Friday, January 27, 2017

You run your mouth and I'll run my business, brother

Advice that will not be taken:
Just days after President Trump spoke of a “running war’’ with the media, his chief White House strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, ratcheted up the attacks, arguing that news organizations had been “humiliated” by the election outcome and repeatedly describing the media as “the opposition party” of the current administration.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview on Wednesday.

“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
I immediately thought of this song:

You run your juicy mouth and I'll run my business, Brother, 
Just run your juicy mouth and I'll run my business, Brother, 
You always tellin' me what to do, 
Sayin', "I wouldn't do that if I was you!"
You run your mouth and I'll run my business, brother.

Trump has been president for a week and one thing we certainly know about his presidency is that people who buy ink by the barrel and really, really, really outraged about it. The internet is replete with news media types who are so busy denouncing the Leader of the Free World that they aren't actually spending enough time unpacking what he's doing. They are, however, quite certain of some things. The New York Times article I've linked makes this assertion shortly after recording Bannon's broadside:
The scathing assessment — delivered by one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted and influential advisers, in the first days of his presidency — comes at a moment of high tension between the news media and the administration, with skirmishes over the size of Mr. Trump’s inaugural crowd and the president’s false claims that millions of illegal votes by undocumented immigrants swayed the popular vote against him.
Emphasis mine. We know this is false? I really don't know how many illegal aliens undocumented immigrants voted, because those who would ordinarily be charged with investigating such things won't do it. I have no idea if Trump is right. I don't think he is, but I don't know it. And neither does the Times, but that doesn't matter if you have an agenda to pursue. I'll run my mouth and they'll run their business, brother.

It's easy to look at Bannon's statements and believe he's being thuggish. It's always unnerving if a government official tells anyone to keep their mouth shut. But the second part of Bannon's statement is the key point -- the continual shrieking from Trump's many opponents means any understanding of why he won the election isn't important. His election and his presidency are both illegitimate by definition.

I've spent a lot of time in this feature trying to answer the question the Times refuses to consider. I've been trying to listen. Gino offers insight over at his place:
"Somebody on our side, for a change."
I heard variations of this phrase most of the day.

As I've stated before, I'm a mill worker. I've been there just shy of 25yrs. Fully one half of my co-workers have been there longer than I. Needless to say, we are an aging bunch without many options left, and this is still the best gig we can get.

It's still the best gig because after this, there is not an other gig to be had.
The factories are closing. Automation has made it possible to do more with fewer workers. This is not a bad thing. Automation also makes the work a little less hard on our aging bodies, too.

Progress being progress, me and my 125 co-workers are under pressure with every contract. Give up more benefits (we've not much left anymore). Give up more pay. (a 40hr paycheck can no longer pay a man's rent in Southern California. There was once a time men bought agreeable homes and raised families with stay-at-home mothers. Those guys are all retired now.)
The author of the Times piece, Michael M. Grynbaum, really ought to talk to Gino, or Gino's co-workers. He won't, though. He'll run his business, brother.


R.A. Crankbait said...

I had the Joe Jackson tribute album to LJ, "Jumpin' Jive", back in the day. I loved that sound, and this was one of the songs on the album.

Mr. D said...

I have a copy of it on cassette. It was a lot of fun and a real departure back in '81.