Modern Disasters · READ UP · Visions for a new world

Blogging in the Trump years

By LT

Wow, 2017 and 6 years since I started this blog.  I became a journalist in 1996.

In those 20 years, many of us watched journalism change, but not for the better.  (Think about the embedded journalists in Iraq during the Bush years.  Shock-and-awe to have journalists told and shown what they report?  That war cost us billions.)  This loss of fair and honest reporting cost us more than money, as citizens, and as voters.  We do not get impartial reporting in the US.  We’re told so many lies, it’s hard to gauge/guess/judge who is more guilty – the press or the politician.  We know politicians lie but it’s totally out-of-control when media is broadcasting them day and night. (That news cycle 24/7 has made us so weary, apathy and exhaustion sets in fast.)  In the past year, many major news outlets and TV news were not doing their job as investigators, not even admitting their errors.  A democracy demands freedom of the press.  The press serves us, its citizens, its voters, its readers. What happened to the press?


We are heading into unchartered waters with this new Trump administration and the truth gets murkier by the hour. It’s obvious Trump watches a lot of TV, since he’s still a reality TV producer.  Trump’s becoming Leader-in-Tweet. [Those Twitter people should seriously yank his account.] He has a tweet for everything, it seems.


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I had a good cry last night when actress Meryl Streep said, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” She was quoting her late friend, Carrie Fisher.  Streep took on Trump then a tweet storm exploded.

I’d been seriously wondering if now is a good time to give up blogging, but I quickly reconsidered.  Now is not the time to stop.  NOW is the time to consider and reconsider what we read, write, and how we act/react. 

Our energy is not to be wasted on fluff or gimmicks or shtick.  If Big Media/Social Media is failing us, then blogs will offer a new freedom, free and uncensored in the next four years.  But our quest is to read the BEST blogs and hear the BEST podcasts.  (I am following over 250 blogs now and plan to scale way way back.  Like you, I want to be informed, educated, enlightened, and of course, amused.)

I am thankful to blogs like fivethirtyeight.com who are reporting on Trump’s many conflicts of interest here.  Painter is concerned about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and said laws should incorporate what we know from science. “There needs to be more effort to address underlying psychological biases,” he said.

I am thankful to Native News Online for constant updates from Standing Rock, like this.

Thanks to my dear friend Carol Hand for her thoughtful amazing blog and this article about our changing climate and effects on trees.  And to Dr. Stuart Bramhall for her

The Most Revolutionary Act.

from Twitter
from Twitter

Big thanks to Hyperallergic for a burgeoning artist movement that is gearing up for the next four years of Trump: Required Reading …good things that happened in 2016, like this Twitter photo on populism in Trumplandia, and more.] Sign up for their emails like  I did.

Looking back, we had a standoff of US military EQUIPPED to wage war against unarmed water protectors in North Dakota, and Big Media barely show up?

How will BIG MEDIA ever earn back our trust? (Like when Fox News was nicknamed Bush Propaganda News.)  Since when did journalists care so much about their own fame and fortune and clicks?  Can’t they see past their paychecks? Does greed poison everything?

We journalists do have a hard job to do, covering politics at a safe distance, building reliable good sources, counting on the integrity of publishers and editors who don’t take bribes or succumb to threats.

Where did their integrity go?  Did it do a nosedive when journalism joined up with social media, and became about who gets the most clicks and hits on their websites.  Is marketing and selling and ratings priority? Social Media has become a perversion, an invasion, a monitor, sanctioned by tyrants like Trump who can dominate an entire news cycle with a single tweet.

As citizens, we need accountability of the press and the politician.  I am sure that Trump Presidency will start a whole new wave of citizen journalism and blogging.

I will be writing here on this blog weekly, and sharing what I find worthy of your time and my own.

journalists

Thanks to all of you who blog/create/write so generously and read this blog.

I hope people, including bloggers, begin to speak up when shit really starts hitting the fan.  Trump will affect nearly all aspects of our daily lives, and at some point I don’t think it’s going to be possible to just pretend it’s not happening.

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17 thoughts on “Blogging in the Trump years

  1. There’s more to it than journalists not doing their job or bloggers not laying out the truth. There is willful ignorance on the part of the American people. The 538 chart shows that only 20% of the American people trust newspapers. Newspapers! No broadcast news, or AM radio, or cable ranting, or, god forbid, Fox News. And yet that same chart has about 70% trusting the military! The military! Who has more people to manage the news than the New York Times has to find it out.

    Now there may be reason to distrust lazy and dishonest journalists. But you will find far fewer of them in newspapers than in any othr place that hires journalists (including the government). People have decided what they want to believe. This is not the fault of The Washington Post (which did more than any other organization to stop Trump), The New York Times or even the cheapest local which at least has Reuters and AP stories for people to read (or more likely ignore). There has never been an election where the press has so unanimously opposed one candidate editorially, and yet, look what happened.

    The internet is not the solution. Social media is not social activism. In fact, it i the method by which the corporations that dominate the internet have stumbled on to prevent people from learning the truth. Just get enoiugh of them to voluntarily segregate themselves into the continuous loop of right wing reinforced propaganda and you win. And that doesn’t require them to read Breibart or Red States (which by the way opposed Trump) or any of the Right Wing sewers. Just get in Facebook and have your “friends” constantly recycle right wing lies. Or go on WordPress and subscribe only to the right wing lunatics. The internet sorts people into their own separate realities.

    The answer, if there is one (and I’m not sure there is) is real, face-to-fact activism, with talking to people in person. this is going to require organization, as in the old days. And we have to begin from scratch since the unions, left wing organizations, the occupy movement, civil rights organizations, have been either decimated or demoralized. I am the first to confess that it took me a while to un-delude myself that blogging or other internet activities was making a real difference. When I eventually began making GOTV phone calls in October I realized that the people I was talking to are completely different from the people who read me and who I read on the internet. It is those people who must be changed. They don’t believe in any media that is labelled “liberal” by their puppet masters (and newspapers and blogs certainly are). We have to get out and talk to them personally. That is what I have concluded from this catastrophe we have suffered. Twitter is not going to save us. We have to save ourselves.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There’s a great deal of truth in what you say. While there are some good alternative news sources… 1) They don’t appear on mainstream television channels. 2) They require a little more concentration, in order to digest, than mainstream media news.

      If the 4th Estate is dead, it has to be one-on-one, person-to-person, organic word-of-mouth, just like you say. It is said that organic online marketing takes longer, but the results are longer-lasting. That may apply here, as well.

      Four 4 years I have attended a weekly woman’s group sponsored by my church, called Wired Word; we discuss current events from a Christian perspective. Just last week, one of the women whispered to me that she so appreciated what I brought to the group (which is a progressive viewpoint when we discuss politics and social issues).

      All I can say to folks, is hang in there — no matter how uncomfortable or foolish you may feel when speaking up. Try to understand where others are coming from, and get into non-threatening discussions. Focus on the common ground between Conservatives and Progressives. (Check out Ralph Nader – there are at least 29.)

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dear Trace, I am grateful to hear you decided to continue blogging and using your incredible skills to keep us all informed about crucial issues. You’ve sparked a lively and important dialogue with this post about journalism and access to “truth.”. I also want to thank you for your kind words. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad you decided to not give up blogging. I find that the blogosphere has been important for seeing first hand that not everyone is ecstatic over this election, and that we have a new and different “water cooler” to air our grievances around…. We need insightful people with old-school journalism training like you in the picture. We need the perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

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