The TV Run State
June 14, 2019 9:42 AM   Subscribe

“Millions of other people watch all this as well. It’s true that the broader Fox project was always to make those viewers—Trump, your septuagenarian relatives, and everyone else feeling as though the elite liberal cultural complex has quietly been robbing them blind through much of their adult lives—receptive to conservative politics. But the actual election to the presidency of a Fox News addict whose understanding of politics is shaped wholly by the television he watches and his own legacy grievances and biases presents a different suite of challenges. Trump’s towering incuriosity and impatience with other people have ensured that, despite having a massive intelligence-and-policy apparatus at his command, he continues to get most of his information from his television.” The Man Who Was Upset (New Republic)
posted by The Whelk (21 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 


I've said it before, I'll no doubt say it again: All of his tweets make more sense when you precede them with "Long-time listener, first-time caller...".
posted by Etrigan at 9:59 AM on June 14 [29 favorites]


This is really good--it'd be worth reading just for the Trump-themed cartoon-(you know, for kids)-slash-pump-and-dump scheme.
posted by box at 11:26 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I've said it before, I'll no doubt say it again: All of his tweets make more sense when you precede them with "Long-time listener, first-time caller...".

On a British comedy panel show, Rich Hall said that anything Trump said could be punctuated by the sound of a beer can opening.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on June 14 [9 favorites]


On a British comedy panel show, Rich Hall said that anything Trump said could be punctuated by the sound of a beer can opening.

Put another way, Trump is the "hold my beer" president.
posted by ensign_ricky at 12:58 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


This article is really good, and worth it for these little tidbits alone:

"But Trump is not playing chess. The man is playing Hungry Hungry Hippos."

"the Fox News Cinematic Universe"
posted by nubs at 1:14 PM on June 14 [22 favorites]


Trump never declined an opportunity to fish a quarter out of the toilet when the situation presented itself. That reflexive and amoral avarice is one of the ignoble truths of Trump, but it’s subsidiary to the most important and elemental fact about the man, which is that he never does or says anything new.
Hahaha/ yeahno - ‘...the most important and elemental fact about the man is that he never does or says anything...’ that he doesn’t believe will not result in an increase in his splendiferousness. Or ‘.... never does or says anything ...’ that he’s thought about for more than six seconds ... two seconds ... someone has suggested to him could increase his splendiferousness...
& etc etc etc

Which is to say though O liked a lot of this a lot, I think it missed the real core of the Trump thing - it is all and only about him and he’s a bit of a limited person.

I’m so sick of this shithead even being a matter of discussion - I think the most effective route to sabotage him would to (somehow) make him realize his own shortcomings and then the resultant realization that everyone around him - everyone - is taking advantage of them, manipulating him for their own ends.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:15 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


David Roth's writing on Trump is illuminating, easily the most clear-eyed assessment of the man's motivations and abject incompetence I've come across, in addition to being really funny and cathartic.

Most of his writing on this topic is on deadspin.com with the tag The Big Wet President. If you enjoyed this article you'll also enjoy Donald Trump Wants This More Than Anything (2019/06/05); You Can't Get There From Here (2019/01/26); This Is All Donald Trump Has Left (2018/11/12); and The NFL Is Too Dumb To Realize That Donald Trump Is Never Going To Stop With This Shit (2018/06/05).
posted by smokysunday at 3:56 PM on June 14 [11 favorites]


This guy can really write!
posted by supermedusa at 4:59 PM on June 14


He writes with the same unrepentant cynical derision as Matt Taibbi (or HST for that matter), but apparently lacking any real insight in terms of policy or ramifications beyond the fixation with the most shallow aspects of pop culture and pop psychology. Seriously, “impressiveness”? I think that’s what most psychologists would refer to as narcissism.

I don’t know, maybe this piece wasn’t the best place to start for a reader who may feel that MeFi is suffering from a touch of the Trump derangement syndrome. (I am by no means a Trumpist, just more interested in the actuality than the spectacle.)
posted by viborg at 5:17 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


It's weird how people almost never accuse others of "Trump derangement syndrome" without revealing almost immediately before or after that they have very poor reading comprehension. I can't think of a reason that these two things should so often have to accompany one another, but they almost always seem to. Much like shouting at someone for being an "SJW", it appears to be an accusation that reveals a lot more about the accuser than the accused.
posted by IAmUnaware at 6:26 PM on June 14 [11 favorites]


Much like shouting at someone for being an "SJW", it appears to be an accusation that reveals a lot more about the accuser than the accused.

True story, my dad called yesterday to talk at me and complained that new movies have too much 'social justice warrior woke crap'

Who wants to host me for Thanksgiving this year?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:54 PM on June 14 [16 favorites]


Who wants to host me for Thanksgiving this year?

You're welcome at my house.
posted by valkane at 10:04 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


You wanna come to SF? It's been a while since it's been more than me and my folks, I'd be glad to host you!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:18 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I feel like Trump is Homer and we are all Frank Grimes. But yeah he's a classic abuser narcissist and so I have no hope it will end well.
posted by kanata at 3:56 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Who wants to host me for Thanksgiving this year?

I've been going to my friends's place for Friendsgiving for about 9 years now. It's amazing.

However, last year was hard. Usually one of my friends reads something uplifting or special, usually about sharing or some other relevant tone or theme for a modern and progressive Thanksgiving. This is great, but last year she couldn't do it because she essentially burst into tears and we had a group hug.

Still way better than arguing with someone's wicked stupid drunk uncle that's a Faux News zombie.
posted by loquacious at 5:33 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


During the 2016 campaign and increasingly throughout his presidency, though, the relationship between the president and his television channels has become darker and more overtly recursive: Trump watches people talk about him on Fox, filters what they’ve said through the damp wool of his brain and repeats it, and then watches himself saying it on television later that day.

For me Trump has long been mostly about tv, far less about social media.
posted by doctornemo at 6:38 AM on June 15 [4 favorites]


What is frightening is the exports of Fox News talking points - a 69 year old Finnish grandma I know was "but her emails" to me back during the election
posted by hugbucket at 7:43 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


A rather telling sign is that even Fox is insufficiently sycophantic for Trump these days. This morning, he promoted OANN (One America News Network), a channel with ratings just above test patterns but whose hosts are happy to parrot any conspiracy theory as fact. It's like someone gave Lou Dobbs his own cable channel and spiked their coffee pots with amphetamines.
posted by delfin at 8:33 AM on June 15 [5 favorites]


Nah.
posted by Feminazgul at 9:35 PM on June 15


I could understand being frustrated that this article is so heavy on dark-snark put-downs and short on remedies, but the observation of that feedback loop at the end was a novel, surprising, "oh yes, of course" moment for me. I'm glad I read the whole thing but I would not say it was pleasant.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:09 AM on June 17


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