Sunday, January 29
"Trump found the gap in the Death Star" - Matt Taibbi
The quote in the title is from the second part of Matt Taibbi's conversation on the John Batchelor Show about his forthcoming book on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.
John, who's read the book, pronounced it very funny (it's meant to be funny) and insightful even though Matt, as with almost everyone else in the media, was stunned by Trump's victory. And yet, as John underscored, during the months he covered the campaign Matt was actually chronicling what was to be an inevitable victory -- something he realized only with hindsight and thus, the book.
Both parts of John's insightful interview with Matt are themselves a great deal of fun but of course there is nothing funny about the Death Star. So I was surprised when Matt, who is famously Liberal in his political views, chose to analogize the news media to a world-killing machine. No small part of the analogy represents people in the media who slavishly follow and promote a version of political Liberalism.
The Death Star in the first Star Wars movie was impregnable from outside attack, but it did have a single chink in its armoring -- a tiny gap, a particle exhaust vent leading from its surface directly into its reactor core. So in theory if even a single fighter jet could get past the machine's defenses and fly into the vent, it could drop bombs that would cause a chain reaction, destroying the Death Star.
In short the Death Star could only be brought down from inside.
And while Donald Trump didn't destroy the entire news media, Matt's analogy was inspired. Few people alive understood the modern media in the way Trump did, and even fewer knew how to bring it down. Again and again, political operatives and media insiders discounted that Trump was himself a veteran media insider, a fact that kept getting lost in the circus he created.
In the end, Donald Trump did to the alliance of the media and the two major U.S. political parties what the alliance nearly got away with doing to the United States of America: damn near destroying its foundations.