For someone who has been critiquing the US media for fifty years, today’s display is an apotheosis: in a demonstration of its utter lack of discernment, it gives equal weight to the President’s accusation that the leader of our neighbor and ally, Canada (Canada!) ‘knifed him in the back’ by rejecting tariffs, to a world-changing summit that could denuclearize North Korea.
While the countries of the European peninsula have constantly been in and out of war with each other for longer than records have been kept, aside from the French and Indian wars that were fomented by our respective parent countries in Europe, the US and Canada have been like two non-identical twins for their entire diplomatic history: the US has gone around making war abroad while Canada has built a largely peaceful social-democratic society whose behavior toward its Indians has tried to reflect that ethos. And yet, when the young Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in an impeccable show of French ‘politesse’, declared that, with all due respect, Canada, whose troops have fought alongside those of the US in countless wars, would not be pushed around when it comes to steel tariffs, this was used as an excuse for Trump’s ultimate refusal to sign the G7’s joint declaration.
In its preference for headlines over substance, MSNBC spending a lot of time on the Canada story, while trying to sound worldly during the eleventh hour preceding a historical meeting with a nuclear power that an hit the US. No pundit is too small to be queried about what may happen in Singapore tomorrow, the consensus being that Trump, the ‘supreme deal-maker’ will blow it by failing to chastise Kim for the way he treats ‘his people’. And of course we should not even consider removing our troops from the South until complete denuclearization of the North!
In one of his rare displays of common sense, Trump has stated that this cannot happen overnight, that it will be a process, recognizing that if we do not remove the threat represented by our troops stationed in South Korea, there is no reason for Kim to disarm. Alas, as a way of rolling that back, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State and former head of the CIA, declared that the US has the technical know-how and means to (rapidly) take over the job of denuclearizing the North.
This ridiculous suggestion flows from the assertion that the mere fact of the US agreeing to negotiate with an enemy should instill an attitude of groveling obedience and gratitude. Last week, it was the fact that a Kim emissary was granted the insigne honor of being received in the holy of holies: the White House. And when a foreigner who is not a US ally is permitted into the Oval Office, that represents the highest possible recognition of his own (though of course lesser) dignity. Having spent six years observing the political scene in Rome, I can certify that not even Vatican officials would make similar claims about meetings with the Pope!
What is most telling about the media’s attitude toward the Trump saga, is that, having realized that its own circus, and not Russian interference — are what gave him enough ‘deplorable’ votes to prove that money is not the only danger to ‘democracy’, it has been falling all over itself for the last year and a half to try to make up for this by doubling down on no holds barred criticism, in a display of unique example of lese-majesty. Amidst all of this, the well-known voice of a famous newscaster continues to claim that America contains so much common sense that it cannot be fooled by the media — and that we must keep the faith, because tomorrow will bring better news “if we work at it”.
I seem to be the only observer who interprets that as an avowal that the ‘news’ is created by the media, and indeed, as Kim and his entourage are pictured strolling around the Singapore compound in the dark, illuminated by spotlights, there is no mention of the goal of both North and South in all of this: their reunification, after being separated by foreign powers 65 years ago.
Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist that has been at the forefront of international politics for over thirty years, exlusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook”.