Day to explore news outside the usual Washington circles. He has been explicit in his disdain for the press and his dislike for press conferences, prickly to the nth degree about being challenged and known for his vindictive way with those who cross him. So, forget about the White House press room. It’s time to circle behind enemy lines. [Emphasis added.]
First off, who was keeping the media hostage? Certainly, Mr. Shafer is not suggesting that the media’s willing servitude to the Obama administration was like being jailed.
Second, why is Donald Trump the enemy? If he’s the one who frees you, isn’t he just doing his job as incoming president of the United States? Doesn’t that mean that fourth estate has found the purpose it was always supposed to have?
Third, why didn’t the media cover the executive branch with such tenacity before Inauguration Day? Why didn’t the media fight for freedom during the Obama administration?
Then Shafer admits this shameful bit:
Washington reporting has long depended on a transactional relationship between sources and journalists. Journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.
No, that is not true, Mr. Shafer. It is only during Democrat administrations that this sort of incestuous trust develops. Politico reporters getting approval before going to print, for example, happened during the Obama administration. That’s not something done during Republican administrations.
During Republican administrations, the media is hateful. Donald Trump is just the first, in a long time, to acknowledge it. Ninety-plus percent of the media vote Democrat. They’re constitutionally biased to help Democrats achieve their ends because Democrat ends are media ends. Their goals are one and the same.
Where Republicans have gone wrong is not recognizing the press for what it is: a very vindictive headless chicken. They made the job of this rabble easy. They thought if they played nicely, accepted the false premises, consented to being labeled heartless (“compassionate conservatism” was a tacit agreement that conservatives aren’t compassionate — except for us, the compassionate ones), that the media would be fair. No. They aren’t. No, they wouldn’t.
So, Donald Trump is here and the press is out for blood:
As Trump shuts down White House access to reporters, they will infest the departments and agencies around town that the president has peeved. The intelligence establishment, which Trump has deprecated over the issue of Russian hacking, owes him no favors and less respect. It will be in their institutional interest to leak damaging material on Trump. The same applies to other bureaucracies. Will a life-long EPA employ take retirement knowing he won’t be replaced, or if he is, by somebody who will take policy in a direction he deplores? Such an employee could be a fine source. Trump, remember, will only be president, not emperor, and as such subject to all the passive-aggressive magic a bureaucracy can produce. Ditto the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and even conventionally newsless outposts like Transportation and Labor.
There will be leaks galore. The media, enraged at their impotence, and, frankly, starving, will be on the prowl for agencies that will spoon feed them what they need: Dirt on their enemy.
The question will be whether this works. It remains to be seen. The behavior thus far has appalled Trump voters and even some Trump abstainers. Stories of pee spread with glee and turning out to be false call into question every ridiculous leak that comes next.
Donald Trump will hopefully keep on keeping on. A couple fired departments, yes, whole departments, would not only save the taxpayers money, it would also make over-powerful bureaucrats rethink their status. Rather than being overlords, they’d have a little perspective that they serve the people (something the jaded, post-cynical Shafer has totally lost sight of).
Being a headless chicken has its perks. No real thinking has to be done. The chicken doesn’t see threats and can, without shame, rely on his master for his existence. That’s what the media has done for eight years — shamelessly and faithfully trusted in the man, the myth, the legend Barack Obama.
Once so blinded, eyesight doesn’t grow back. Once made dumb, the reason doesn’t return. Rather, the chicken flails around seeking sustenance. Let’s hope this chicken starves and a new, fairer, more truthful, and thinking media replaces it.