• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 15 juli 2017

How U.S. Interfered in Russian Election

Tucker Carlson interviews man who Bill Clinton sent to Russia in 1994 to meddle in Russian election

Michael Caputo was sent to Russia in 1994 by Bill Clinton. His job was to make sure Yeltsin won elections.
Two days ago The Duran reported on a Bill Clinton advisor, and White House insider Dick Morris, and his on the record admission to US democracy subversion into Russian elections.
TIME Magazine admitted to Bill Clinton’s “American election meddling” to keep Boris Yeltsin in office in 1996.
As the Russian hysteria from the liberal left bubble reaches new heights with Donald Trump Jr.’s 20 minute meeting with a Russian lawyer…Tucker Carlson interviewed Michael Caputo, a former Trump communications adviser, who was sent to Russia by Bill Clinton in 1994, for the explicit purpose to meddle in Russia’s election, and ensure that Boris Yeltsin secured the Presidency.
The exchange, and admission by Caputo, exposes the hypocrisy in the entire “Russian meddling” fake news narrative.
The Gateway Pundit notes that Caputo and his family (Ukrainian born wife) are now the victims of death threats from the “peaceful liberal left”, because Democrat lawmakers believe the couple are also under Putin’s spell…
Former Trump Communications Advisor, Michael Caputo, told Tucker Carlson on Friday he never heard anyone in the Trump campaign even mention Russia during the election.
Caputo told Tucker Carlson that his family has received death threats after Rep. Jackier Speier (D-CA) mentioned his wife was Russian (she’s Ukranian) at a House hearing.
State of Politics reported:
In the statement, Caputo says he hopes to find clarity on relevant issues to the committee and “set the record straight” with respect to comments made about his family. He takes aim in particular at comments made by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, during a March 20 hearing.
He said Speier inaccurately called him Putin’s “image consultant” during the previous hearing, despite the fact he publicly criticized the Russian president a number of times in the past. Caputo said a simple Google search would’ve revealed that.
He also criticized the congresswoman for bringing his Ukrainian wife into the fold.
“You don’t need Google to understand why our marriage does not support the Congresswoman’s hypothesis that I’m a Putinist,” he said. “Just as not every Italian American is associated with organized crime, not every Ukrainian woman is connected to President Putin. In fact, few are. Maybe none. For a number of reasons, my wife certainly is not.”
http://theduran.com/tucker-carlson-brings-on-the-man-who-bill-clinton-sent-to-russia-in-1994-to-meddle-in-russian-election/ 


