The average American’s trust in the media is up slightly to only its second lowest number ever recorded. You know what that means? That’s right, it’s been a banner year for speaking truth to power, preventing democracy from dying in darkness, and sexual healing.
The corporate media continues to hit home run after home run, elevating the discourse, and making sure we all know that no matter what our lying eyes tell us, we’re getting a happy ending.
As such, it’s difficult to drill down to the most heroic of the heroes 2021 has delivered, but as I’m also something of a hero, I did the work. In doing so, I distilled the heroic number of heroes down to five, though I also encourage you to do the work. We’re all in this together.
Chris Cuomo: Bravery in Covering for Your Brother, Whose Deviant Proclivities You Share
Remember when everyone was lauding the Brothers Cuomo? I realize it might be hard to reach back that far as it was over six months ago, but you can do it if you try. Andrew Cuomo was the governor, the one that was taking Covid seriously while Donald Trump was preoccupied with getting three vaccines developed. While it turns out the vaccines are more preemptive therapeutic than vaccine, they’ve likely prevented a number of deaths, unlike Andrew, who most definitely caused a bunch.
At least he didn’t get a chance to be really friendly with those his policies killed, I guess. Harassment and abuse also seem to run in the family, as heroism sometimes does, at least when we’re talking the absolute best families out there.
Because constitutional scholar Chris, like his brother, is also intrusively friendly. Some would call this assault, but remember, the Cuomos were busy speaking truth to power and without Chris’s coverage, Andrew wouldn’t have been able to bring his nipple rings to the world.
Jake Tapper: Bravery in Being More Partisan Than the Elected Democrats You Interview
Jake Tapper is the king of speaking truth to power, and of heroism. He almost deserves a category of his own, except he doesn’t, because he’s just better at obscuring the fact that he’s more adept at pretending to hide his leanings than his contemporaries.
Whether it’s running interference for artist/author/completely honest renaissance man Hunter Biden or bravely losing most of his audience by pushing fear porn, Tapper, who got his start as a campaign press secretary for Democrat Marjorie Margolies, makes sure to give concepts like “fair” and “balanced” a wide berth when presenting the “news.”
Chris Wallace: Bravery in Admitting You’re Not So Objective After All
Chris Wallace is a true profile in courage. While many of his greatest hits occurred in the run-up to Biden’s coronation or just after, he’s not stopped courageously being a hero in 2021.
Now he’s departing for CNN+, the “much-anticipated streaming subscription service.” While it may not actually be “much anticipated,” particularly since the network already lost its airport contract, at least Wallace is unlikely to have to take any leaves of absence for personal behavior, unlike some people.
Jeffrey Toobin: Bravery in Taking Marvin Gaye Too Literally
When it comes to the modern colloquialism “you do you,” Jeffrey Toobin takes that more seriously than anyone. For this heroic act, he received a leave of absence. During his leave, he heroically continued to get paid while also, presumably, continuing to do himself.
Now he’s back and better than ever, if freaking out about the potential end of state-sanctioned homicide and how it might affect his desire to avoid personal responsibility can be considered better. But, given that he works at CNN, those traits are likely considered positives.
Joy Reid: Bravery in Being Unafraid of Labels Like ‘Sane,’ ‘Rational,’ or ‘Reasonable’
Joy Reid is special. She once bragged about jogging in two masks. She sees cultural appropriation more frequently than Haley Joel Osment once saw dead people. She is beleaguered by time-travelers.
Throughout all this, though, she somehow continues to forge ahead, bravely speaking power to truth, not letting truth get in the way of power, and making sure the object of power is power.
It takes a special skill to heroically win such a battle of heroism, particularly when pitted against other heroic heroes, but Reid is the queen. Is that cisnormative? Probably. Maybe she’s the king. In any case, she’s the victor, which is likely a gendered term, even if we don’t know it yet.
Regardless, it’s been a heroic year, one full of absolute champions who were, and are, willing to not let things like “the Constitution” and “voters” get in the way of power. 2022 is promising to be even more flush with, and in need of, such heroes, such champions, particularly if truth continues to get in the way of power. May we continue to be blessed with such stalwarts. The future of the republic depends on it.