When Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch wrote his column about how our media has been failing miserably to report on the danger we’re currently experiencing from a Republican party that has embraced many of the tenets of fascism, and a useless media that would still prefer horse race coverage to warning the American public just how dangerous this antisocial movement has become, I’m pretty sure he had the likes of Jake Tapper and Chris Christie in mind, even if he didn’t specifically name them in his column.
As Bunch discussed after first describing the horror show of a debate that many of us watched last week, the coverage following the debate was detached from reality, and the coverage following Trump’s arrest wasn’t much better:
It was a remarkable night of imagery over substance, yet there was little discussion of why this accused felon was getting a phalanx of dozens of motorcycle cops, comprising police who are drawn to Trump’s authoritarian bluster like moths to the light. Trump’s glowering mug shot instantly became the most talked about picture in American history — yet not one pundit was able to explain why tens of millions of everyday voters are so eager to return to the White House this man who attempted a coup on Jan. 6, 2021, or why his poll numbers rise with each indictment. I guess the 20th-century author and socialist Upton Sinclair really nailed it when he wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
America is entering its most important, pivotal year since 1860, and the U.S. media is doing a terrible job explaining what is actually happening. Too many of us — with our highfalutin poli-sci degrees and our dog-eared copies of the late Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes — are still covering elections like it’s the 20th century, as if the old touchstones like debates or a 30-second spot still matter.
Bunch had a lot more to say on what the media is and isn’t doing and what they ought to be doing, and his entire column is well worth the read, to hopefully everyone takes the time to do just that.
In the meantime, we’ve got Jake Tapper and Chris Christie giving us a real life example of why Bunch was right, amusingly while discussing his column, but not all of it or its main points, of course.
Tapper asked Christie about Bunch’s column, but told him he assumed he hadn’t read it, and instead asked him whether he believed his party “has an authoritarian problem” since they apparently had no problem with “violently trying to stop a free and fair election.”
Tapper managed to ask Christie about Bunch’s column without going into a single bit of the criticism of the media which he is a part of, and he allowed Christie to come on his show and lie about the fact that that his party has a big problem with authoritarianism.
Bravo. Jake. You self-owned twice while making the columnist’s points.
“I absolutely don’t think that we have that problem, I think what we have is a Donald Trump problem, and that right now, what’s going on is that people view Donald Trump synonymously with the Republican Party, and that if you oppose Trump, that’s somehow favoring Biden, and many Republicans don’t want to do that for very obvious reasons,” Christie said.
“And I think that that’s why we need to have this full debate and discussion that we just really started on Wednesday night, about who should be leading our party and who should be leading our country. And I’ve said very clearly on the authoritarian side of things, this is Donald Trump’s problem, not the Republican Party’s problem.”
What’s pathetic is that Christie isn’t stupid. He knows what’s going on. He’s still afraid of Trump’s base despite the fact that he’s been out there attacking him. He’s still unwilling to call him what he is, and acknowledge that a whole bunch of Trump’s cult have moved to a very dangerous place.
All of these people need to find their spines soon if we’re going to keep our democracy in this country and not allow Trump and his enablers to destroy it.