Friday, June 9, 2017

CNN bans not 'respectful' dissent, just the contempt Trump deserves

First it was Kathy Griffin. Now it's Reza Aslan. Coincidence that it was a woman and now someone of Persian heritage? If you really believe that, I want some of whatever it is you've been smoking. The issue is Trump and "respect" for the office of the presidency. Trump is beneath contempt, and so is "the office of the president" with him in it. But you can't express that and be on CNN. You can't treat Trump as the vulgar, lying, misogynist, racist, and authoritarian piece of shit he is and be on CNN. Tens of millions of people in the United States look at Trump just that way, but don't look for that point of view on CNN, nor on any other TV network, nor in any daily newspaper, nor in any "serious" web site devoted to news or analysis of current affairs. You can't say this guy is a flaming asshole. Even if you use nicer words or a pun. CNN says it's not censorship. They're open to all points of view. You can say you disagree with Trump, even that you think he is totally bonkers. Just don't call him an asshole, or hold up a decapitated plastic replica of his head dripping with blood, even though that represents exactly what he is doing to civilians in Syria and elsewhere, even children. You can disagree, but not disrespect. But after roughly a half century thinking and writing about politics and protests, if there's one thing I've learned is that tone and attitude are usually way more important than your "position" or "program." Because politics at bottom is not about policies but about different social forces and the interaction, jostling and clashes between them. Your stance expresses that much better than a position paper. The group that *respectfully* disagrees with the "our" president's executive order may be against Trump's muslim ban like I am. But if that is their real attitude, of respectful disagreement with "our" president, then they are at most frenemies. Attitude is what you are not allowed to express on CNN, or even appear on CNN if you've expressed it in another venue. The funny thing is that CNN is still fighting hard to become America's Pravda. I don't think they'll ever wake up to the fact that Trump already has Breitbart and the Daily Stormer.

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