Monday, June 5, 2017

Scare Away the Snark

I couldn't take it any more.
After watching Donald Trump as President, and especially after seeing him rip the Paris climate accord to shreds, I could no longer limit my anger toward all the pundits, reporters, and commentators who ridiculed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley (above, obviously) and undermined his own political viability to rants about them on this blog.  I decided to respond to some of them directly.
A little late, I know, as these condescending comments about O'Malley were made months ago, during and immediately after the election campaign.  But in light of Trump's utter failure as a President and as a human being - and in recognition of the possibility that O'Malley could have been the 2016 Democratic nominee and defeated Trump if the press hadn't marginalized him - it seems appropriate to respond to these naysayers now.  And just remember, the mainstream press gave Trump free media by covering him so extensively, so they're to blame for Trump as much as the Democratic National Committee is for rigging the primaries and caucuses for Hillary Clinton.  Maybe more so.
First, Joanna Rothkopf.  Rothkopf edits, a women's-interests blog, and she used that platform in the fall of 2015 to belittle O'Malley for appearing on "The View" and singing and playing on his guitar a Taylor Swift song to connect with female voters.  She specifically said that O'Malley was proof that "a white man who is eager to play his guitar in public belongs in one of the deepest circles of Hell." Well, I found this snooty little excuse for a commentator on LinkedIn, and I wrote to her, saying, "I was a Martin O'Malley supporter, and you are a goddamned idiot!"
I also expressed regret that she thinks that all the great sixties and seventies classic rockers are going to Hell.
Next, Molly Ball.  Ball wrote a favorable profile piece about O'Malley in 2014 in the Atlantic, for whom she works, but a year later, she acted like she'd never heard of him when discussing a Democratic forum in November 2015 on CBS and then later ridiculed O'Malley's attempts to be heard at a subsequent Democratic presidential debate in which moderator John Dickerson was clearly trying to ignore him.  Having found her Atlantic e-mail address, I wrote to her and made it clear that  I was not amused by any of this.
"You, Ms. Ball," I also wrote, "acted like someone else wrote this profile article under your byline without your knowledge - that sort of 180-degree turn against people in public service that makes voters turn against the media. Nor did I appreciate your apparent snark in your comments about O'Malley when discussing him on CBS or responding to John Dickerson's treatment of him during the CBS debate. I'm only writing this now in 2017 because, having seen Donald Trump in action and having just seen him withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, I am extremely ticked off with how the media laughed O'Malley out of the race even as they gave Trump so much free media. Your and other reporters' cavalier dismissal of someone who could have defeated Trump in the 2016 general election - we know now Hillary Clinton could not have - did a great disservice to democracy and to the nation. I am sickened by all of the snark that my candidate received. Your attitude did not help."
And how about CNN's Jake Tapper?  When O'Malley refused to entertain thoughts of reconciliation with Trump and his supporters, saying in a Twitter message that no one opposed to fascism in Europe and to racism in the South talked of reconciliation and adding that it was time to fight, Tapper tweeted back, "What exactly do you mean by 'fight,' here, governor?"
What the hell did Tapper think he meant?  O'Malley meant it was time to fight, something his fellow Democrats don't seem to be able to do these days (not one Republican House or Senate seat has been flipped in a special congressional election since November 2016).  "What do you want Martin to do," I wrote to Tapper via Twitter, "lay down with candles in the rain?"  
Well, these are the examples of snark against O'Malley that I remember best, but if I tried to respond to every slight against him, I'd get carpal tunnel syndrome.  Rest assured, though, if I see or hear any more pundits go after O'Malley in the future - and I know that is going to happen - they can expect a pretty fierce rebuttal in one form or another.  
I know - "What exactly do you mean by 'fierce,' here, Steve?"
What do you think I mean?  Just read the above comments again.

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