A Bad Hangover

by Chris de Serres

I have to admit.  I was misled.  I went to a lot of the same sources for information that Trump voters have been going to.  I would alleviate my guilt over clicking on every random article on Facebook by reminding myself that I also read more informed sources.  The New York Times.  BBC for a wider perspective.  Yet, I relied on Facebook news feeds for the bulk of it.

I realized this a week before the election shocker.  On that day I subscribed to the The New Yorker and The Atlantic.  Both sources of great political writing.  It’s not eco-friendly but I subscribed to the magazine on purpose.  I needed to move away from the mindless slipstream of the internet, where every article looks the same, no matter the source.  The crazy stuff actually trends better than the informed sources.  So there’s this illusion of equal weight.  Of credibility.  It’s there on my feed, so it’s gotta be on the up and up right?

Wrong.  Dead wrong.

Even real journalism is flawed and often horribly inaccurate.  Just take any article ever written about that ‘new study’ that tells us eating an ounce of chocolate a day makes us healthier.  They have never reported research fairly or well, for that matter.  The only research of value is the kind that has been replicated again and again over time.  So ‘new’ and ‘research’ should clue you in right away.

Somehow, someway the media was victimized by Trump.  The victimization went both ways, but the media carried his message.  They reaffirmed their elitist liberal stereotypes.  They further entrenched the Trump voter with FoxNews, Breitbart, and the Drudge Report.  They are off the quality journalism grid which lend destructive success to Trump’s scorched earth style.

Before the election, I didn’t think it would be possible for our media to be more obsessed with Trump than they already have.  Yet, almost every article on the front page of almost any respectable website is on Trump.  I imagine it will be that way for quite a while.

You can’t get away from him if you tried.  There’s no relief.  No minute in the day to take a breathe.  I wish I wasn’t so politically minded, so I could just go on with my life and not be bothered.

Yesterday our President-elect attacked the cast of Hamilton on Twitter.  That just blows my mind.  Who does that while not so successfully transitioning a government in the process?

Thoreau once said that if you’ve read one newspaper you’ve read them all, but i’m not sure i’ve ever read, heard or seen the things I have in the past year.  We are supposed to remain engaged, now more than ever.  Yet, I look for ways out.  Engaging in Trump is unhealthy.  It always leaves me feeling sick, like a bad case of food poisoning.

All I can do now is support good journalism.  Focus on local issues and local government, while Trump drives the nation to god knows where.