I have to give it to the partisan hacks in DC and their codependent handlers in the punditry. They have convinced a whole slew of people that shysters are heroes and in the process stay manipulating too many who are led by the nose by political con artists. It’s like our society has become one big Truman Show as the public is emotionally toyed with by politicians and news personalities alike. I’m not judging; hell I was not too long ago the very same useful tool that counted myself as part of the Democratic base. It takes a mean mugging by reality to wake up to the bullshit.
Let me explain this in ways that might make a bit more sense. Imagine if I post on Facebook that I’m going to go pet a cobra then an hour later I live broadcast me doing exactly that. After a few strokes on the cobra’s head, the viper strikes and buries his fangs deep into my forearms. Now if this happened how many of you would have any sympathy for me for I was the one who foolishly decided to take part in the most of foolish endeavors. Would any of you take me seriously if I then sent out a press release saying that I was victimized by the snake or give me donations if I started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for my medical bills?
I hope the answer is no to the questions I just posited for there are far too many other people who are down on their luck beset by trouble who need help more than a naive who decided to endanger himself for the sake of attention. Well what I just described in the previous paragraph is exactly what took place with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the encounter she had with Bill O’Reilly the other night. Maxine went fishing for grief in the troubled water that is Fox News and the vapid O’Reilly. Two equal crooks thus went about catering to their respective audiences as they baited each other in order to manufacture drama.
Invariably heated words were exchanged, which is exactly what both sides were banking on. This is where the con game starts as both Bill O’Rielly and especially Maxine Waters immediately went out to play victim and peddle grievances. These two demagogues most likely had their respective press releases written before the show even started. This is a con game that is as omnipresent in DC as extra-small gloves are in Trump’s closet. Both Republicans and Democrats have perfected the art of using the pains of their base in order to peddle the victimization card and enrich themselves at the cost of those who truly feel the burdens of injustice. It takes a special kind of slime to profit from the suffering of other people; yet this is precisely what Maxine Waters did as she immediately started sending out fundraising emails in order to leverage a rehearsed tirade into political and financial windfall.
Although both Bill O’Reilly and Maxine Waters feigned outrage and pretended to be shocked, the truth is both of them are smiling at this moment for these attention whores got exactly what they wanted. After the deed was done and the show was over, the cottage industry of outrage peddling and injustice leveraging kicked into action as a village of assholes went about using the episode of O’Reilly supposedly insulting Waters was used by all sides to elevate their names and to raise yet more cash. The corporate owned Democratic National Committee sent out emails and casting Maxine as a “women’s champion” who is supposed to speak to the pains of women who are maligned by sexism. Republicans get to do the same as they point to yet more “victimization mentality of the left” as their own form of victimization and make yet more money.
Astride all this bunk lies our bankrupt fourth estate as the mainstream media has jumped all over this story from their respective political ideology. Those who lean left like the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC et al, are hyping this non-story as an affront to all women and elevating the prevaricating Waters into the modern day Sojourner Truth. The right leaning outlets like Fox News and the Daily News are doing the exact opposite and reporting this story as yet more grievance peddling. Reporters and journalists thus engage in one big deception for all of them know that the drama on “The Factor” was nothing but theatrics. Our mainstream media makes Baghdad Bob look like a truth telling saint–mainstream media has truly become a fusion of state propaganda and a pure circus.
This same scenario, by the by, was played out with the White House reporter April Ryan and Sean Spicer. When April Ryan was asking Spicer a question, he decided to evade and give a non-answer. This is par for the course with White House press conferences; I stopped watching these pressers a long time ago because getting news from the White House press secretary is like trying to get a non-scripted speech from Barack Obama or a fully conjugated sentence from Donald Trump. White House reporters are about as useful as an air conditioner in the Antarctic. Every presser in the East Wing is nothing but one big Kabuki dance where reporters give prepared questions and then the press secretary plays dodge ball.
This situation is made a billion times worse when White House correspondents ask questions of the president; did you know that the questions are submitted in advance and presidents choose reporters based on the questions they want to answer. There is more authenticity on “the Flavor of Love” than there is in the midst of White House press conferences. The whole thing is just one big Hollywood production as reporters and politicians engage in deception and pretend to be reporting news when in reality they are spreading disinformation. Occasionally, drama breaks out between the press secretary and a reporter, as it did with Ryan and Spicer, and that is when the outrage machine kicks in as outlandish behavior is reported as serious news.
So the story line is thus set, Maxine Waters and April Ryan are presented as victims of sexism when in reality the whole thing is manufactured for the sake of ratings, clicks and raising contributions. This is how the true perniciousness of sexism is watered down as outrage is maximized so that demagogues can get status and get paid. Meanwhile, the true victims of sexism–the mother who can’t find a decent job, the woman who is stifled by the glass window and the young lady who is maligned by brutish behaviors–get lost in the shuffle of the elites who scream victim while living in the arms of wealth and opulence. This is how outrage prospers; when everything is an outrage then nothing is an outrage as society gets desensitized to non-ending static.
Good God don’t you see what they are doing! When are we going to wake up to the bullshit and refuse to be punked by a herd of political punks who enrich themselves by using our pains. I’ve been saying this for a long time ever since I realized it; the struggle is not between the races, religions or the sexes–the struggle is between the powerful and the rest of us. Instead of being deceived by shysters like Bill O’Reilly and Maxine Waters, how about we just turn the channel off and refuse to be treated like idiots by the idiot box and the gnomes who are projected through our TVs and computer screens.
If you want to have empathy for someone, give it to the woman who can’t make ends meet instead of feeling sorry for a political hack like Maxine Waters. If you want to lionize someone as a hero, how about you give credit to a mother who feeds her children even as she stresses to pay the rent instead of elevating partisan toadies who feed on our misfortunes. Or we can keep falling for the fraudulence as we think craven politicians and pugnacious pundits are speaking for us when in reality they are laughing at us and making money as we get mugged by inflation and decreasing opportunities. If you only knew, all sides are maxing their money as they multiply our troubles. #MaxineMoney
Don’t go fishing in bygone rivers, only strife nibbles there::
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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.