Trump's Business

Trump Is a Cornered Animal, and He's Dangerous

Saturday, July 15, 2017 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed 
President Donald Trump arrives at the start of the the G20 summit on July 7, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)President Donald Trump arrives at the start of the the G20 summit on July 7, 2017, in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo: Sean Gallup / Getty Images)
You have to hand it to this First Family. As advertised, they do nothing small. Buildings wreathed in gold, steaks thiccker than city sidewalks, golf courses manicured like supermodels … and scandals rich enough to clot the blood. The present Russia eruption is a sumptuous feast with all the trimmings, served by a court jester named Junior who, as Stephen Colbert recently observed, decided to be his own "Deep Throat" on the front page of every news publication on the planet.
All the way back to the campaign, the members of the Trump crew have been dogged by questions regarding their relationship with Russia. Before last weekend, Trump and company were content to smother themselves in smug denials while hoping Robert Mueller would get lost on his way to his office, but that all went up in a cloud of stink when The New York Times stepped to the plate.
We have emails, it said, detailing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and some mysterious Russian lawyer. Junior, who had denied the whole thing until the Times told him they were about to print the emails, threw caution to the wind and released the emails himself. All of them. Maybe.
The content in brief: HEY JUNIOR, I KNOW THIS RUSSIAN LAWYER WITH TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WHO HAS DIRT ON CLINTON SHE WANTS TO GIVE YOU BECAUSE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO HELP YOU WIN.
Reply: I LOVE IT, LET'S MEET AT TRUMP TOWER OF ALL PLACES AND I'LL DRAG IN THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE CAMPAIGN, BUT BE SURE TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT OUR SECRET PLAN TO HAVE THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HELP US WIN.
It does come across as just that absurd. That meeting with the Russian lawyer so meticulously documented by Junior was in all likelihood what they call in the intelligence business a "dangle": An offer of information with no real substance to gauge the interest and enthusiasm of the intended target. The fact that Russia made direct efforts to help Donald Trump win in 2016 is now settled fact, but there is far more to this than the election, and the depth of it is dangerous in the extreme.
Some years back, Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor for a Russian law firm, uncovered a tax fraud scheme in his country so vast as to beggar historical precedent. The perpetrators were stealing whole corporations, looting them, and then using the stolen corporations to launder vast sums of dirty money. In some cases, Russian security forces were involved in these crimes.
Other instances of money laundering involved "Manhattan real estate" entities, according to the criminal complaint filed by former US Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump not long after the inauguration. That Bharara complaint, by the way, was filed against a man named Denis Katsyv, who was the alleged mastermind of the scheme uncovered by Magnitsky.
The story did not end well for Sergei Magnitski. He was arrested for tax evasion and jailed at the behest of the very oligarchs he was investigating, and later died in prison under very suspicious circumstances. In retaliation for his death, Congress in 2012 passed a law freezing the assets of 18 Russians involved in the annihilation of Magnitski. His investigation went nowhere, and when Preet Bharara lost his job as US Attorney, the whole thing quietly blew away.
Or did it? Vladimir Putin was not happy when those 18 Russians had their assets frozen, and retaliated by ending all adoptions of Russian children by US families. To promote this edict, Putin tapped an attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya to help with the public relations push. Natalia Veselnitskaya was also the attorney for Denis Katysyv, author of the scheme uncovered by Magnitski, in the matter being pursued by Bharara.
Natalia Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon at Trump Tower in June of 2016 as part of the Russian government's effort to help Donald Trump win the election.
On Friday morning, the story took a remarkable twist when NBC News revealed the existence of a fifth person present at the meeting with Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort and Veselnitskaya. Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist and former counter-intelligence officer with the Soviet military, accompanied Veselnitskaya to the meeting. Red flags began waving immediately upon this revelation: Not only were Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin associates in the lobbying effort to undo the sanctions against those 18 Russians involved in the Magnitski affair, but Akhmetshin has been accused of orchestrating a massive international hacking conspiracy at the behest of a billionaire Russian industrialist. It is worth noting that Akhmetshin is a US citizen, and Robert Mueller's subpoena power absolutely includes US citizens.
… and then, just before 9:00am on Friday morning, Trump Jr.'s own lawyer revealed the existence of a sixth person who was present at the Trump Tower meeting. At the time of this writing, the name of that sixth person remains unknown. Before 5:00pm on the same day, CNN was reporting that eight people or more actually attended the meeting.
Magnitski to Katsyv to Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin to Trump Tower, with Vladimir Putin hovering over it all and an indeterminate number of others along for the ride.
Junior's first explanation for the meeting was that Veselnitskaya wanted to talk about "adoptions," which may well have been code for a push to have the sanctions lifted against those 18 Russians involved in the Magnitski matter, should Trump emerge victorious in November. Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin have been working for years, the former at the behest of Putin, to undo those sanctions. It is all of a piece, and as the old saying goes, when you hear hoofbeats, don't think of zebras.
We are dealing with some very grim possibilities here. In the worst case scenario, the president of the United States, his son and top campaign/administration staffers got themselves involved with an agent for the Russian government who is neck-deep in a massive money laundering scandal that may very well have gotten a guy killed in prison. These issues could explain why Robert Mueller has tapped the best money laundering prosecutors and investigators in all of US jurisprudence to join his team.
It would seem that whatever slivers of credibility the Trump administration ever possessed have been consumed by this bonfire of hubris, lying and shady dealing (though much of his base remains loyal). Congressional Republicans are trying to pretend the White House doesn't actually exist as their legislative agenda founders like a rot-riddled rowboat. The only statement coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is "Talk to the lawyers," lather rinse repeat.
Junior is about to have a series of incredibly unpleasant conversations with some very serious people, whereupon he may come to learn -- perhaps for the first time in his life -- the meaning of the word "consequences." Messrs. Kushner and Manafort, who were actual campaign employees when that fateful meeting took place, and are therefore subject to a whole raft of other laws, can expect the same. The legal fate of the other meeting attendees remains to be determined.
And as for the Tweeter in Chief? On Thursday, he blamed the whole thing on Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration for allowing Natalia Veselnitskaya to enter the country in the first place. This is the growling of a cornered animal.
Any takeaway from all this, though, must not include "Donald Trump is finished," because sometimes a cornered animal is exceedingly dangerous. Trump and his whole crew are preposterous frauds, but he still retains the enormous powers of the presidency, and he is watching much of his world collapse around him. At this point, he is capable of just about anything, especially if he believes he is defending his family.
Thanks to the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Trump has the power to start and/or escalate wars at will, and war is a time-tested method of distraction. He still has control over a vast nuclear arsenal. The current scandal is yet another glaring indication that Trump and his people are more than comfortable engaging in shady dealings behind closed doors. Plus, in the event of a terrorist attack, real or imagined, Trump has astonishing police powers at his disposal. None of us can accurately guess what he's capable of as president.
This is not alarmism. This is enlightened self-interest. Fear and vigilance are highly appropriate responses at this juncture. More than at any point since January, Donald Trump is, right now, the most dangerous man in the world.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

