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Here’s How The Media Are Lying Right Now: Imaginary ‘Chaos’ Vs. Real Chaos

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There’s media ‘chaos,’ and then there’s real chaos. Washington and the press resent that Americans care more about the real chaos.


A recurring theme in The New York Times’ 2024 campaign coverage in recent weeks is that President Biden’s poll numbers suck relative to Donald Trump’s because voters clearly don’t remember the “chaos” of the Trump years.

The paper’s most recent attempt at making “fetch” happen was in an article published Friday, with reference to a new Times survey showing Trump with a substantial lead in all but one of the six swing states that will decide the election.

“Two of the biggest U.S. news events in decades, the Covid pandemic and the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, are seldom the first thing on people’s minds when it comes to their memories of the Trump administration, for example…,” the Times said. “When asked to describe the one thing they remembered most from Donald J. Trump’s presidency, only 5 percent of respondents referred to Jan. 6, and only 4 percent to Covid.”

In other words, the Times would like to know why you morons aren’t still gaping over the things they believe indisputably disqualify Trump from ever being president again.

Covid was “chaos,” yet it looks like enough people now know the panic was manufactured by the hysterical media (Jake Tapper) aiming to unseat Trump. Jan. 6 was “chaos,” yet it looks like enough people now know it was, at worst, an inconvenient day for Washington, D.C.’s incompetent police force, plus the drama queens in Congress who won’t stop talking about how much they cried that day. None of it compares to what voters are going through under this president.

I call it the media “chaos” paradox. What the Times neutrally declares to be “chaos” is not chaos. That any one event enraptures journalists and TV people in Washington, driving them to the internet and their microphones to scream, “UNPRECEDENTED!” doesn’t require everyone else to care as much or even at all. A tweet is not chaos. A government worker being fired is not chaos. A phone call is not chaos.

The word “chaos” was used in the aforementioned article four times. Though, to be sure, it’s not just the Times that presses the “chaos” paradox. An obtuse editorial in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday asserted, “A second Trump term is likely to be as chaotic and divisive as the first…”

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” co-host and main squeeze Mika Brzezinski pondered aloud last week why more people weren’t sensationalized by the “riveting TV” that is the so-called “hush money” prosecution of Trump in New York. She didn’t use the word “chaos,” but the sentiment was the same — Don’t you dummies get it?! Trump is creating more frenzy, and it’s not good! It’s bad! And this time a porn actress is involved! And it’s sex! What more do you dummies want?!

With apologies to the Marcel Marceaus of MSNBC, outside of Washington, outside of the media, it’s just not that interesting. A person who has sex for money and then wanted money for sex, only to end up as a witness in a bookkeeping trial, just isn’t that interesting. Looking back, a lot of people are inured by the “chaos” that Trump brought, but not because of Trump. It’s because of the media.

When everything is “chaos,” nothing is. They said everything was, and voters now know none of it was. But you know what really is chaos? Precisely the things the media say are not.

Watching your savings dwindle and your debt climb? That’s chaos. Witnessing your downtown decay amid roaring rent costs and business foreclosure? That’s chaos. Lying awake at night wondering when the next global war directly implicating the U.S. might break out? That’s chaos. Watching the border overrun by millions of Third World migrants seeking welfare in America, who are sure to make their way into neighborhoods across the nation? That’s chaos.

For countless reasons you already know, those aren’t matters of urgency for Washington and the media. To the extent they even bother to acknowledge any of them, it’s to insist that the economy has never been better (as middle income-earners actively become poorer), that illegal border crossings are helpful (as local authorities cope with an influx of migrants by rationing public services to real citizens), and that “violent crime” is at a record low (excluding Los Angeles, New York, and also armed robberies and carjackings).

To be fair, that Times survey referenced earlier did show that what a plurality of voters remember most about Trump’s term in office was his “personality.” Well, yeah, because it was unlike anything history has ever seen before. But the novelty — the “chaos” — of that personality has long worn off now that he’s out of office and the vacuum has been replaced by real chaos.

Washington and the media are still pretending to care about the “norms” and the “unprecedented.” But voters know actual chaos when they feel it. And they’re feeling it.

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