i'd like to congratulate the washington post on this piece by jenna johnson, who followed trump around all year for them. i do not believe that the nytimes would have been able to do a story like that without sneering continually. i have not felt this in previous cycles, but i think the times's news coverage became profoundly slanted this year, which really discredits the whole operation. the moral urgency of defeating trump swamped their professionalism, their rationality, and their decency. but it is hard to escape the universal attitudes of one's demographic.
the new york times made it impossible for themselves to tell the story of this election, because they dehumanized trump supporters, treated them as monsters or animals or cretins. because the times couldn't tell their story, it couldn't tell the story. for the times, the distinction between the urban bourgeoisie and people living in rural or small-town america looms as a distinction between species. however, i'm not sure which is actually sub-human. but at any rate, one effect of this was to richly confirm exactly what trump was saying about the media, and what people like his supporters have said about the 'elite media' for many years. they became what trump said they were in their opposition to him.
and not only did they confirm that, they confirmed that there is half a nation that they find incomprehensible, or who must be controlled and fixed somehow (maybe the nea can help), or just superseded and excluded. that is, they confirmed the whole picture of the united states as depicted by, say, sarah palin: there is an elite, characterized by a perfect-sat style of mechanical pseudo-intellection, and they want to control us and fix us. and they are no better than us, actually. they certainly more than confirmed that last bit too.
i do know that the times's opinion operation this year was disgusting. i'd single out charles blow and timothy egan as the worst offenders: mechanical, repetitive, thoughtless, and manipulative. what's most pathetic is that the whole thing appeared to be a continual effort to convince times readers not to vote for trump. but times readers obviously were never going to vote for trump. they were talking about trump and his supporters, but only to themselves. they appeared to be arguing with opponents, but in fact the whole discourse was mere group formation and self-congratulation: an attempt to reinforce group cohesion by having a common enemy (=half the nation). like limbaugh or whomever: exactly like that. unlike limbaugh, they did it without flair, like the whole cohort was saying the same sentences in unison, none of which they wrote themselves.
this divide, i predict, is going to grow ever-more extreme, in part precisely because of the constellation of attitudes the times represents and codifies. i think it is likely to eventuate in various forms of violence as well as in a continually useless political system, because the vilification flowing both ways has reached hysterical proportions. the folks out here don't see how someone like timothy egan can be part of the same culture or nation as themselves, nor does timothy egan want to be. nor is he, really. this election was the end of the beginning, not the end, of the crazed partisanship that just might end the united states of america. we will not be coming together. the average guy out here in rural pa is a pretty good guy, actually, but he does not regard himself as belonging to the same nation as people like egan any more than the other way round. and honestly, while i don't share that pretty good guy's politics (well, any more than i do egan's), i'm sticking wherever people like egan, or indeed all the professors of america as well as the bankers, aren't.
i am tempted to wish trump on them; it is less than they deserve.