Jeff was sitting at the opposite end of the couch—this was in Los Angeles, a couple weeks back—and Leah was in the kitchen and we were all talking over the TV debating when to leave to watch John Wick 2. Checking the clock above the television, I said that it was 9:45. Jeff interjected No, that clock is wrong, but as we checked our various devices, they all confirmed the time. They were dumbfounded.
The saying goes that even a broken clock is right twice a day, but this particular clock is never right. It still moves, just at the wrong interval, making the likelihood of actually lining up with the right time of day the type of math I just won’t do anymore.
Make no mistake about it: a broken-ass clock randomly hitting the right time of day once or twice is what last night’s congressional address consisted of. The media is treading dangerously close to the dialogue of normalization by calling Trump taking advantage of dead troops during a national broadcast ‘Presidential.’1
It’s become almost standard practice to accuse the White House of lying in one form or another—a hell of a problem considering how much the President seems to change his mind. Some of his lies—the bigger, meatier ones—start with the truth. For example, his recent over-statements on his electoral win begins with the truth: he won the electoral college vote. Embellishment can be dismissed as gossip.1 Other lies are just blatantly false from the get-go.2 Like any other shithead salesman, everything is a negotiation. This negotiation just happens to take place over information, and what of it is accurate.
The press will cry about all of this for way too long, but I think the real story—and why Trump was untouchable by the media during the election—has been missed multiple times over. The cascading avalanche of lies is, at this point, better served as a distraction.3 What nobody seems to be talking about are the few times Donald Trump told the truth.
If you aren’t at least somewhat enjoying the White House cutting off certain press outlets from the daily briefings, then you’re just not having enough fun in show business. The journalism industry has spent decades marching itself into irrelevance, consumed by the revenue interests of corporate ownership.1 Now after months of doing the journalistic equivalent of kicking a bucket of shit repeatedly, they’re crying foul about a glorified meeting regarding memos.
The rogue waves set off by the Trump administration have been probably the most fascinating part about all this. Particularly, the concept of “normal.”
Immediately after the election, there was plenty of rhetoric regarding the “normalization” of Donald Trump as President. (These op-eds have continued.) More recently, a rather perfect Jezebel post spread about, the entire contents of which are the sentence This is not normal.
And I wonder, what is normal?