Can America Survive the Trump/Corporate Media Industrial Complex?
With fewer than two weeks to go before inauguration day and serious questions left unanswered about Donald Trump's cabinet nominees, one of the leading stories in American mainstream media is the president elect's Twitter rant against an actress.
Seriously - I'm not kidding.
Just in case you haven't been glued to Twitter over the past 24 hours, here's what's going on:
At last night's Golden Globes ceremony, actress Meryl Streep gave a speech slamming Trump - without naming him - as a bully, a coward, and a con artist.
The speech then went viral, with liberals celebrating it as a heroic protest against bigotry and conservatives condemning it as yet another example of Hollywood liberalism.
Hollywood vs. Real America... the Coasts vs. the Heartland - it was the perfect culture war soap opera for the era of Donald Trump.
All it was missing was an appearance from the Donald himself - which he happily provided this morning in a series of tweets blasting Meryl Streep as an "over-rated" "Hillary flunky" in league with the "dishonest media".
The "dishonest media," of course, loved it - and gave Trump's tweets equal billing with stories about cabinet nominees, Russian interference, and nuclear weapons.
This was a completely predictable reaction - and it's exactly what Trump wanted to happen.
He knows that if it tweets it leads.
He knows that if people are talking about his Twitter rant about Meryl Streep they're most definitely not talking about his unreleased tax returns, his Klan-loving attorney general nominee, and his Reaganomics-on-steroids economic agenda.
He knows that the mainstream television media decided a long time ago that they were going to give this kind pseudo-scandal wall-to-wall coverage - even if it meant destroying our democracy in the process.
That corporate media handed Donald Trump between $2 and $3 billion in free coverage, making him president, just to jack up their ratings, is the biggest story of the year, perhaps even the biggest story of our lifetimes.
The directors and managers and producers of a small handful of immensely powerful and profitable media corporations made the decision, in 2015, that The Donald Trump show was more important to put on TV every day and night than any actual news.
And why did they do this?
They did this because The Donald Trump Show brings ratings, and ratings determine their profitability.
This sick, symbiotic relationship won Trump the White House, and it's what will keep his presidency afloat long after it reaches its past due date.
Oh yeah, and if you're expecting some kind of mea culpa from the mainstream media for installing Trump, then good luck.
That would mean that mainstream corporate television media would have to admit that its primary goal is to make money, not keep people informed about what really matters.
Not going to happen.
So, can America survive the Donald Trump/Corporate Media industrial complex?