“INSIDE RESISTANCE” IS THE
HOT ANTI-TRUMP MEME
The latest salvo in the war on Donald Trump is an op-ed commentary in The New York Times purportedly from a member of the White House “inner circle.” This writer, whom The Times refuses to identify, claims to represent “inside resistance,” a group of staffers devoted to keeping the President from following his most erratic impulses.
The question that comes immediately to mind is…
Does this person actually exist — which is to say, Is this really a Trump minion? — or has The New York Times perpetrated a hoax?
What a horrible thought to have about the nation’s so-called newspaper of record. Isn’t The New York Times that legendary bastion of journalistic integrity known for bringing us “All the News that’s Fit to Print”?
Sadly, this is the paper I’m talking about. Worse, the question doesn’t seem at all outrageous.
The Times has campaigned fiercely against The Donald. And while maintaining a strong editorial stance is an old and respected newspaper practice, there’s ample reason to suspect that the famous “Gray Lady” has allowed opinion to distort its reporting policies — through selective editing, story emphasis, and other techniques of reader influence.
The New York Times is hardly the only news outlet to take out after Trump.
Last month the Boston Globe rallied some 350 papers around the country to coordinate their editorial pages (on Thursday, August 16) in protest of The Donald’s claim that the media are massed against him.
Do you catch the irony here — or is it just me?
Now of course, the Times’ op-ed could very well be entirely authentic. There might be an “inside resistance” of Trump staffers attempting to manipulate their boss.
This online graphic, circulated by the lefty Occupy Democrats group, cites remarks attributed to several Trump henchmen. Indeed, The Donald himself has been known to be less than charitable toward his own people in some of his more notorious tweets. And one can’t forget the revolving door that characterized the early months of his administration. (All of which may suggest that cultivating loyalty among his employees is not one of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths.)
Nevertheless, I don’t feel it’s unfair to question the authenticity of the Times op-ed, and neither do a lot of other people. As a nation, we’ve arrived at a point where skepticism is the default reaction to anything written about The Donald.
And that creates a rather dicey situation.
What if Trump really is as erratic as the unnamed writer suggests? What if he’s planning to do something that could be absolutely catastrophic for the nation?
And then what if The New York Times or some other media outlet gets wind of it and plasters a banner headline across the front page?
Would the public believe it?
Should the public believe it?
We’ve heard the cry of Wolf! so many times by now — there have been so many vicious insults and wild, over-the-top charges — that we’re inclined to shrug off pretty much anything as just another outburst of media hysterics…
Trump is a Fascist.
Trump is a racist.
Trump is a sexual predator.
Trump hates women, children, old folks, veterans, immigrants — fill in the blank.
Trump’s an all-’round mean guy.
I suspect that even people on the Left are close to Trump-derangement burn-out these days.
The press has always been partisan. Moreover, the political instincts of news people have generally skewed leftward. You can go all the way back to Lincoln Steffens, an early 20th-Century reporter who visited the post-revolution Soviet Union and then came home to write what is probably the most memorable statement of wishful ideological thinking in the history of expository prose…
“I have been over into the future, and it works.”
But overcome by blind hatred of Donald Trump — journalists as well as their corporate superiors — and with their inexplicable embrace of some weird ideal of elitist-driven socialism (in which they’re the elite), today’s media have squandered what credibility they had.
They have abdicated their traditional role (imperfect though it may have been) as national watchdog.
They appear to have simply lost interest in protecting the nation, to which The Donald is bringing tangible progress. They exhibit contempt for those who support him in his efforts.
In some instances, the calumny and obstructionism begin to smell like something very close to actual sedition.
This attitude would seem suicidal in light of the huge losses which traditional media, especially newspapers, have suffered to the Internet and the rise of alternative (generally conservative) outlets for news and opinion.
(Of course, their fellow lefties in Silicon Valley are doing everything they can to squash this competition. But that’s for another blog post.)
It speaks to a failure of faith in the very concept of nationhood that’s clearly evident in the widespread media opposition to Trump’s energetic enforcement of border security.
Also, I think it tracks with a decline in religious commitment.
Not that news people were ever known for avid churchgoing. More often than not, cynicism has been the religion of the hard-boiled news hound — an outlook that, admittedly, can be an asset in getting to the truth of things.
But as people in general have fallen away from long-held church affiliations, the notion of a special moral role for our country has lost its potency. This has given media folks license to display their disdain for all things American, all things religious, all things traditional.
The result is this endless flood of unbridled assaults on Trump, whom they see as the living icon of uncouth jingoistic Americanism and an obstacle to achieving their elitist ideal.
“Journalism, as a profession, must address the factors bringing about its own destruction.”
We need robust, ethical, trustworthy media.
We need that watchdog.
We need to be able to read all the news that’s fit to print.
A strong Trump supporter — not, in all likelihood, a subscriber to The New York Times — created this poignant meme that’s currently circulating online…
Ryan Cooper, national correspondent for The Week — and no fan of Donald Trump — has is own suspicions about the “inside resistance” described in that Times essay…
“If there were real organized resistance to Trump within the administration or the Republican Party more broadly, these people would be doing dramatically more than they are. If they really believe Trump is a danger to the nation and world — and he is — it should hardly be a mystery what to do about it.”
And Cooper raises a pertinent point…
“if this Times op-ed writer were really so concerned as to undermine Trump from the inside, then what in God’s name is he or she doing publicizing that effort in the biggest newspaper in the land?”
Christian Whiton, who was a State Department deputy special envoy under George Bush, believes the unnamed writer is someone who works in the Trump Administration, but at a much lower level than the op-ed claims. Writing in The National Interest, he sees the media as so desperate to convince people that Donald Trump is unfit to be President, they’re trolling for any government officials who…
“say they work for the president and could stretch the truth to being part of the population of ‘Trump appointees’ cited in the op-ed, even though they are mostly career bureaucrats detailed temporarily to the NSC from agencies like the State Department, Department of Defense and the CIA. Most of these people are patriotic and diligent, although some inevitably pursue their own agenda, especially when a Republican sits atop the executive branch. Luckily, this cohort of staff matters less in the Trump administration than any other in modern time: Trump has pulled policymaking up to the level of his cabinet and himself.”