Distracted From Distractions

« December 2016 »

Memo to the Trump As Diabolical Genius Meme, the media, and Kellogg's: YOU ARE DUMB.

OK, I'll admit it. Most of today's SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY are thoughts related to yesterday's column about distractions that didn't make it into the final version but I wanted to get out anyway. But if you slog through more stuff about Trump, I promise there's a slightly shitty cereal mascot joke at the end. That's also tangentially about Trump. Goddammit.

Donald Trump's tweets are not a plan. They're not part of a plan. Just because they work sometimes doesn't mean he meant to do that. That's like saying he's smart because he's rich and successful. There are very few meritocracies out there, so backtracking from success to genius is a fool's errand.

At best, a few of his people are taking advantage of a natural phenomenon. Do his tweets sometimes send the media on a tangent? Yes. But correlation is not causation, causation is not intent, intent is not strategy, and strategy is not necesarily repeatable. Ockham has a very nice razor that will provide you all the motivation you need for Donald Trump's tweeting.

And while we're talking about the media's failure to effectively counter Trump, it's not directly because of the distraction effect. The distraction effect doesn't help, mind you, but what we actually have here is a failure to accumulate. Drawn from years of "objectivity" being defined by the Fox News slogan of "we report, you decide".

If you report on Monday that Donald Trump tweeted a lie, and report on Tuesday that the thing he said at his press conference wasn't true, and on Wednesday point out that none of the numbers he used actually add up, and mention on Thursday that the thing he did goes against what he said, on Friday you are obligated to reach the conclusion that Donald Trump is a liar and that nothing he says should be trusted. If you don't do that, then you're relying on the American public to reach that conclusion, and those people are fucking idiots.

And finally, Kellogg's. Wingnuts are mad at Kellogg's because they stopped advertising at Breitbart. Breitbart is urging a boycott, which may be the most self-serving thing the site has ever done, which is fucking saying something.

But if you're thinking about applauding Kellogg's move, ask yourself, where the fuck has Kellogg's been for the past however many years? They say they didn't know their ads were appearing there thanks to the nature of third-party online advertising networks. I'd suggest that that is some shit billion-dollar corporations need to fucking well be aware of. Don't wait for your customers to point at a site you advertise on and tell you "They'rrrrrre Rrrrrracist!".