If you believe Donald Trump intended to incite someone from the NRA to shoot Hillary Clinton in his off the cuff comment recently, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Whatever the man’s flaws, he isn’t stupid enough to publicly engage in a conspiracy to commit murder. When I heard the remark, I took him to mean the NRA needed to get out the vote.
Call me naive but I suspect the only conspiracy afoot is the media’s desire to generate news over a 24 hour period. Yes, I blame the media for making a side-show of this election. Donald’s ineptitude in dealing with them doesn’t help. His personality also gets in the way, but the hoopla in this election is largely media generated. They will be the last, the very last to admit it, however. Their defense is, “if Trump said it, he’s responsible for the message.”
He may have said it, but what did he mean by it? Language is fluid and made more so by body language, tone of voice and emphasis. Take the following three sentences: I am going to the movies. I am going to the movies. I am going to the movies. By emphasis alone, these sentences make different statements: one is declarative; one sounds determined and the other, perhaps, is defiant. To say these three are the same sentence is to be blind to nuance. Yet, the media flattens the message, chooses the interpretation it wants, then rides into hell with it, taking a roiled public with it.
Besides emphasis, too much data is allowed to pass for information. But data is raw. To become information, someone has to interpret it. For months, the media have screamed about Hillary Clinton’s emails. A headline like, “Wikileaks dumps 30,000 Clinton emails,” gives us a number but no content. The number alone becomes an indictment. But what’s the crime? One Foundation contributor asked to speak with her. He didn’t get an appointment. So-o-o-o? And if he had been given one, so-o-o?
If the emails of other elected officials were scrutinized to the same degree as Hillary Clinton’s, I suspect, that unlike hers, few of them would pass the smell test. Enough with the emails and the media hype.