It is believed that the statement, “May you live in interesting times,” is an ode to challenge and excitement. The exact opposite is true, however; the line was originally laid at the feet of old Chinese philosophers, but further research has shown it to be more strongly associated to former British politician Joseph Chamberlain and his son, Austen. The statement is actually a curse, indicating that living in tumultuous times stresses out individuals, groups, and governments, and eventually renders all ineffective.
That has been my issue of late. There is so much that goes on that it is difficult to absorb it all and digest it appropriately. It is only through such contemplation that you can bring up solid, lucent thoughts for people to potentially learn from. There has been a couple of incidences recently that has prodded my thoughts back to life and both involve how supposed “liberals” and “progressives” perceive things.
The first thing was the changes at CNN of late.
In our current media landscape, the lines are drawn quite starkly. There is the uber-right – the Newsmax and OANN (for as long as it has left to exist). There is the not-quite uber-right but the still too damn nutbaggery whack job to take seriously Fox “News.” On the uber-left, there’s MSNBC. There is even an upstart (if you want to call them that) in NewsNation (the former WGN America), who tries to straddle the railroad tracks while the oncoming locomotive is bearing down to destroy them (here’s a note, NewsNation…when neither side believes what you are saying, who is left to listen?).
What ground does CNN have to stake itself to?
They cannot go left of MSNBC, and they certainly are not going to go right of Fox “News” nor the Fourth Reich official broadcast outlets. CNN is left trying to use their past reputation to take back that “middle ground” that NewsNation so desperately wants to stake themselves to (they fail…they have far too many former Fox “News” hosts, they are almost “Fox Lite” right now). To do that, they must anchor themselves at a point where people are going to A) trust what they are doing as factual, and B) be able to make a profit. That is the reason that they have been eliminating some of their more strident “left” voices on the network.
Look, I lament Brian Stelter’s departure from the network. I used to love watching “Reliable Sources” on Sundays because they did present a fairly balanced view of the media landscape, but even I noticed that Stelter was becoming more of the story than the stories he was covering. I am still not sure why longtime reporter John Harwood left CNN as abruptly as he did – maybe it was not abrupt, as he is not a young man? There has also been a longtime move to the center by CNN, with people like Van Jones and Rick Santorum being released from the network.
CNN is trying to be a reputable AND PROFITABLE (this cannot be emphasized enough) news company, walking a center line. What they must do in walking that center line is not succumb to “both-siderism” because there are definitive “right and wrong” situations that do occur. But if they are interested in presenting views from both the right and the left, then their current moves would be in line with that – they just have to keep their interviewed politicians from spewing the toxic bullshit that normally occurs when a substantive conversation on issues is attempted.
The other issue of late is in the discussion of the appointment of a “special master” to look over the documents that were seized during the LEGALLY EXECUTED search of the former president’s escape port at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Let us establish this from the start. I agree with the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, and his philosophies on the Judicial Branch of government. There are NO “Bush” judges, or “Clinton” judges, “Obama” judges, or “Orange Fuckhead” judges. WITH HOPE, they abide by the law, not by who put them in their position. Because if there is one thing that is known, the fastest way to ensure you never see the next position higher is to be a partisan hack – especially in the judicial system.
Remove the emotion from the case. It is ENTIRELY appropriate that an outside individual look at the NON-GOVERNMENT OWNED documents and determine if they should be excluded from the government’s haul. From all apparent information, the intelligence trove (AKA the Top Secret/Secret/Classified information documents that numbered into the hundreds, if not thousands) were intermingled with other bullshit like photos and press clippings, making it so that the government HAD to go through tens of thousands of documents to simply FIND the classified information.
If there are any other documents that should have been left with the government (under the Presidential Records Act), then so be it. The special master has NO authority over those things. The special master also has NO authority over the intelligence information that was STOLEN, so it is not up to whoever is named to decide to return classified documents back to Orange Foolius. Those will stay with the government. However, if there are any other documents – mail exchanges with attorneys, tax information, other business or medical documents – then the government does not need those, and they should be returned.
To be honest, the entire “special master” façade is just another delaying tactic. By the end of this month, the “special master” will have found little to no documents to return to the Marmalade Menace, he/she will state that the FBI has overseen the documents correctly and without prejudice and that they are working an active CRIMINAL investigation on a civilian. And he will be charged, if not before the midterms then immediately afterwards.
Here is the issue, however. Many “progressives” are crying over the decision by the federal judge to hold up the case and appoint a special master to examine the documents. They are crying about how that judge is “incompetent,” or “a fraud,” or even “a criminal.” In doing this, these “progressives” make themselves no better than those who have swallowed the IMPOTUS 45 Kool-Aid.
This same action has become the modus operandi of the MAGA cult. If something goes against them, then it is a “criminal acting for their boss” against their Dear Leader. If there is a law that is passed, it is the “Deep State” that is coming after them. This type of psychosis is NOT something that “progressives” NOR DEMOCRATS need to feed into. Do not fall into this trap of the “they’re incompetent/a criminal/a fraud” when a judge or elected official does not do something that you approve of – it makes you no better than the cult members who follow IMPOTUS 45.
If either side is to have any credibility, that cannot happen. BOTH SIDES need to return to a FACTUAL basis and knowledge-based discussions – and sometimes that knowledge is not going to be something that you agree with. Instead of leaping to the latest conspiracy theory bullshit, try to engage some thought before you offer commentary.