Why Americans don’t trust the media

Extra extra! Boys sexualized!

Extra extra! Boys sexualized!

As anyone whose words are broadcast will tell you, Americans don’t trust the media. It probably started around Watergate, when we lost faith in institutions after Woodward and Bernstein uncovered corruption that went all the way to the president. We’ve hated reporters ever since. Instead of numbly accepting the mainstream media’s lies as they penetrate our ears and pert mouths, we invest our trust in politicians, for example the brave senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.



That was his answer to a question about the debt ceiling. It’s clear why Americans no longer trust the media, with their gotcha questions about whose tax plan would bankrupt the government and which candidacies are fictional. In your ordinary American life, whom do you trust? You trust your friends. And who are you friends? They’re the people who tell you what you want to hear.

If you apply this rule of thumb, it’s easy to see why Cruz, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump all enjoy such sterling reputations for trustiness. Cruz knows we’re sick of the media talking about what he did. Carson’s going to give us all 25-point tax cuts and balance the budget. And Trump is an inherently genuine person. That’s what people want to hear—not a bunch of media elites grousing about what cannot be done.

You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent, in which I applaud Senator Cruz and his fellow Republicans for finally acknowledging that Americans have lost confidence in their reporters. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.

Quiz: How do you want to feel about Donald Trump?

Trump and a hat that suggests America sucks

Trump and a hat that suggests America sucks

Donald Trump addressed the audience at the first Republican debate so arrogantly I thought Virgil was going to come stand next to him. Apparently people love that. A CNN/ORC poll conducted over the weekend found Trump leads the field with support from 24% of registered Republicans. That’s after he said “our leaders are stupid” and started selling hats. With 11 points on Jeb Bush and 16 on Scott Walker, Trump clearly means something. But what? It doesn’t matter. None of this matters. What matters is how you choose to feel about his successful campaign for president. How do you want to feel about Donald Trump? Take this quiz and find out!

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Trump a lock for GOP debate; Perry, Santorum, Jindal miss cut

Donald Trump explains an idea so obvious an idiot would agree with him.

Donald Trump explains another truth so obvious an idiot would agree with him.

The first Republican National Committee-sanctioned debate of the 2016 campaign is only three days away, but not every candidate will make the cut. Fox News announced that it would only invite the ten best-polling candidates from the field of 16, which sounds like maybe too many anyway, unless you happen to work for the Bobby Jindal campaign. “Whatever happened to the idea of freedom?” Jindal consultant Curt Anderson wrote of Fox’s plan. “Or democracy?” Soon every sentence uttered by a Republican on any subject will contain the word “freedom” and be in the past tense. Possibly coincidental to the demise of robust argument, Jindal, Lindsay Graham, and Ricks Santorum and Perry are all out of the top ten in NBC’s aggregate of the last five weeks’ polling. And Donald Trump is in the lead.

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Steve King refuses debate unless opponent pulls ad

Still from another advertisement that may also mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Still from another advertisement that may mischaracterize Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Tea Party darling and Iowa delegate to the US House of Representatives Steve King has refused to publicly debate Jim Mowrer until the Democrat’s campaign stops running a “misleading” advertisement against him. According to the Sioux City Journal, King withdrew from a Sunday debate on Iowa Public Television over a television ad that alleges he voted against increasing the minimum wage and for increasing congressional compensation. King denies that he ever “voted to raise his pay or get free health care. “When Mowrer comes clean, I’ll clear my schedule for Sunday and debate him,” King told the Journal. Until then, voters can just sit tight and work with the information they have.

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Paul Ryan is a fucking liar

As a hip, modern American, I have come to accept a baseline level of mendacity in my political candidates. I’m fully inured to Orewllian doublespeak, for example. When the House passes a bill specifically to prevent tax increases on people making over a million dollars a year and calls it the Buffett Rule Act, I smirk grimly and move on. Every once in a while, though, some elected figure manages to lie in a way that makes me actually angry. Despite my jaded exterior and desire to focus on cat videos, I am occasionally overwhelmed by that rage which comes when a smug person attempts to deceive you by offering to help. Yesterday, Paul Ryan got me. Video after the jump.

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