WILLIAM RIVERS PITT

William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to KnowThe Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

    Ian Buruma en 'het betrekkelijk goedaardige imperialisme uit Washington' 6



    Kenmerkend voor het mens- en wereldbeeld van een journalist is diens voorstelling van zaken, de wijze waarop hij de werkelijkheid presenteert. Hoewel de westerse mainstream-pers blijft pretenderen onafhankelijk en objectief te zijn in haar oordeel, blijkt in de praktijk van alledag al snel hoe bevooroordeeld en propagandistisch haar werk is. Ik geef een voorbeeld aan de hand van datgene wat Ian Buruma in The New York Times van 29 november 2016 beweerde:

    One of the strangest episodes in Donald Trump’s very weird campaign was the appearance of an Englishman looking rather pleased with himself at a rally on Aug. 24 in Jackson, Miss. The Englishman was Nigel Farage, introduced by Trump as ‘the Man Behind Brexit.’ Most people in the crowd probably didn’t have a clue who Farage — the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party — actually was. Yet there he stood, grinning and hollering about ‘our independence day’ and the ‘real people,’ the ‘decent people,’ the ‘ordinary people’ who took on the banks, the liberal media and the political establishment. Trump pulled his face into a crocodile smile, clapped his hands and promised, ‘Brexit plus plus plus!’

    Brexit itself — the decision to withdraw Britain from the European Union, notwithstanding the almost universal opposition from British banking, business, political and intellectual elites — was not the main point here. In his rasping delivery, Trump roared about Farage’s great victory, ‘despite horrible name-calling, despite all obstacles.’ Quite what name-calling he had in mind was fuzzy, but the message was clear. His own victory would be like that of the Brexiteers, only more so. He even called himself Mr. Brexit.

    Al meteen in de eerste zin staan twee adjectieven die de lezer vertellen hoe zij de gebeurtenissen dienen te interpreteren, te weten, ‘strangest’ en ‘very weird,’ oftewel ‘vreemd’ en ‘buitengewoon vreemd,’ in de zin van ‘bizar, griezelig, angstwekkend.’  Vervolgens deelt Buruma zijn geschoold lezerspubliek mee dat ‘Brexit itself’ het besluit was van de meerderheid van de Britse kiezers om het lidmaatschap van de Europese Unie op te zeggen, ‘notwithstanding the almost universal opposition from British banking, business, political and intellectual elites.’ Hiermee suggereert de liberal Buruma hoe ongehoord het was dat in een zogeheten ‘democratie’ de meerderheid van het kiezersvolk tegen het ‘bijna universele’ verzet van de 'elites' inging. Het adjectief ‘universele’ moet de indruk vestigen dat de weerstand tegen Brexit massaal was, terwijl de ‘oppositie’ ook nog eens bestond uit elites die normaal gesproken in het  neoliberale  bestel de dienst uitmaken. Dit alles wordt door Buruma omkleed met begrippen als ‘hollering, crocodile smile, rasping, fuzzy’ etcetera, om zijn lezers goed duidelijk te maken dat we hier te maken hebben met een schijnvertoning, een onverwachte opstand van parvenu’s die zich doorgaans laten leiden door ‘banking, business, political and intellectual elites.’ Dat deze ‘elites’ verantwoordelijk zijn voor bijvoorbeeld de permanente oorlogsvoering met de bekende rampzalige gevolgen, voor de kredietcrisis van 2008 en haar even desastreuze gevolgen voor de westerse economie, voor de wereldwijde toenemende kloof tussen rijk en arm — nu ook in het Westen zelf — en voor de klimaatverandering, zijn alle feiten die door Buruma vanzelfsprekend worden verzwegen in zijn voorstelling van zaken. Hoewel president Trump blind is voor de gevaren van klimaatverandering is het zeker niet de schuld van de ‘holloring’ parvenu’s in zijn regering dat ‘The West Is on Fire as Heat Records Fall’ en dat ‘A scorcher of a heat wave broke temperature records across the West and helped fuel new wildfires,’ zoals juli 2017 ‘Climate Central,’ berichtte, een ‘independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public.’ De organisatie  wees erop dat:

