There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. Buffalo Springfield
Another day, another “morning after” in the land of mass murder, you know, the land of the free? A nation in shock, and with little else going on, especially in Washington DC with the summer recess in full swing, the networks are free to let the latest tragedy dominate the full day’s coverage, adding new details, and fleshing out the personalities of the victims. Which should be the first responsibility of the news media after every mass tragedy. Personalize the victims, after all, these were living, breathing human beings a day or two ago, not numbers on a scorecard. But in the America of today, especially in the hate filled apartheid of Trumpmistan, sadly, they all tend to blend together, like a Picasso painting of grief and angst.
But not this time. This one sticks out, and there are enough jagged edges that you just know that it’s never going to fit neatly in its assigned slot in the mosaic. It started early. With the announcement of the location of the shooting, specially when it became public that this particular WalMart was known as “the Mexican WalMart,” because so many Mexican nationals legally drove into El Paso, filled their trunks, and then legally drove right back where they came from, a little tingle started, even in the media. When the racial composition of the victims became known, and details from survivors started trickling out, the tingle became an electric buzzing. And when the contents of the 100 pages of slobbering claptrap from the alleged mass murderer became public, then the hairs on heads stood up at attention.
The media saw it, they knew it, and for once they didn’t downplay it. For the first time since Charlottesville, the words President, racist, and comments were used in conjunction in the same sentence. And it’s not just words. The media are highlighting specific phrases, not only from the El Paso gunman, but from the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter as well and them playing damn near the identical words coming from the mouth of our Racist in Chief. After more than four years of kowtowing to, and light fingering the verbal atrocities of Donald Trump, the media has finally decided to take off the kid gloves, and deal an honest game. And they’re finally letting him have it with both barrels.
This is important, because people tend to pay attention when something snags their interest. And right now, most people are begging for a distraction. Most vacations are done, or just winding down. Many families are getting ready to send the kids back to school, here in Vegas I believe they go back next Monday. People are bored, they’re tired, they’re stuck at home with the kids, and they’re desperate for a distraction, and nothing, and I mean nothing provides a distraction like the almost voyeuristic chills of a mass casualty event that didn’t happen to you.
People may not pay attention to their boss at work, and they may not pay attention to the person on the other end of the phone. They may not pay attention when they’re driving, and they often don’t pay attention to their kids. But they’ll sure as hell pay attention to the details of a mass shooting. They’ll leave the TV on in the background, just so that they can “be informed” of the tragic details. And the details that they’re learning this time is that their President is not only offering safe harbor and comfort to white nationalist domestic terrorists, he’s actively encouraging them through his words and tweets! Now that’s something you don’t hear every day, at least you didn’t used to, until two and a half years ago.
And this matters for a simple, fundamental reason. And that is that the vast majority of Americans don’t spend much time in, or in close proximity to the kinds of places where mass shooting seem iikely to occur. Most adults don’t go to grammar school, high school, or even college, although their kids do. Most adults don’t regularly spend Friday or Saturday nights in bars or nightclubs. And even with a better economy, most people still don’t spend large amounts of time in movie theaters, with or without their kids. But everybody, and baby I mean everybody, goes to fucking WalMart! Many people go to WalMart more often than they go to church for God’s sake. And you don’t even have to buy anything, occasionally it’s fun to just wander the aisles, and peruse the amazing diversity and general weirdness of the people who populate the place 24/7. When you start fucking with Walmart, you’re hitting us where we live.
This is not going away anytime soon. Not for Trump, and not for the Republican party. The timing couldn’t be worse for them either. There won’t be anything more powerful than another mass tragedy to distract people from this for a while, And for the media, the genie us finally out of the bottle, and good luck getting it back in there, with the stopper replaced. CNN and MSNBC are hammering home the relationship between Trump’s language and the rise of white supremacy in this country, and nobody listens quite like the terminally bored. FOX News doesn’t seem to know whether to shit, go blind, or wind their watch. They have no option but to cover the tragedy, but are doing verbal somersaults to try to avoid matching Glorious Bleater’s rantings with the sick actions of these shooters.
Trump’s blatant racism has gone on unchecked and under reported for far too long. Jesus, the guy even proudly proclaimed himself to be a “nationalist” in rally speeches. You wanted that tag pal, well congratulations, you got it! Along with all of the attendant baggage that comes with it. Have a safe flight. On the Hindenburg. And Happy Landings!