Dynamic tension

I need to hold two thoughts in my mind simultaneously: that I detest Donald Trump and most of his administration policies; and that the press is unnecessarily making things even worse.

I can stomach the attitude that Trump is manifestly unfit because that seems pretty obvious to me and I don’t think the press must ignore the obvious. But what I’m seeing goes further.

The latest example was NPRs 24 hour news coverage. (I’m convinced that 24-hour news makes us stupider and more divided, even when it’s NPR.) Tuesday, they threw a gotcha” question to Ken Cucinelli of the Trump administration: How does the new immigration policy square with Emma Lazarus?

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, …

Cucinelli is apparently not practiced in the art of diversion.

Yes. Your tired, your poor, who can stand on their own two feet and not become dependent …

This provoked the predictable shitstorm on Twitter, some of which probably was pretty witty. But on Wednesday, NPR interviewed some Tweetstormer who apparently is incoherent off Twitter: Immigrants use welfare less than natives so there’s no problem to start with and this policy will vastly reduce immigration.

Presumably this was riveting stuff for many listeners, as NPR intended, but I shut it off then before I, too, became stupid.

I feel sorry for people who set out to suppress their gag reflex and work for the Trump administration for the good of the country. They deserve better than bear-baiting.

August 14, 2019

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