network1976

Not going to take this anymore

I have already canceled my subscription to the Washington Post.

The New York Times is next on my hit list.

I stopped watching the news networks right after the doofus FBI director opened his yap and the top story became: There are more Clinton emails. We don’t know what is in them, but we’re going to talk about them for days anyway.

I broke my fast, sort of, on Monday night, with a couple of shows that promised satire to put a bow on the end of the world as we know it.

First, there was Samantha Bee, the Canadian export who has been pinning the tail on the jackass most consistently these past few months.

In her opening monologue was this: “Evidently, a critical mass of Americans find a normal, center-left policy nerd less likable than a vindictive, pussy-grabbing hate-Zamboni who jokes about killing his enemies.”

Q: Why don’t you like Hillary Clinton?

A: I don’t know. I just don’t like her.

Then, I watched a Saturday Night Live roundup of its election skits, introduced by Tom Brokaw, the sage from South Dakota, who said Americans had been assaulted with language that left them wailing, “Oh, my god, did he – did she? – say what I just heard?”

She? What the hell did she say?

Maybe one of Trump’s conspiracy theories is true – the media were plotting all along for the bonanza of having a certifiable lunatic in the White House.

I’d planned to watch election night – I’d gone the distance every time since Kennedy-Nixon.

So, Tuesday, at 8 p.m., I first sample CNN, have my fill of Wolf’s giddy hyperbole in about a minute, switch to MSNBC, chuckle at Brian Williams playing point guard for the junior varsity, and attempt to settle in with Lester Holt & Co. on NBC.

At 8:59 p.m., my daughter Lacey, down the road in Burlington, sends me a text: “Do you think he’ll win?”

“No. But still uneasy. Should have been a joke. It’s not.”

It’s early, but the chips aren’t falling for Clinton. Florida is looking funky again. Chuck Todd and Brokaw on NBC are cracking jokes about Bush v. Gore.

At 10:14 p.m., my daughter Kate phones from Tucson. “I’m nervous,” she says.

“Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people,” I reply.

She passes on my comment, with an uneasy laugh, to the party guests in her house.

“I’m going to watch a movie,” I say.

I switch from the election coverage to Tarantino’s latest indulgence, The Hateful Eight.

Let the bloodbath begin.

When Samuel L. shoots Bruce Dern, my computer flashes Trump wins Florida.

And so it goes.

Kurt Russell projectile vomits blood – Trump takes Ohio.

Channing Tatum gets his head blown off – Trump captures North Carolina.

By the time all the bad hombres are dead or dying, the headline is: Trump on the verge of an upset.

Upset? Who says?

Not exactly Clay over Liston. Villanova over Georgetown.

Did someone forget to poll the dimwits, patsies, incorrigibles, paranoids, nihilists, bigots and apocalypse enthusiasts?

Upset or death wish?

After midnight, it’s clear Trump is going to win.

Why am I laughing?

Anxious to see the future, I retreat to Mad Men on Netflix. Don is sleeping with his daughter’s teacher.

At 1:09 a.m., Kate sends a text: “I cannot believe it!”

I reply: “I’ve already canceled my Washington Post subscription. Will do the same with the New York Times. May block all news channels on my TV. Not kidding. I never want to see that man’s name in print again, see his face again.”

At 2:35 a.m., the AP calls the election – Trump Triumphs flashes on my computer screen.

At 2:40 a.m., Kate texts: “NPR fooled me.”

“They’re the fools.”

Some folks at NPR probably voted for Bernie. Or Adlai Stevenson.

And let’s have a big hand for John Kasich, who wrote in John McCain – Why not Dewey? Or Wendell Willkie? – and all the other Never-Trump fraudsters in the GOP.

On Wednesday, I start the day as I always do, at the computer in my home office.

There’s a text from daughter Jodie, in Toronto, a cartoon of a young angel with a tablet, talking to god. “The system has crashed, even the atheists are praying,” the caption reads.

There are more doomsday cartoons and memes in my email, from my cousin Ylain in Manhattan and Pal Hal in Vancouver.

Last time I talked to Ylain, she told me, “I don’t know anyone voting for Trump.”

Out of habit, I click into the Times, remember all the appalling coverage of the campaign, click out without reading a single story, and realize I’ll have to return to the site to cancel my subscription.

(Just after Trump announced he was running , I warned that the Times and the rest were playing with poison.)

It’s Thursday, and I’ve yet to read a story about the election, watch a second of TV news, see a single clip of Trump in victory or Clinton in defeat.

I return to Season 3 of Mad Men. It’s 1963.

The only black people are maids and elevator operators. The wealthy white people are drinking and smoking and screwing around.

JFK is shot.

Make America great again.

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One thought on “Not going to take this anymore

  1. I’ve been an avid reader since I subscribed. I think you’re, like me, a former Unipresser, yes?

    Anyway, I’m with you. MLB Network is now my TV of choice.

    However, I’m coming out of my funk and realizing that we who are still here in American need to dig in and make a stand. And guess what? There are more of us than them, although there are a disturbing number of them.

    Of the people who voted (slightly more than half of eligible voters), 47% of voters surveyed said they wanted to continue Obama’s policies or pursue more liberal ones, according to an NBC exit poll. The figure for those wanting to pursue more conservative politics was 46%.

    The same exit poll had 49% of voters saying Obamacare was about right or didn’t go far enough. Just 45% percent said Obamacare went too far.

    In other words, the world didn’t change on Tuesday. We have a country that by a small margin wants Obamacare and a progressive agenda.

    By any measure, this was not a wave election in which a large majority voted for sweeping change. The American political landscape hasn’t undergone a shocking reconfiguration. Large swaths of white working class voters felt decided to stick it to Clinton and the Democrats for various reasons, including simply feeling abandoned.

    All this points to the fact that American democracy is broken. For the second time in 16 years, the candidate that won the popular vote had been denied the presidency. Surely when all votes are tallied in all House races, the number of Democratic votes will far exceed the Republican votes. Yet because of gerrymandering, the Republicans control the House by a wide margin.

    The Republicans will overreach and try to impose an agenda that let’s say the majority doesn’t want. That’s the tragedy but possibly an opportunity for a rebound.

    A person whose financial requirements are modest and whose curiosity, skepticism, and indifference to reputation are outsized is a person at risk of becoming a journalist.

    Like

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