Over the past four years, we’ve become addicted to the Orange Menace. Whether you hated or loved him, he was our national — international — soap opera. No longer did we need to wait for an event or calamity to occur. We had our own political climate changer who was sufficiently deranged that we never knew what was coming.
At first, it was almost funny and somehow, we thought he’d disappear. We waited for the impeachment. Oops, that was a no-go. Which meant we’d have to un-elect him. Couldn’t he just have a simple physical issue? Maybe something related to his eating disorder because no one can live on MacDonald’s hamburgers without having something wrong. All that animal fat? Yuk.
Meanwhile, while we awaited deliverance, we had an insane, nonstop stream stuff happening. Calamities, catastrophes, caged children and eventually, COVID-19 which became a full-fledged pandemic. Add that to all the events, embarrassments, idiocies, and madness all of which were squatting in the White House. Television reporters became celebrities. The previously shrinking news business grew exponentially because we had a crazy person as our President who claimed all news was fake except when he said it was real. The Don’s tweets became an endless stream of “reportable” events. Was it really news? Who knows?The Orange Menace will be moving on soon down the long, lonely road where old politicians go to tell everyone that they used to be someone. It won’t be soon enough for me, but still, it will be soon.
What does it mean? Are television news stations and divisions going to start letting people go? is everyone going to stop reading newspapers and start trying to get all their news from social media? Isn’t that how we wound up in this awful place? Are we all going to go back to the same level of stupidity that got us into so much trouble or did we learn something from this experience? My guess is that we haven’t learned anything and we are just as stupid now as we were before. But that’s just a guess and I would like very much to be wrong.
From The Washington Post:
We knew it couldn’t last. Eventually, the producer in chief would have to leave the Oval Office and the media would have to scramble for news as in the days before a wheeler-dealer handed them diamonds before breakfast. If Trump wasn’t the media’s favorite president, he was surely their favorite fake wrestler. A pugilist with small hands and a commander in chief with fallen arches, The Don was concurrently a nightmare and a dream-come-true for pundits and headline writers.
He was simply easy pickings, by his own choosing. His verbal antics and Twitter frenzies were often served up for particular time slots and news shows, which he reportedly watched for hours throughout most days while on the taxpayers’ clock.
Celebrity, meantime, has grown exponentially for the erstwhile ink-stained press corps. Thanks to the country’s train-wreck infatuation with Trump, many mere correspondents have become major attractions themselves. They should wear black to Biden’s inauguration in recognition of their brief time in the NFL — which in Washington means Not For Long.
This brings us back to the Biden communications staff, which, in addition to making choreographed history, is sailing toward treacherous waters. Even before Thanksgiving, all was not peace and tranquility in Biden world. Unnamed campaign staffers complained to Politico that former Obama officials were snagging top jobs and expressed fears that they might not get spots in the new administration. “People are p—ed,” said one Biden adviser. So it has been in administrations since the birth of the Republic.
It’s hard to even remember what the nightly comedy shows were like before the Orange Menace appeared. I know there was humor. I remember laughing. I just don’t remember what we were laughing about. This has been such a grim year. It has been hard to find something genuinely funny. Even stuff I normally would laugh at has not seemed terribly funny. I never imagined anything could really drain my sense of humor. Humor has been my last stand when everything else in my world is crumbling and all I can see is disaster looming.
Now, while the news business tries to figure out what news is with the passing of the Menace, I have to figure out how to relax and enjoy living. That isn’t going to be easy. It has been a long year and it ain’t over yet. Not nearly.