This is my bold prediction for the New Year. What you are going to read next will have you convinced I’m clairvoyant and that I have some magical ability to see into the future. I’m going to give you a step by step breakdown of how the tempest in a teapot in politics that is boiling over into a national scandal. No need to keep you waiting with bated breath, let me delve into the hubbub du joure and divine what will happen in the coming weeks and months in our nation’s carnival that I now call the District of Caligula.
Of course I’m referring to the spat between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump and how their beef is hogging up the headlines. It’s sad actually, our esteemed Fourth Estate “journalists” are making World Star reporters look like Walter Cronkite. Putting aside the antics of mainstream media, let me assure you that there is no need to drive yourself into a tizzy trying to figure out what will happen next in this developing political side show. Sit back and read with awe as I seemingly write the script of how the Bannon/Trump drama is going to play out.
Steve Bannon, who lent his name and was quoted in a book written by Michael Wolff about Donald Trump written, coordinated with the author in leaking some of the most scathing remarks to the press. Wolff and Bannon did so because this is how the book selling racket works; they knew that our fatuous corporate media would jump on this kerfuffle in order to push more sensationalism into the public square. Never mind that Wall Street has yet again created another junk debt bubble that will soon enough make the subprime meltdown of 2008 look like child’s play by comparison. Oh come on, who really cares that we are nearing a nuclear showdown with China and Russia? Is there really a need to report about the gaping chasm between the mass majority of the have nots who are leading lives of financial anxieties and the haves who live more opulently than sultans in Qatar? No, what is urgently needed is for “journalists” to play up the contretemps between the carnival barker Trump and the yellow press editor Bannon as a breaking news worthy of the Hindenburg implosion.
As expected, the hounds at CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Washington Post, New York Times and the rest of the smut peddlers in mainstream media jumped on this story head first by marketing this non-story as the next coming of Water Gate. This is an excerpt from the LEADING story on the Washington Post as I’m writing this article:
Author Michael Wolff bolstered President Trump’s effort to discredit the new book “Fire and Fury” on Friday when he acknowledged in a “Today” show interview that he had been willing to say whatever was “necessary” to gain access at the White House…that’s a bad look—one which the White House can use to impugn Wolff’s integrity and, perhaps unfairly, cast doubt on whichever elements of his work the president doesn’t like.
Notice how the Washington Post is playing the “objective” role even as they push this he said/she said soap opera This is what corporate media has perfected; they pretend to be unbiased arbiters of truth and always use the “two sides of a story” narrative to distance themselves from the tabloid nature of our politics even though they are the main ones perpetuating the histrionics.
Now this is where cookie gets baked; I’m about to get all Oracle with it and detail what comes next in the farcical story of strife between Bannon and Trump. For the next couple of weeks, Wolff is going to keep releasing select quotes from his book to the media in order to keep this theater of the absurd going. Simultaneously, both Wolff and Bannon will go on the newstertainment circuit as they get interviewed by empty suits like Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Joy Reid, Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and their ilk in cable news. The focus will be mostly on Bannon because he is the one at the center of the “political earthquake” of the moment. Timely excerpts will also be released to print media in order to broaden and enhance this shit show. At all times, Wollf and Bannon will be discussed withing the contours of Wolff’s book in order to hawk his two bit paperback.What is becoming more and more evident with each passing day is that corporate media personalities and the people they are supposed to be checking are actually colluding to count their checks. There is a symbiotic relationship between “public servants” and mainstream media; they feed off each other in order to enhance their fortunes. People like Steve Bannon and Michael Wolff go on these media outlets to sell their books and promote their brands and in return the media outlets give these attention whoring goblins access to the stage. They know we are such a cult of personalities that we will tune in to hear these charlatans even if we can’t stand the sight of them. Hate and love illicit eyeballs and clicks; our viewing and reading habits are feeding the hydra of corporate press.
Bannon or Wolff will most likely do what is called the “full Ginsburg” this weekend as they make the round on all five major Sunday talk shows. Once the brouhaha dies down and the book selling tour comes to a denouement, the next step will be for one of the “news” shows to bring either Wolff or Bannon on board as a talking head. I’m placing my bet that Bannon will be the lucky winner and the next contestant who will be called to come on down by news executives. Initially, he will be brought on as a contributing pundit as he augments an existing show and joins a panel of blowhards.
In order to enhance his Q rating, you might see him rotating from show to show as he is called on to give an insider perspective on the political maelstrom of the moment. From doing the rounds on various media outlets, Bannon will give exclusive rights to one station to be a regular guest. Let me double down with the bold prediction, my guess is that he will be hired by CNN. Newsroom executives will monitor his performance and the rating charts; if he does well enough among various demographics, Bannon will have his own show where he will join the gaggle of useless mainstream media clowns in distorting news and feeding us disinformation.
