Happiness or Freedom?

Charles Payne brought up an interesting topic on his show Friday on Fox Business.

The Amazon purchase of Whole Foods prompted him to discourse on where we’re headed. Warning: the woman is a liberal par excellence. Judy Woodruff is her mother and her father is Al Hunt, both lefty “journalists.”

Personally, I don’t think you can have happiness without freedom. You can have pleasure, but I can’t imagine happiness once a person is enslaved to the tech world.

I worry that today’s millennials embrace all the devices without a thought of the impact they will have on society. What will happen to personal contact? Relationships? What about employment if robots do a lot of tasks? Are we setting ourselves up as gods in our hubris? Will we dump the family as the foundation of civilized society?

Are any of them pondering the consequences or are Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and tech titans crafting a new world?

It’s troubling.

First Family’s First Foray

President Trump, along with Melania, son Barron and his in-laws departed for Camp David this weekend.

This will be his first time there. Perhaps Barron will enjoy the countryside. Maybe that’s why they waited until he was with them to visit.

However, I wonder if the real reason isn’t because it has taken five months to get all the bugs out Obama left behind. I don’t know this, but it’s likely. I have read that the Green Room at the White House had some listening devices in it and that the walls were opened up to look for them. Can’t you imagine Obama ordering the bugging?

Of course, the explanation was that the Trumps were redecorating and putting in a big screen TV.

Hmm.

Look Back in Anger

Two years ago today, Donald Trump took the escalator down Trump Towers to make an announcement. He was running for president of the United States.

They laughed then. Here’s Charles Krauthammer on Special Report adding his thoughts:

Newsbusters rounded up a basket of truly deplorable comments.

Reporters sniffed that Trump’s campaign was a “carnival show” which threatened to turn the GOP primary race into “a joke.” CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called Trump a “fool,” NBC’s Chuck Todd blasted him as “a political streaker,” and pundit after pundit insisted the real estate mogul had no chance of winning.

“Can we stipulate for the purposes of this conversation that Donald Trump will never be President of the United States?” Mike Barnicle proclaimed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe less than 24 hours after Trump’s campaign kick-off.

Trump’s candidacy was cast as more entertaining than important. NBC relegated it to the third slot on the June 16, 2015 Nightly News, after stories about a fatal balcony collapse and tropical storm. CBS pushed it down to the sixth slot, while ABC’s World News Tonight made it the ninth item of the night, 13 minutes into the 30-minute broadcast.

That night, Trump’s announcement merited less overall broadcast evening news airtime (4 minutes, 27 seconds) than an interview with Rachel Dolezal, a white Washington state NAACP official who sowed confusion by identifying herself as black (6 minutes, 29 seconds).

In contrast, when Barack Obama announced his presidential bid on February 10, 2007, both ABC and NBC led their evening broadcasts with the news, even though it had been anticipated for months. (CBS was pre-empted that Saturday night.)

Looking at the tone of coverage immediately after Trump’s announcement (June 16-17, 2015), correspondents and pundits alternated from laughing at Trump to declaring that he had no chance of winning. Minutes after Trump finished speaking, CNN commentator S. E. Cupp dismissed it “a rambling mess of a speech…I was howling. Howling.”

On MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell snootily asked the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell: “Do you have any doubt that this is anything more than a carnival show?”

Over on CNN, noontime anchor Ashleigh Banfield teased an upcoming segment on Trump’s announcement by asking if it was “hilarity run amuck,” while that night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, GOP consultant Steve Schmidt admitted to “laughing out loud” while listening to clips of Trump’s speech.

The next day on CBS This Morning, an obviously amused Norah O’Donnell relayed that “some Republicans say they’re worried Trump will turn the campaign into a circus,” while the subsequent story by correspondent Nancy Cordes echoed how “party leaders worry Trump’s presence will turn the primary into a joke.”

On the June 16 edition of Bloomberg’s daily political show With All Due Respect, co-host John Heilemann announced: “I do not hate Donald Trump, but I do not take him seriously. I thought, you know, everything that was garish and ridiculous about him was fully on display….Will it get him anywhere close to becoming the nominee or the President of the United States? I think not.”

Many of the 2016 presidential candidates entered the race as long shots, but Trump was the only one to face an onslaught of immediate declarations that he would never win. “He can’t win, but he can get a lot of votes,” columnist E. J. Dionne, a former Washington Post and New York Times political reporter, predicted on MSNBC’s The Last Word.

Over on CNN, the Huffington Post’s Mark Lamont Hill agreed: “Of course he’s not going to win.” CBS correspondent Cordes echoed: “No one expects Trump to get close to winning the nomination.”

The morning after Trump’s announcement, NBC’s Today show relegated the news to a 23-second brief, but made sure to include this insulting sentence: “America’s largest Latino civil rights organization called Trump ‘an exceedingly silly man.’”

That night, NBC’s evening newscast featured a rare narrated piece by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, who unloaded on Trump: “On the one hand, he’s a late-night joke….On the other, he’s the proverbial skunk at the garden party. How does the Republican Party handle a political streaker who knows how to get attention?”

Talking about the announcements one day apart of Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, CNN’s Carol Costello openly fretted how “sad” it was that the media were covering Trump. “Sadly, the biggest buzz surrounds Donald Trump,” Costello rued before displaying the New York Daily News cover showing Trump as a clown.

But in a fit of self-awareness on the June 17 edition of Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, co-host Heilemann acknowledged the liberal media’s disdain for Trump: “For the national press corps and other elites, Donald Trump’s campaign is a pure vanity exercise, and a target ripe for outright mockery, or low-level derision.”

Who’s laughing now?

Now they are angry, an anger that hasn’t subsided in the eight months since November 8.

So much for punditry.

Proof

Yesterday I wrote that the media would assuredly turn the shooter of Rep. Scalise into the victim.

Chris Matthews says in this video that we don’t know what sadness the shooter had to deal with in his life, thereby adding some justification to his heinous act.

It wasn’t an hour after I wrote that gun control would surface that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe launched into a tirade about too many guns on the street. He claimed 93 million people a day died from gun violence. Someone corrected him, but the ignorance of that statement is overwhelming. In less than a week our total population would be gone if that were true!

And then there’s this man on MSNBC:

This is MSNBC counter-terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance, who called for ISIS to bomb Trump Tower Istanbul on an earlier occasion.

Now they have moved on to justifying violence.

Huffington Post writer Jesse Benn tweeted: “For violent resistance to work it’d need to be organized. Individual acts can be understandable, but likely counterproductive/ineffective.”

Earlier he wrote:

Violent resistance matters. Riots can lead to major change (*note the irony of that hyperlink going to a Vox article). It’s not liberal politicians or masses that historians identify as the spark underlying the modern movement for LGBTQ equality. Nor was it a think piece from some smarmy liberal writer. It was the people who took to the streets during the Stonewall Uprising. It was the Watts Rebellion, not the Watts Battle of Ideas, that exposed the enduring systemic neglect, poverty, inequality, and racism faced by that community. Similarly, it was the LA Uprising, not the LA Protests, that led to significant changes in the Los Angeles Police Department. More recently, the Ferguson and Baltimore Uprisings both helped prompt the Justice Department to investigate their corrupt police forces. And since we’re talking about fascism, it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t the election of a moderate centrist (hello, Hillary) or a sanguine protest that stopped its ascent in Europe. It was, primarily, the Russian military, and to a lesser extent the US military; neither of which practiced nonviolence if memory serves.

That’s where we are now. Thanks media!