Too Rotten for the Nation’s Good - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Too Rotten for the Nation’s Good
Senate candidate John Fetterman on “The View” Nov. 4 (The View/YouTube)

There are few places where today’s cultural rot is more gangrenous than in legacy journalism. This has been such a problem for such a long time it hardly seems worthwhile drawing attention to it. Imagining that half the country doesn’t care and the other half has given up, it is easy to slip into despair about it and just accept it.

But, thank heavens, Leighton Woodhouse, writing in the Tablet, has brought our attention back to it, writing with a lucid and burning urgency about the case of the compromised media and John Fettermen.

Fettermen is the Democrat candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat that the Republican incumbent vacated. He suffered a serious, debilitating stroke several months ago. Choosing not to drop out of the race, Fettermen avoided public appearances and mounted a fairly effective campaign, hidin’ out of sight and bidin’ his time, just as Old Joe did, and let the corrupt media cover for him.

The best thing for all would have been that Fetterman recovered, and fully; in this savage age, let’s hold on to our decency. The best for us all would be a campaign in which the competing ideas would be fairly and clearly set out and we would win because our ideas and our programs are better.

But the world being what it is, Fetterman is still seriously impaired. Whether he is able to take on the responsibilities of the job he aspires to still is a question that concerns a large percentage of voters.

And because a truthful answer to that question seems increasingly likely to lower Fetterman’s chance of winning, that large percentage of the legacy media decided that the truth must be concealed, and that those who try to reveal it should be destroyed.

So when NBC News’ Dasha Burns reported on Fetterman’s cognitive impairment as if it was a legitimate interest, she was given the woke takedown that has become all too familiar.

As Woodhouse writes:

On Twitter, blue-check journalists jumped in to defend Fetterman and throw shade at Burns. Soon, Burns’ tweets were inundated by thousands of haters calling her “disgraceful,” “trash,” and, again and again, “ableist.” The Associated Press published a syndicated story amplifying the criticism and suggesting that Burns’ remarks had given ammunition to the Republicans. The New York Times published an op-ed deploring her remarks. Savannah Guthrie confronted Burns about it on air. On The View, Sunny Hostin implied Burns had acted unethically. BuzzFeed published an article essentially accusing Burns of putting disabled people at risk of violence. Recaps of the criticisms surrounding Burns’ interview appeared in The Washington Post, LA Times and other publications where they served to legitimate the idea of a controversy that the media itself had created.

The Woke Mobs have proved themselves able to get the objects of their wrath to make public penance or to making the unrepentant into pariahs. They have the burning religious fervor of those who have found True Faith, but a faith cleansed of tolerance, forgiveness, and human decency. Only those caught in its vortex fail to see it belongs to the same species as the modern True Faiths of the great totalitarian monstrosities of the 20th century and their wanna-be successors.

Yet the woke media couldn’t quite contain this one. Fetterman finally came out in public for a debate with his Republican opponent, and suddenly the truth was in the open, and Fetterman was left to flounder excruciatingly in the glare, unable to make understandable, meaningful responses time and again.

Perhaps this has given the media pause. Then again, fanatical commitment is rich humus for rationalization. The elite — and the modern journalist believes him or herself to be very much in the elite — are contemptuous of the people. The people are to be manipulated to come to the truth, a truth they are unlikely to get if we trusted their thinking and felt ourselves answerable to their need to make up their own minds as citizen sovereigns of a democracy.

This elitism has been present in the democratic West for a long time, sometimes to devastating effect. Historian Piers Brendan writes of the rot in the British elites in the press and in the bureaucracy in the lead-up to World War II.

An authoritarian ruling class and an Olympian Civil Service had always seen universal suffrage as a threat to their monopoly. Mistrusting the populace, especially during times of social tension, they never accept democracy — in the sense of accepting that only an informed electorate can properly exercise its vote.

Mistrusting the people, they concealed what they knew and the people didn’t.

But fueled by the conceit of superiority, their playing loose with the truth got looser and looser. As Brendan pointed out, suppressing one truth leads to suppressing others, and eventually, with the skids greased by rationalizations, to actively filling the void of truth with lies.

The government and the press worked hand in hand to conceal King Edward VIII’s infatuation with Wallis Warfield Simpson until it exploded and brought down the king. The drama of Edward’s abdication came just at the moment when Winston Churchill had cobbled together an effective parliamentary coalition to face the threat of a re-arming Nazi Germany.

Instead of having a populace already knowing about Edward’s difficulties, and being able to be make up their minds, the situation suddenly exploded, and only abdication could control the explosion. The entire country was transfixed with the drama. Churchill himself was distracted and was howled out of the Commons for trying to defend the king. His coalition fell apart, and in a matter of months, Chamberlain was prime minister and took the country and the world down the disastrous path of appeasement. Brendan commented:

It was extraordinary that at a time of mounting international tension the vital interests of the country and the empire should have taken second place … to an essentially trivial concern.

Our own press and our own bureaucrats have tried their best to divert us from the ineffectual American response to Iran, the Taliban, and China, our turning away from the momentum of peace established by the Abraham Accords, from the international inflation crisis and the other woes flowing from the bureaucrats’ fantasy dream world of the COVID shutdowns, including the disastrous epidemic of mental disturbance and suicide, especially among the young.

Our elites and our media have led us into the land of lies, headed by a president who is so immersed in falsehood that he not only lies when he thinks it politically or personally expedient, but even lies, again and again, about his own life story and that of his family, even when there seems nothing to be gained by it.

Truth endures long after petty things have been forgotten. It alone can provide the strength for love to flourish and to bring reconciliation. The pandering and appeasement that thrive in the culture of lies are exposed by truth for the counterfeits that they are. Let us not be surprised if this election will be understood by a large majority as their chance to cleanse our country of the lies that have dominated its stage and its government these last years.

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