Here comes the boldest part of my prediction. In short order, Bannon will be looked to by “the left” as a truth telling hero. The same man who was reviled by liberals will now be hailed by the Trump hating crowd as the next coming of Nathan Hale. Unlikely you say? Notice how the left is currently praising James Comey and the FBI, you would think we are in a Bizarro world as liberals get all McCarthy with it and conservatives come to the aid and comfort of Russia. Let me underline my point with this banner headline from the New York Magazine about the Bannon Affair:
Republicans Turn on Bannon for Telling the Truth About Trump
This most amazing flip that Gabby Douglass could not perform in her wildest dreams is not contained to just so-called progressives. People on “the right” and the Trump adoring public will turn on Bannon and libel him as a treasonous scoundrel in order to defend the first juvenile president. Mind you, this is the same crew who have lionized Bannon up to this point and gave him credit for the rise of Donald Trump. Not any more my friends! Now the MAGA crowd will equate Bannon with Benedict Arnold and libel him a socialist “libtard”. I’m done channeling the future, the great Carnac has spoken! Now sit back and observe with awe as all my predictions come true.
OK fine! I’m not really a psychic. What I wrote above is not based on some sublime gift that I have to forecast the future. If I really did have supernatural abilities to predict the future, the next article I would write would be about how Donald Trump will start a row with Germany by tweet-insulting David Hasselhoff. My analysis about this unfolding comedy of errors is based on the history of our politics and the predictable nature of partisans who are stricken by a debilitating condition called situational morality. If I end up being right about CNN hiring Bannon, it’s because that is what our soulless mainstream media always does.
Ari Fleischer, the former George W. Bush press secretary, exited politics only to be hired as a pundit on MSNBC the minute his tenure ended at the White House. Michael Smerconish, a former Bush loyalist, flipped and endorsed Obama in 2008. For his “valor”, he was given top billing at CNN where he currently has his own weekend show. There is an incestuous relationship between politics and media where professionals who work in both fields hold hands behind the scenes and screw over the public by giving cover to the malfeasance of our government.
Alas, I’m not even sure if I can blame the establishment for this hoodwinking of America. After all, we are the ones who are allowing this depraved spectacle to take place in our nation’s capital. The reason I am uber confident that the partisans on both wings of the political spectrum will flip flop their positions and trade places about their feelings on Steve Bannon is because I’ve witnessed this rodeo before. Let me not be pious here; I’ve engaged in this politics as a sport mentality myself. When Colin Powell went to the United Nations and lied about sarin and VX gas in order to rush us into the crimes against humanity that was the Iraq War, I grew to despise Colin each time I saw him give a press conference. All changed in 2008 when Powell endorsed my then political idol Barack Obama. All the sudden, Colin became General Powell and transformed from a liar to a hero. This is the poison of politics— partisan fidelity makes us put ideology ahead of morality.
Mainstream media has perfected the blueprint of divide and conquer. In corporate lingo, they refer to divide and conquer as market segmentation and capturing demographics. Instead of reporting news that edifies the public, they peddle sensationalism and outrage tailored to their specific audiences. The aim is not journalism or speaking truth to power but to monetize the suffering of people and turn grievance into a business model. Until I was jarred into cognitive dissonance by a mean mugging of reality, I thought only Fox News was catering to unthinking partisans. Upon awakening, I realize that corporate media as whole is engaging in the same bird dogging of politics that Rupert Murdoch perfected.
The political class is following this same playbook as Democrats and Republicans alike sow dissension and inject antagonism in order to fracture our nation into the ghettos of identity politics. The way that Barack Obama sold false hope to his crowd and fired up emotions to capture the White House is how Donald Trump got elected as he inflamed passions and flicked lies with his forked tongue about making America great again. We are all getting played by the people who too many of us worship. As we bow before the rich and powerful, they are stepping on our backs—why do you think they call us their base? Think about that one for a minute. Whether or not I get this prognosis 100% right and hit the nail on the head about the way the Bannon/Trump feud will develop is not the point of this article. Though I must be honest, if I get the prediction about Trump tweeting an insult about David Hasselhoff right, I might have to reconsider my career as an independent journalist and change my name to Mister Cleo. I wrote this article to bring light to the hustle behind the political-media-entertainment complex. We get so caught up in this farce of corporate media that we have accepted as a “free press” that we are continuously distracted from the breathtaking corruption that is happening in DC and Wall Street.
Let me look into my crystal ball one last time and see what future awaits us. Consider this the last prediction of Mister Cleo and a closing caution to all. Instead of gazing into the navel of politics, perhaps it’s best to look beyond the surface and see what the military-financial complex and multinational corporations are up to away from the public stage. Don’t let the news of the markets reaching record highs fool you, indices always climb to dizzying heights before they crumble. It’s high time we wake up to this never ending soap opera of corporate media or else a rude awakening will hit us when the next news Steve Bannon breaks on his CNN show will be about the collapse. #BannonTrumpBeef
“To the wicked, everything serves as pretext.” ~ Voltaire
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.