Monday, July 06, 2020

The shield and sword of the Party

The sheer ingratitude of some people. Here's the poor Fair 'n' Balanced Network, working its head off on behalf of the Trump campaign, and all it hears from the top of the food chain is this kind of stuff:

You get the idea that the mean people at the White House simply aren't paying attention, so perhaps we can help a bit. Here's the No. 2 story from the Monday homepage (image at top):

Joe Biden tweeted Sunday night that if he gets elected, his administration “won’t just rebuild this nation — we’ll transform it,” raising speculation online about what exactly in the country will be transformed.

See? Active voice and everything!

The tweet comes after a politically charged Fourth of July weekend, as the country works to manage a new surge in COVID-19 cases and tries to emerge from weeks of tense protests that have resulted in a widening divide between Democrats and Republicans.

Biden’s tweet did not specify what exactly he means by transforming the country. His critics from the left have expressed concern that he served in the upper echelon of government for over 40 years and didn't help solve these major issues in the past. His critics from the right insist that a Biden White House will take marching orders from the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party. Some conservatives say his vice president pick will be an early indicator of his administration's direction.

Gotta love the style touch on "the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party." But at this point, you should have figured out why this is a top campaign story. One of the scariest monsters under the Fox News bed is the scary Kenyan dude's "promise" to "fundamentally transform" the country, so anything that calls that to mind is a win from the outset. (Somehow Ronald Reagan's similar claim from 1989 always goes unmentioned: "We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world.") Still, of course, any claim about transformation needs context and sourcing:

... Scott Morefield, a media and politics reporter for the Daily Caller, responded to Biden’s post and said the transformation Biden was referring to would be the country's turn “into a socialist hellscape."

Well, there's that. Anyway, by evening, there was a fresh campaign story in the same spot:

A prominent Delaware law firm founded by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for between $150,000 and $350,000, according to records released Monday by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration.Wonder how we'll put that into context?

The Trump campaign told Fox News that the records conflict with recent messaging from the Biden campaign that the PPP program is both ineffective and a vehicle to reward Trump "cronies."


“Instead of attacking President Trump as an involuntary reflex, maybe Joe Biden should just say ‘thank you’ once in a while," Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh told Fox News. "The PPP saved 51 million jobs nationally, including at Biden’s old law firm and a number of companies connected to Obama administration alums. A very likely explanation is that Biden simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and would rather make a political weapon out of a program that helped people make their rent and mortgage payments.”

Fox, of course, has had lots of practice over the years combing through its Biden
files, so none of this is especially surprising as Fox turns up the campaign burners. One reason you don't see much coronavirus coverage at the top of the page is that it's hard to fit into a campaign narrative, unlike (say) the morning's No. 4 story and its random tweets that support the Two Minutes Hate:

Colin Kaepernick was ripped on social media over the weekend over his tweet denouncing the Fourth of July holiday -- which comes about nine years after he was celebrating America's independence.
The perfect journalism passive: when the subject obviously knows what it's doing ("2 arrested for defacing statue"), why bother to mention the subject?

Kaepernick posted a video showing the Ku Klux Klan, police brutality, slavery and lynchings. He denounced the nation’s 244th birthday as a “celebration of white supremacy.”

... Social media sleuths dug up a Kaepernick tweet from nine years ago where the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was asking everyone to have a “blessed day.”

“Happy 4th of july everyone I hope everyone has a blessed day,” he wrote at the time. 

Somehow I'm not getting the existential threat here, but at least it's a chance to throw some free publicity toward one of the deep-catalog loonies running for office this year:
No doubt there will be more tomorrow.

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