Friday, March 17, 2017
Freedom Is Eating Steak Well Done With Ketchup
There really was a liberal media bubble, Nate Silver reports, and the only thing wrong with his assertion is that it's in the past tense. The lack of diversity among journalistic ranks—even the sort of racial and sexual diversity championed every day in the pages of the Washington Post and New York Times—makes it easy for consensus to form and harden into unshakable groupthink. The media is a crowd without wisdom. There is hardly any variety of opinion, independence of mind is mocked and ostracized, and reporters increasingly are twenty- and thirty-year-olds living in either New York City or D.C. who are addicted to Twitter, where they out-snark each other to determine who can assume the best pose of knowingness. "As a result," Silver concludes, "it can be largely arbitrary which storylines gain traction and which ones don't. What seems like a multiplicity of perspectives might just be one or two, duplicated many times over." Perspectives that Donald Trump is an oaf or Hitler or an oafish Hitler and Republicans are, in a word, awful.
The remarkable thing is the bubble did not pop or even tremble after the election was over and the unthinkable had occurred. Instead it hardened into a shell, an impenetrable dome of the sort that walls off Chester's Mill, Maine, in the novel by Stephen King. We moved effortlessly from a world in which Brexit would not happen and Donald Trump could not win to a world in which Putin colluded with Trump's henchmen to influence the election and the Trump presidency was on life support after only 50 days. The hysteria and mob-like denunciations that greet every utterance of this president, each step taken by his team, have become routine. What has been normalized in these first two months is not Trump but the paranoid bad faith imputed to him.
In Washington under Trump even so rudimentary an activity as eating has become politicized, weighted with aesthetic and class significance, put under the jurisdiction of social arbiters who declare what is woke and what is haram. "Actually, How Donald Trump Eats His Steak Matters," proclaims...
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