To get everyone up to speed on how we got here, the first two boxcars on this train of thought (or non-thought, as the case may be):
by O Society August 5, 2019
In our last discourse, we discovered Trump generates messages literally, on Twitter, in “press conferences” held under a whirring helicopter blade on the White House lawn, in TV interviews, rallies, and so on. What is the message?
“Me.” That’s all you get.
In population genetics, we call this sort of phenomenon a bottleneck. What does this mean? In this series, we are going heavy on pictures and videos and links for people who want to dive deeper, and we’ll keep the main discussion at a level everyone can understand without knowing much of anything about genetics or anything else. Common knowledge, so to speak. So here’s a picture:
What we see is we’re talking about cheetah. The cat at the bottom of the image is a cheetah. At the top of the picture it looks as if there’s a bunch of pieces of bubblegum in a bubblegum machine, right? See, easy peasy.
What happens when you put your 25¢ in the gumball machine and turn the knob? That’s right, a gumball comes out. Yes, we know you greedy little bastards want to get all the gumballs at once, don’t you? The game doesn’t work this way. But you do have a $ dollar. So what happens when you turn the knob 4 times?
Exactly. 4 gumballs come out. This is the parable of the gumball machine. What’s this got to do with cheetah or Trump?
These 4 gumballs are alleles. Alleles are different versions of the same gene. One allel says purple, one says green, one says blue, one says grey. That’s what you get. All those other flavors – pink and yellow and red and so on – they’re gone. Lost. See ya!
This is an extinction event or at least an event which can lead to extinction. We had 25 flavors of bubblegum, 21 got lost, now we got 4 crummy flavors left. I mean, I love me some grape, so the purple’s good, but imagine what grey tastes like… yeah, cardboard flavor. YUCK!
And who’s responsible for this loss of genetic heterogeneity, this loss of alleles, this population bottleneck? That’s right. These two assholes:
Thing 1 and thing 2. No, the dead animal they are carrying around is not a cheetah, it is a leopard. It’s a parable. Gumballs. Cheetah. Assholes.
The result is inbreeding. Loss of genetic diversity. Perhaps extinction. As in no genetic diversity, everyone’s dead. Any Questions?
So now imagine this is Daddy Trump twitting and twatting on Twitter, OK? Same scenario with the gumball machine. Gumballs are not alleles any longer, they are Twitter twats and tweets and twits and twoots, got it?
Once Daddy trump gets a hold of the phone, there is no more discussing meaningful stuff – those 21 different things we could talk and tweet about instead – discussed here. All you get to talk about is Trump. Four flavors of Trump all the time every time. Got it?
George Lakoff observes the four flavors of Trump twats you get to twit about are these:
BROOKE GLADSTONE: So here’s one you say embodies all four of these categories: preemptive framing, diversion, trial balloon, and deflection. All in one message. I will read it. It is, “Intelligence agencies should not have allowed this fake news to leak into the public, one last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
First, preemptive framing: this is fake news.
Second, diversion: it’s gonna be discussed whether or not it’s fake news or should have been leaked, rather than the content itself.
Third, deflection: attack the messengers.
And then fourth, the trial balloon: will the intelligence agencies be stopped from doing this? Are they Nazis?
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Obviously, you don’t think the media are handling these utterances very well. What do you suggest we do?
GEORGE LAKOFF: The media is addicted to breaking news. So we act as if we have to repeat the tweet. That’s the breaking news!!! Wrong, because doing so allows him to manipulate you as a reporter and manipulate the truth and manipulate the reader.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: So you’re saying don’t report what he says?
GEORGE LAKOFF: First, you begin by telling the truth and giving the evidence for the truth, then point out what Trump says contradicts the truth, and you then talk about what kind of statement this is out of the 4 canned functions.
You know, you say, this is a case of diversion. Here’s what he is diverting our attention from, quickly. Don’t have a panel discussion about it, you know, [LAUGHS] Let’s vote on it and take callers and make a spectacle of it and our offense to it. Just do it and go on with our lives. Keep going back to substance and the truth instead of repeating bullshit.
He’s right you know… the echochamber is of our own making.
“The most basic tenet of professional physicians is the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Its intent is clear, simple: When practicing medicine, the fundamental ethical consideration should be to not make things worse. All decisions on treatment —including whether or not to treat a patient in the first place — flow from this starting point.
Journalists, while they take no such professional oath, should be duty-bound to follow a similar principle when reporting the news: “First, do no harm to the truth.” While our internet-era news ecosystem, like modern medicine, suffers from a number of institutional inefficiencies and dubious remedies — from endless horserace poll stories, to scoops that aren’t, to mind-numbingly banal analysis — these editorial efforts should, at the very least, avoid lowering the public’s overall command of facts and reality.
But increasingly, corporate news organizations are failing to clear even this low bar, and it starts — and, just as critically, ends — at their point of first contact with their readers: social media headlines. Which in this case is repeating whatever Trump says, which leads to the illusory truth effect, which leads to readers believing his bullshit is true or real.”
Trump’s bottleneck controls the message by making it all about him all the time. He doesn’t hold press conferences where reporters spontaneously ask real and difficult questions with meaning or depth. What we get instead is the same smoke and mirrors show Putin pulls on his press in Russia, and we new it was coming long before Trump took office.
Yes, it is and yes, we did. A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media
Trump simply tweets about whatever he sees on Fox News.
“We knew Donald Trump spends much of his day live-tweeting Fox News coverage.
Now read Trump’s Executive Time-filled leaked private schedules, which documents his day is spent doing things besides being presidential. As in watching TV and tweeting about how he is portrayed on the news.”
These are the first two parts of the feedback loop in language anyone can understand: the Trump Bottleneck and the Media Amplifier, which makes the volume on his bullshit go to #11
Why would the media do such a thing? You know, amplify Trump’s bullshit so no one can get away from it? Even if you live under a bridge, there has to be graffiti down there. You can’t escape it.
Why? Ask Trump. He’ll tell you the truth about this if nothing else…
Factbase suspects about 27 of these tweets were sent out by Trump’s staff, meaning most of them (including “covfefe”) were sent by Donald Trump himself.
Which leaves us with one tenable conclusion, namely Trump & Corporate Media Are Both Enemies of the People
Next time we’ll talk Trumpets, because they are part of this feedback loop too, of course. Can’t have a cult without the cult members – duh!
Here’s our series recap: