Tag Archives: media

Want Health Care? Get in Line, Soldier

BY STEVE BATES

President Trump and leading congressional Republicans have settled on health care legislation that would provide low-cost coverage in exchange for intensive public service, the In Sight blog has learned.

gop health

That public service will require extreme manual labor, which contributes to good health. The alternatives for this public service were still in the “conceptual stage” when this Fake News blog was being written, but an unidentified source with little or no knowledge of the actual GOP discussions said that these are among the options that Americans will be able to choose from:

SERVANTS: Citizens will be able to sign a contract of indentured servitude, requiring that they become servants for rich people. Serving drinks, rubbing sore feet, stoking fires, refilling sherry decanters, cleaning bathrooms and serving more drinks will be among the tasks. Servants with high IQs will help their masters cheat on their taxes.

SOLDIERS: Those with good eyesight and questionable morals will be sent to the front lines in the wars in Syria and North Korea. Freeze-dried daily food rations will be supplied at a reduced cost to these brave public servants. Those who survive will be given the same quality of veterans benefits that today’s veterans enjoy.

CLEAN ENERGY: Americans will be detailed to walk in circles pushing turbines to generate electricity for energy-intensive wide-screen televisions and other devices for the affluent. Even senior citizens with walkers will be able to contribute in this manner.

TRANSPORTATION: Want a sea voyage in exchange for cheap health coverage? Sign up for the galley option and get strapped in with the rest of the rowing crews as they propel military vessels across the seven seas. Watch out for that whip.

CONSTRUCTION: A large number of Americans will be needed to build the wall separating Mexico and the U.S. At first, volunteers will threaten private landowners who refuse to donate their property. Next they will battle coyotes and cougars and fell massive trees as they clear the land. Finally they will carry construction materials on their backs to get that wall done.

SECURITY: Here’s where children and small adults will get their chance to contribute. They will crawl through hollow walls and other confined spaces in the Trump Tower, the White House and other federal buildings to systematically remove all the wiretaps planted by the shameless Obama Administration in its final, bitter days.

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The Bald Truth About Executive Orders

Much attention has been paid to the most controversial orders of the young Trump Administration, such as the one limiting travel to the U.S. from several countries that the president and his national security advisors have labeled “very naughty.” However, President Trump signed other important executive orders during his first two weeks in office. Most of them received little or no publicity.

As a public service, the In Sight blog provides the complete text of these executive orders:

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HAIR LOSS

The $1 billion that was designated for the worthless Joe Biden cancer moon shot will be transferred instead to a new effort to find cures for hair loss and techniques for hair regrowth in aging white men. It’s going to be huge.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Moving clocks ahead one hour and back one hour is tedious and, frankly, useless. Instead, effective immediately, the sun is ordered to shine one hour more every day.

ALTERNATIVE FACTS

A Bureau of Alternative Facts is hereby created within the Department of Redundancy Department. It will provide the press and the public with better ways to measure things. For example, monthly economic reports will always be positive. Do I make myself clear?

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE

Arnold, you tried, but beneath that tough surface, you’re a wimp. You’re fired. Clint Eastwood has the job now. Make my day.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

In commemoration of Black History Month—and it’s a really great month, by the way, really great—I am inviting Frederick Douglass to the White House to watch the Super Bowl and talk about The Blacks. The Blacks really love me, by the way.

MEXICO WALL

Large, New York-based construction empires are invited to bid on construction of the border wall. Project plans with casinos and hotels built into the wall will be given very, very high priority, if you catch my drift.

BEYONCE

Beyonce’s baby will be named MAGA, for Make America Great Again. Enough said.

CLIMATE CHANGE

There has been too much talk about this mythical phenomenon, which all the scientists tell me is a Chinese hoax. Probably it’s a phrase someone found in one of those fortune cookies they give out at the Peking Tom down on 44th Street, which has really good General Tso’s Chicken, by the way. Who is this General Tso, anyway? Is he sort of like the Chinese Colonel Sanders? Somebody look that up.

