I hadn’t tuned-in before. Dateline London is a weekly BBC news program. There is a presenter and four panellists drawn from foreign correspondents based in the UK. They discuss issues of the day. In the latest program President Trump’s Syrian attack bulked large understandably, with North Korea and China also part of the discussion.
I’m mentioning this program because the panel was evenly balanced between progressive and conservatives, Trump supporters and Trump ridiculers. Just kidding! Of course, the panel comprised one hundred (and ten) per cent progressives and Trump ridiculers. One woman panellist put herself in the position of the Chinese wondering how to deal “with the lunatic in the White House.”
It was business as usual, in other words. I am sorry I didn’t catch any of their names. Does it matter? Pick any four or five appearing on the BBC or from the mainstream media generally and you would likely get the same supercilious pap.
The presenter and panellists to a woman and man (three to two or was it four to one? It hardly matters and was hard to tell) were concerned about Trump acting erratically and plunging the world into turmoil. They alarmingly confessed to having no idea what he would do next. Surprisingly, he hadn’t brought them into his confidence.
Trump’s supposed erratic disposition is a figment. In fact he is doggedly pursing the agenda that he laid out in his campaign. Let’s face it; Trump isn’t the right sort of chap – not like, say, that nice, politically correct, Mr Trudeau. The talking heads want him to fail so badly they can taste it. It is nauseating to watch. One woman panellist revealingly expressed particular concern that some progressives had applauded Trump’s actions in bombing the Syrian airbase. That simply wouldn’t do.
But look, I get it, they don’t like Trump. I wouldn’t mind this so much if the panellists had just occasionally, just occasionally, left off their preoccupation with Trump’s disposition and discussed the unholy alliance between Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Assad in Syria and what it means; or the risks of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, or of North Korea fitting IBCMs with nuclear tips. Oh that’s too hard. Let’s concentrate on Trump’s latest tweet or on an purported dust-up between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.
Trump Derangement Syndrome means that the media has become besotted with psychoanalysing Trump, and also his family. Or sensationalising disagreements among his advisers; which, for the information of those who have not worked at senior levels in organisations, is both par for the course and often healthy. A lot healthier than groupthink.
The media have to be dragged into covering real issues. Look, I’m a Trump supporter. This biases my view. I appreciate that. So help me. Where exactly has the man stuffed up since becoming president?
Having an executive order on refugees stayed by hopelessly compromised activist judges does not count for much. Healthcare is notoriously difficult to handle. Trump’s first go failed. It will be time to dance on the grave of this campaign promise if he fails to repeal and replace Obamacare in the next year or two.
In the meantime, Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court. What an outstanding achievement for a Republican president. He may get a chance to pick another one or two from his list of twenty-one conservative judges before his time is up. That would do more to preserve Western civilisation than anything else he could possibly do.
In the meantime, he is tearing down regulations, particularly those which Obama and his job-killing vandals at the EPA put in place; some right at the death of his administration. He has given the go-ahead to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He has removed a host of other environmental obstacles to mining, including coal mining. He has set in motion the process of the rescinding the Clean Power Plan – designed to strangle the use of coal and other fossil fuels in the forlorn and pointless cause of reducing global CO2 emissions.
In the meantime, he has put forward a budget to increase military spending, build the wall, and cut the size of public service numbers; including, most notably, at the EPA.
In the meantime, his administration is working with congressional Republicans on a tax plan to reinvigorate the US economy and create jobs.
My point, without going on and on, is that Trump is pursuing his agenda. I happen to think it’s a good agenda. That’s by the way. What I don’t spot is cognitive dissonance – except among the media. What we are seeing from most of the media is unsavoury; and it is juvenile in elevating trivia over substance.
There are now two worlds. A phantom world created by the media in which Trump is the arch-villain incarnate. And, then there is the real, threatening world: the world of insidious identity politics, of job-killing environmental despotism, of ‘peaceful Islam’, of creeping sharia law, of worldwide Christian persecution, of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, Al-Shabaab (and many other Islamic terrorist ‘Als’), of Putin, Kim Jong-un, Ayatollah Khamenei and Xi Jinping.