The press has never been this famous

No TV, so I was listening to a bit of the coverage of the James Comey hearing on KPCC just now and it’s not exactly a murderers’ row of famous journalists and analysts. Competition must be fierce and KPCC is down to the D listers. Anybody who is nobody is on TV or the radio or online somewhere experting away. What an exciting time to be a reporter. The press has never been this famous. I mean, all these journalists are rock stars now. They tweet like mad and write long pieces we all read the first paragraph of. They show up on TV daily. They have unnamed sources to die for. They pal around with movie stars and directors. Imagine the perks and the swag and the people who want to meet them, to touch them, to take a selfie with them. Living the reporter’s dream. A Pulitzer. A bestseller. George Clooney playing you in the movie. I confess I always wanted to be a political reporter. Alas I was born too late for Watergate and too early for Trump. It’s all in the timing. People loathed the press only a year ago, mistrusted them, assumed everything it said was a lie. That was then. Now it’s Beatlemania for reporters. I watch these guys on those giant CNN panels and I think to myself man, I bet they’re getting laid like crazy. Maybe not a second time but still, they’re getting laid like crazy.

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Donald Trump will bleed from a thousand cuts

(January 4, 2017)

So Trump is gunning for the CIA and other agencies for disagreeing with him? You do that and pissed off and/or worried agents begin having secret meetings with reporters…all off the record, of course. The last prez who did this was Nixon, though he never went after the institutions themselves. He just distrusted them. Too politicized, he thought, too full of JFK people. Eventually they turned on him. Deep Throat meeting Woodward in a parking garage. Now you can expect dozens of Deep Throats, revealing all of Trump’s dirty underwear. His sleazy dealings with the Russian mob, his creepy connections with Russian intelligence, and that is just for starters. Follow the money you keep hearing people say. That’s what Deep Throat said about the Nixon White House. And as with Woodward and Bernstein, the patron saints of the Washington press corps, there are Pulitzers to be had, and hundreds of reporters are already digging. Trumps hates the press, as Nixon did, and they will return the feeling, just as they did with Nixon. Now the entire “intelligence community”, as they call it, and the whole of the Fourth Estate (except Sean Hannity) are looking for blood. Trump will bleed from a thousand cuts. Once someone gets ahold of Trump’s tax returns, the game is over. They are the Holy Grail.

hal-holbrook-as-deep-throat

Hal Holbrook tattling on Nixon. Be nice to your Intelligence Community.

The end of privacy

(2014)

I’m amazed at how the media is plunging into all the hacked Sony stuff without ever mentioning the right to privacy. What a quaint thing that was. I keep reading and hearing these Sony emails in the press as if they were public property and thinking when are we next? Apparently anything ever written on a computer keyboard is now considered fair game. And that means you and me, not just big corporations or government employees. It’s a stunning shift in attitudes toward privacy. People apparently have the right to peer into and publicize whatever we write in a digital format. You send an email, it’s public property. Where does this stop? Are phone conversations next? This is completely creeping me out. The vicious thugs who run North Korea get pissed at a movie that makes fun of them and splatter the studio responsible’s information all over the web, right down to individual employee’s  social security numbers. Reporters, bloggers and the public go nuts publicizing it, without compunction. Somehow hacking is no longer a crime, and our very thoughts are now public property, WikiLeaks expanded ad infinitum. There’s no limit. And this isn’t 1984, it wasn’t the government that did this, or big corporations, or any mega anything. It was the people. Just people. The North Koreans realized this, and used our own creepiness to spread the information. They understood that deep down we’re basically people peeking into other people’s windows. All they had to do was dump all the info they stole onto public sites and watch the rats race to feed on it.  We’re the ones who are so ravenous for all these intimate details. We’re the ones who crave other people’s secret thoughts. We’re the ones who love the dirt. We flushed our own right to privacy down the toilet. We created this nightmare. Though almost none of you see it as a nightmare. But this is just beginning, people. Any of you could find yourself gone viral, and have no control over it, even as it destroys your life. This will happen more and more and more. Now that we’ve given away our right to privacy, we don’t even have the right to complain. This is a brand new world and I, for one, don’t like it at all.

You might laugh now, think this is just paranoia, but when it’s your photo-shopped fake sex offender mugshot registering a couple million hits a day, you’ll remember the old days.