Monte Python has given us much more than a lot of laughs. Using scenes from medieval Europe, his troupe sets up the backdrop for a contemporary story that is unfolding before our very eyes. Who can forget the burial crew working their way through the city during the great plague with large pull cart? The cart is loaded with corpses as the lead character cries out, “Bring out your dead!” One poor soul is carried out to be thrown onto the cart as he argues, “But, I’m not dead yet! I’m just hungover!”
In another scene, we remember the knight who continues to fight on as he loses limb after limb. Claiming that it’s only a flesh wound, the hero demands that the fight continue. He refuses to surrender as he loses first an arm then the other, finally he loses both legs as he vows to fight on. Somehow, Monte Python was able to make all of this humorous.
The national media, led by the NY Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC, refuse to admit they are beaten as they surrender both credibility and audience. They continue to lash out at President Trump as they lose even their last leg to stand on. As their remaining viewers click over to American Pickers or Beach Front Bargain Hunt, they pretend that their increasingly irrational, biased commentary is still relevant.
They can’t help themselves as they demean over half of their potential audience. When Peter Strzok tweeted that he could smell the Trump voters at the Walmart, you could almost see them nodding in approval. They play to people’s worst fears and ignorance. They cleverly edit stories to fit their narrative. Remember the edits of the 911 call of the hapless neighborhood patrol guy who had to use deadly force after he had his head smashed into the cement by the young hood in a hoody. Or the endless recycling of “hands up, don’t shoot.” Even though it NEVER happened.
Hiding behind their first amendment rights, they invent one atrocity after another. The double standard displayed daily is obvious to anyone with an IQ in triple digits. The fawning over ANTIFA thugs while claiming that Trump supporters are the new Brown Shirts. The brazen attempts to silence conservative voices. Their name calling went over the top long ago. The endless calls of racist has devalued the term. Comparing everyone they disagree with to Nazi’s is worse than shameful. Then they have the gall to play the victim and expect sympathy when Trump and his supporters call them out.
Unlike Monte Python, it’s not funny.
Only the looney left is still paying attention to MSNBC. Most of Middle America has long since tuned them out and written them off. Were it not for the millions held captive in airports, CNN would be in a dead heat with Hollywood Squares reruns.
This week, hundreds of editorialists doubled down. They colluded to all write about how dangerous it was for Trump to call the press the enemy of the people. First of all, that’s not what he said and millions know it. He said Fake News is the enemy of the people. And they knew what he had actually said. Now, Grandma said that if you say something that’s not true, but you don’t know it’s not true, that’s a mistake. But, if you say something that’s not true. And you know it’s not true. That’s a lie. Perhaps it was just honest guilt. They know that they are the purveyors of Fake News. That they bend the facts to fit their narrative and they are furious that he continues calling them out.
The irony in all of this is that for our Republic to remain strong and vibrant, we need an independent press. People and ideas need to be challenged. We need vigorous debate. Slanted and biased journalism combined with their strong armed efforts to stifle honest debate doesn’t just destroy their credibility. It weakens the foundation of our democratic experiment. They do serious damage to the very institutions they claim to defend.
Like the poor fellow about to be thrown on the wagon, they aren’t dead yet. But, their hour is upon them. They will either reform themselves and begin to behave like responsible journalists pursuing truth, or they will continue to wither away. When Americans can’t get reliable information from incumbent sources, they will most assuredly find others.
Gil Gutknecht served six terms in both the Minnesota and the U.S. House of Representatives. He writes about healthcare and political issues of the day. He is currently working on a book about the high costs of Rx drugs.