TIGER WOODS

Tiger, you were the best. But you’ve lost it, my friend. Bad back? Hah. We know it’s too many late nights with too many white women. Time to give up tournament play, my friend. You can make a living teaching golf to rich widows in Florida. They’ll take care of you in their wills, too. By the way, seen the kids lately?

STEVE BANNON

In recognition of the significant contributions of my trusted advisor on national security matters, I hereby direct him never to smile. I don’t think he has smiled before in his life. I just want to make it official.

SUPREME COURT

The U.S. government, within 90 days, will purchase a private island in the Caribbean where designated liberal justices of the U.S. Supreme Court can retire in total bliss. No income taxes; all expenses paid; private yachts; free cable if it’s available, as long as it gets the New York stations. Wait, not Fox. And not CNN. Scrap that cable thing. Make it free pay-per-view movies. And did I mention free one-way air fare out of the U.S.? It’s a deal they can’t refuse.

The Media: Down in the Mud

BY STEVE BATES

The role of the news media in the 2016 election troubles me.

Maybe after the dust settles it will be easier to judge our mistakes and excesses. We are in the heat of a campaign that is completely unprecedented in so many ways. Both candidates have negative ratings with the electorate. One party is in danger of being torn apart. Allegations of sexual assault are flying left and right. The media feeding frenzies that have accompanied these events have been fascinating—like watching a train wreck–but disconcerting nonetheless.

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Most of the extreme media treatment has been directed at Donald Trump, of course. In a sense, the media created Trump as a national political figure. Thank “The Apprentice” and Trump’s birther claims. During the early stages of the 2016 Republican primary contest, journalists interviewed Trump almost nonstop. He was “good copy”—the kind of entertaining interviews that sell newspapers and boost ratings. Because almost no one took him seriously as a candidate, it seemed harmless.

Then came Trump the frontrunner and Trump the nominee. Calling immigrants “rapists” and attacking family members of opponents was judged by the media to be outrageous, and with good reason. Trump’s rallies got ugly, with the candidate failing to urge restraint as his supporters punched protesters and yelled that Hillary Clinton should be jailed or executed. Trump barred some news outlets from attending his events, increasing tensions between the candidate and the mainstream media.

Clinton has been under less of a microscope, in part because she has refused to double down on her own indiscretions. The revelations about her misuse of email accounts were a little too weak for the Trump campaign and the media to make into an earth-shaking scandal. Issues regarding her foundation were also tough to pump up. Her public description of Trump supporters as “deplorables” did not get as much traction in the media as some of Trump’s middle-of-the-night tweets, however. The WikiLeaks release of Clinton emails that some people said proved that she would coddle Wall Street came on the same day that the “Access Hollywood” Trump dirty-talk video surfaced, so it was barely noticed. Timing is everything.

Now, about that dirty-talk video. When I was a reporter for The Washington Post, I covered state and local politics. My editors and I did not have to deal with issues that were this big or this sensitive, so it’s difficult for me to criticize today’s national campaign reporters. Back then, we didn’t have the plethora of blogs and social media that we have today. Instant information sources are competing with traditional print and TV media for the hearts and minds and dollars of Americans. Decisions about what to publish or broadcast are influenced by what people are saying online. News is history in a hurry, and there is immense pressure on editors. Go too far or publish prematurely, and the public and the campaigns condemn you. Get beat on a juicy story—well, that’s not an option.

I get it. But some bits of coverage have been particularly inexcusable, despite this pressure. On a recent Saturday, I watched a CNN anchor pummel a Trump supporter with nonstop “How can you defend…?” questions, so much so that the supporter could not even speak. Another unfortunate practice is the prominent use of question headlines such as “Will Trump Quit Race?”–especially when he said that he would not. And don’t get me started about huge headlines with terms such as “Piece of Ass.”

Meanwhile, legitimate debate about taxes, jobs, immigration, foreign policy and other key issues gets lost. Moderators on the televised debates have raised some of these issues, but these moderators have also gotten down in the mud with Clinton and Trump by asking them to respond to each other’s allegations and personal flaws. And the moderators wonder why they have a hard time getting the candidates to behave like adults.

Trump has done himself a lot of damage this year. Clinton has shot herself in the foot as well. We don’t need the news media destroying them—and the media’s own credibility–at the same time.