    [w]hile heat waves are a regular part of summer weather, the steady warming of the planet means those heat waves are getting ever hotter, making record heat more and more likely…

    Extreme heat is one of the hallmarks of global warming; as the average temperature of the planet rises, record heat becomes much more likely than record cold. And cities in the Southwest — where most of the region’s population lives — are some of the fastest-warming in the country…

    With temperatures continuing to rise — and no substantial effort yet to curtail the greenhouse gas emissions driving that rise — the world at large stands to see more such extreme heat in the future. Another recent study found that half of the world’s population could be exposed to heat that reaches deadly levels by the end of the century even with the most stringent reductions in greenhouse gases. 

    These kind of heat waves pose threats to public health, local economies and infrastructure. The increased use of air conditioning can tax the electric grid, while the heat can damage crops and curtail outdoor activities, such as construction. During a June heat wave, planes in Phoenix couldn’t take off because higher temperatures lead to thinner air, making it more difficult for planes to get off the ground.

    And searing heat can be deadly to already vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, small children and those suffering from illnesses. High overnight temperatures are a particular concern when it comes to the health effects of heat waves, because they prevent the body from cooling down and recovering from the heat of the day.

    Nogmaals, deze ontwikkeling is niet door Trump veroorzaakt, maar blijft het resultaat van een ‘universal’ systeem van 'banks, the liberal media and the political establishment,' die alle sinds 1945 de globalisering van het kapitalistische model met vuur en vlam hebben verdedigd en nog steeds verdedigen met argumenten als dat het ‘imperialisme’ van  de VS  ‘betrekkelijk goedaardig’ is. En toch probeert opiniemaker Ian Buruma, tegen beter weten in, het ancien regime te verdedigen door ondermeer de aandacht af te leiden naar Trump en de meerderheid van de Amerikaanse kiezers die op hem heeft gestemd. Waarom is het voor Buruma en de andere ‘liberals’ zo onaanvaardbaar dat in een parlementaire ‘democratie’ na een ‘very weird campaign’ de bevolking tegen de gecorrumpeerde oude elites heeft gestemd? Het antwoord is simpelweg dat het nooit de bedoeling is geweest van de ‘elites’ dat ‘het volk’ zich ooit werkelijk zou uitspreken. Dat kan doorgaans ook niet aangezien de overgrote meerderheid van de ‘intellectuele elite’ altijd aan de kant staat van de macht. Hoe anders zou zij kunnen overleven? Daarbij geldt de regel dat 'public opinions must be organized for the press if they are to be sound, not by the press,’ zoals de invloedrijkste Amerikaanse media-ideoloog van de twintigste eeuw, Walter Lippmann, meer dan eens benadrukte, en wel omdat 

    [w]ithout some form of censorship, propaganda in the strict sense of the word is impossible. In order to conduct propaganda there must be some barrier between the public and the event. Access to the real environment must be limited, before anyone can create a pseudo-environment that he thinks is wise or desirable.


