SNL has now become the voice of conscience and sanity for many Americans. Of course, its messages have no official imprimatur, and, luckily for the fun of the inventors, it has no checks on its balance. After a killingly funny parody of the White House spokesman last week, I knew some of it sounded familiar.
This revolution in communication isn’t over. The 2016 presidential campaign has brought us more dramatic transformations in the art and science of political communication. It’s changed what constitutes an appropriate statement by a candidate or campaign, and changed the content and nature of the news itself. Most of this has been driven by one candidate.
The problem with anyone young is that they have all sorts of positive qualities: energy, fresh thinking, ambition, confidence and so on. But they (necessarily) don’t have the experience that comes from knowing lots of things. From seeing how things play out over time. For grasping the deeper dynamics of any negotiation. From understanding relationships in all their baffling complexity. From grasping what the Serbs call duh situaciji – the spirit of the situation.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) was one of our most brilliant and penetrating journalists. He was also one of our most acerbic. Independent, fearless, and iconoclastic, he spared no one. He made a career out of turning sacred cows into hamburger.
“If data made a difference, graphs of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and earth surface temperatures would melt a climate-change-denier’s denial like greenhouse gases are melting Greenland. If facts had standing, no sane person could maintain that the slaughtered children of Sandy Hook Elementary were actors. If reality had a vote, no radio host could persuade his listeners that Operation Jade Helm, a Navy Seal/Green Beret training exercise, was a false flag operation – a cover for imposing federal martial law, seizing citizens’ guns and transporting political prisoners to FEMA camps secretly set up in West Texas Wal-Marts Continue reading Professor, You’re Fired! Or, the Education of a Trump Voter