    Juist dit propagandistische model, waarbij opiniemakers van de massamedia de gewenste meningen formuleren, hapert momenteel, mede door de opkomst van internet, waardoor de westerse burger meer bronnen tot zijn beschikking heeft gekregen dan voorheen, toen de ‘vrije pers’ nog het monopolie bezat op de berichtgeving en daarmee op de waarheidsvinding. Eén van de wetenschappers die het werk van de Lippmann bestudeerde, de Amerikaanse historicus Stuart Ewen, hoogleraar on media' en 'consumer culture,’ constateerde in zijn studie PR! A Social History of Spin (1996) dat ‘[t]hroughout the pages of Public Opinion,’ Lippmann’s standaardwerk uit 1922, de auteur ‘had asserted that human beings were, for the most part, inherently incapable of responding rationally to their world.’  Voor Walter Lippmann:

    it was not so much people's incapacity to deliberate on issues rationally that was the problem; it was that the time necessary to pursue rational deliberations would only interfere with the smooth exercise of executive power... For Lippmann, the appeal of symbols was that they provided a device for short-circuiting the inconvenience posed by critical reason and public discussion. To Lippmann, symbols were powerful instruments for forging mental agreement among people who — if engaged in critical dialogue — would probably disagree. ‘When political parties or newspapers declare for Americanism, Progressivism, Law and Order, Justice, Humanity, ‘ he explained, they expect to merge ‘conflicting factions which would surely divide if, instead of these symbols, they were invited to discuss a specific program... Lippmann added that serious public discussion of issues would only yield a ‘vague and confusing medley,’ a discord that would make executive decision making difficult. 'Action cannot be taken until these opinions have been factored down, canalized, compressed and made uniform.' [...] The symbol, he wrote, is ‘like a strategic railroad center where many roads converge regardless of their ultimate origin or their ultimate destination.’ Because of this, ‘when a coalition around the symbol has been effected, feeling flows toward conformity under the symbol rather than toward critical scrutiny of the measures under consideration.’ In its adamant argument that human beings are essentially irrational, social psychology had provided Lippmann — and many others — with a handy rationale for a small, intellectual elite to rule over society. Yet a close reading of Lippmann's argument suggests that he was concerned less with the irrational core of human behavior than he was with the problem of making rule by elites, in a democratic age, less difficult. Educated by the lessons of the image culture taking shape around him, Lippmann saw the strategic employment of media images as the secret to modern power; the means by which leaders and special interests might cloak themselves in the ‘fiction’ that they stand as delegates of the common good. The most compelling attribute of symbols, he asserted, was the capacity to magnify emotion while undermining critical thought, to emphasize sensations while subverting ideas. ‘In the symbol,’ he rhapsodized, ‘emotion is discharged at a common target and the idiosyncrasy of real ideas is blotted out’ […] This general understanding infused Lippmann's formula for leadership... ‘The process, therefore, by which general opinions are brought to cooperation consists of an intensification of feeling and a degradation of significance.' Before a mass of general opinions can eventuate in executive action, the choice is narrowed down to a few alternatives. The victorious alternative is executed not by a mass but by individuals in control of its energy.

    Walter Lippmann hamerde erop dat de moderne massa's 

    have to take sides. We have to be able to take sides. In the recesses of our being we must step out of the audience on to the stage, and wrestle as the hero for the victory of good over evil. We must breathe into the allegory the breath of life.

    Het resultaat is een gemanipuleerde schijnwereld om de massamedia en zodoende de massa in het gareel te houden. Ewen concludeert dan ook: 

    Raised in a world that looked toward fact-based journalism as the most efficient lubricant of persuasion, Lippmann turned toward Hollywood, America's ‘dream factory,’ for inspiration. Never before had an American thinker articulated in such detail the ways that images could be used to sway public consciousness. Appeals to reason were not merely being discarded as futile, they were being consciously undermined to serve the interests of power. It is here, at the turning point where Lippmann unqualifiedly (onvoorwaardelijk. svh) abandoned the idea of meaningful public dialogue, that the dark side of his ruminations (herhalingen. svh) on the power of the image was most dramatically revealed.

    Voor alle duidelijkheid: Walter Lippmann was niet de eerste de beste, maar een gerespecteerde autoriteit op media-gebied. In die hoedanigheid was hij ‘an informal adviser to several presidents… On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson presented Lippmann with the Presidential Medal of Freedom,’ de 

    highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes those people who have made ‘an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.’ 

    Lippmann ‘has been honored by the United States Postal Service with a 6¢ Great Americans series postage stamp,’ vanwege zijn onschatbare waarde voor het establishment. Wikipedia wijst erop dat 

    [t]hough a journalist himself, Lippmann did not assume that news and truth are synonymous. For Lippmann, the ‘function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them in relation with each other, and make a picture of reality on which men can act.’ A journalist's version of the truth is subjective and limited to how they construct their reality. The news, therefore, is ‘imperfectly recorded’ and too fragile to bear the charge as ‘an organ of direct democracy.’

    Binnen deze nauw begrensde context opereert de opiniemaker Ian Buruma, die als mainstream-journalist rekening moet houden met de opvattingen en vooroordelen van zijn opdrachtgevers en zijn publiek. Uitgangspunt daarbij is dat de

    conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country,

    aldus de formulering van Edward Bernays, een andere invloedrijke media-ideoloog van de twintigste eeuw, en één van de grondleggers van de public relations-industrie. In zijn boek Propaganda (1928) zette hij tegenover de macht uiteen dat ‘[i]f we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind,’ het mogelijk was ‘to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it.’ Hij noemde 'this scientific technique of opinion-molding’ de ‘engineering of consent.’ Hoe belangrijk zijn bijdrage aan het conditioneren van het publiek in een kapitalistische 'democratie' is, blijkt onder andere uit het feit dat tijdschrift Life hem in 1999 uitriep tot 'one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.'

    Dit propagandamodel functioneerde uitstekend in de 20ste eeuw, maar sinds het begin van de 21ste eeuw heeft het razendsnel zijn effectiviteit verloren. De opiniemakers als woordvoerders van de elite zijn niet langer meer bij machte hun meningen bij een omvangrijke massa geloofwaardig over te brengen. Doordat de ‘vrije pers’ steeds dichter tegen de politici met hun failliete neoliberale beleid was gekropen, verloor zij haar geloofwaardigheid. Met de opkomst van het zogeheten ‘populisme’ werd de commerciële pers als het ware van de ene op de andere dag geconfronteerd met een publiek dat almaar sceptischer reageerde op de journalistieke voorstelling van zaken. Hoe problematisch dit is blijkt wel uit de uitspraak van NRC-hoofdredacteur Peter Vandermeersch dat 'De krant moet aansluiten bij wat moderne lezer wil.’ Maar kennelijk is ook dit onvoldoende gezien het feit dat Vandermeersch in november 2016 gedwongen was zich verbijstert af te vragen:

    Waarom zagen wij media Trumps overwinning niet aankomen? Om maar meteen met de deur in huis te vallen: ook op de redactie van NRC waren we in de nacht van dinsdag op woensdag verrast, en velen van ons zelfs geschrokken en geschokt. Samen met zowat alle Amerikaanse media hadden we de verkiezingsoverwinning van Donald Trump niet zien aankomen. Op Amerikaanse media regent het nu mea culpa’s. Sterker nog. Ik had een déjà vu-gevoel, want ook bij de Brexit en het Oekraïne-referendum geloofden velen op de redactie van deze krant dat de bevolking wel een ‘verstandige’ stem zou uitbrengen.

    Met andere woorden: de massa-media zijn het contact met de werkelijkheid kwijt. Maar doordat zij gevangen zitten in een gecorrumpeerd commercieel bestel, zien de broodschrijvers zich gedwongen door te gaan met hun propaganda voor het ancien regime. Juist daardoor waren ze de afgelopen twee decennia niet in staat de historische omslag in de samenleving te signaleren. Het ontbreekt opiniemakers als Ian Buruma aan intellectuele distantie en integriteit om zich aan te passen aan de nieuwe -- in wezen -- revolutionaire situatie. Reflexmatig blijven mijn collega’s op een simplistische manier reageren op allerlei voor hen onvoorziene ontwikkelingen. En zo ontstaan vanuit een manicheïsch mens- en wereldbeeld Buruma’s met adjectieven doorspekte zinnen als ‘[o]ne of the strangest episodes in Donald Trump’s very weird campaign.’ Ineens bevinden zijn ‘banking, business, political and intellectual elites’ zich in een voor hen onherkenbare werkelijkheid dat geen rekening houdt met de ‘almost universal opposition’ van de macht, die Ian met ondermeer de Erasmus-prijs van 2008 beloonde. Maar ondanks alle lof van het establishment,  of beter nog, juist daardoor, blijft het voor de massamedia nagenoeg onmogelijk om hun taak als pleitbezorger van de gevestigde orde naar behoren te vervullen. Elke prijs fungeert nu als een brevet van onvermogen. Het is voor de kranten erop of eronder. Daarover later meer.