Robo-Rubio, by Ilana Mercer
Fox favourite falters
“Wish fulfillment is “the satisfaction of a desire through an involuntary thought process.” This Freudian term encapsulates the coverage of the riveting 2016 primaries by the Megyn Kelly wing (or coven) of the Murdoch Media.
Yes, a news personality—a showgirl really—is running more of Roger Ailes’ show than she should. And, as Newsmax reports, not everyone in the org is pleased with Kelly’s “Trump-fueled stardom.”
Since the anchoring philosopher in Kelly’s life is Oprah Winfry’s protégé TV pop-psychologist Dr. Phil—the anchor ought to appreciate a psychological idiom that encapsulates her coverage of the New Hampshire primary, in particular, and of Donald Trump in general.
Look, no-one is discounting the news-worthy value of good leg and hair action and some, but not much, fine couture. However, Kelly File coverage is defined by little to no analysis approximating reality, hence “wish fulfillment.”
What the likes of lightweight Dana Perinno, mega-ego Kelly and their male friendlies have made manifest is that: 1) navigating the shoals of reality is hard for them, and 2) they’re hoping against hope that someone will politically slay The Donald dragon.
The central question around which these Marco Rubio enamored performers have thus framed the New Hampshire primary’s results is: who is going to beat Mr. Trump, the Republican front runner, who’d just triumphed “bigly” in NH.
The headline on kingmaker Kelly’s Fox News website was, “What’s the anti-Trump strategy now?” (It has since vanished.) And, “Who will the lead GOP establishment?” On February 10, Kelly scolded Jeb Bush for “having his eye on the wrong guy,” and failing to take on the “quarterback who’s running with the ball.”
To the extent The Kelly File covers the Trump phenomenon, coverage is given over to plotting against the candidate and, by extension, the Americans he represents.
The desire among select members of the Murdoch Media for a Marco Rubio victory is hidden in plain view. Kelly and her carefully selected compadres are hoping against hope that Trump will stop winning. Their focus, to the exclusion of all else, is on who’ll stop their political bête noire.
News coverage that is directed toward desired outcomes is no coverage at all.
Surprisingly, MSNBC’s coverage of the NH primaries was way more analytical. Instead of practicing Freudian “wish fulfillment,” and ruminating about the ways in which their preferred candidate could beat his rotten rival—MSNBC anchors “analyzed”: they pointed out that, “Both parties’ winners in NH signal changes for the US,” and that the “Trump win could transform American politics“.
Almost correct. It’s not Trump that’s transforming American politics; it’s the people of America doing the transforming. Trump is merely channeling the “noisy-as-hell majority.”
MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow nearly got it right when she suggested that “Donald Trump’s win in New Hampshire could represent a shift in American politics and the Republican Party to compare more closely with right-wing nativist political parties in Europe.” Were I Ms. Maddow’s Roger Ailes, however, I’d have asked her to scrub news coverage of the pejoratives “xenophobic” and “nativist.” Reserve those for her own opinion-driven show, if she must.
Why, the left-liberal Ms. Maddow might serve as a professional role model for Megyn Kelly, whose métier is feel-good militarism, anti-Trumpism and you-go-girl, hybrid feminism.
Again, at least MSNBC anchors “analyzed”; including to hark back to the populist uprising led by Pat Buchanan, who won the New Hampshire 1992 Republican presidential primaries.
Fresh from a sledding contest in NH with other sexy (but not very smart) co-hosts like herself, unsharpened pencil Perinno ventured, on Fox News, that the Marcobot’s malfunction was a once-off glitch, nothing major.
Needless to say, if you joined the Foxettes, as too many of you did—to judge from their winning ratings—you’d struggle to decipher the hushed references to Senator Rubio’s so-called single mishap.
And, if you missed the February 6 debate and have since been relying on Fox for news, you’d be clueless about the incident, which—bar Megyn Kelly’s absence from center stage—was one of the highlights of the ABC Republican debate in New Hampshire.
The meltdown saw Marcobot repeat the following paragraph several times:
“Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don’t want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the United States of America. And when I’m elected president, this will become once again, the single greatest nation in the history of the world, not the disaster Barack Obama has imposed upon us”.
An eerie encounter with Robo-Rubio had been documented as far back as December 23, last year. Again, if you rely on Fox News for election coverage, you’d be unaware of the impressions imparted by a New Hampshire newspaper.
The Conway Daily Sun observed: “Watching [Rubio] was like witnessing ‘a computer algorithm designed to cover talking points. He said a lot, but at the same time said nothing. It was like someone wound him up, pointed him towards the doors, and pressed play. If there was a human side, a soul, to the senator, it did not come through.”
Ignored, too, was a pre-debate, anti-Marco Rubio ad run by Governor Chris Christie. The ad captured another memorized line repeated ad nauseam by Rubio, in all interviews:
“The presidency of the United States is a unique office, it’s not like being a senator but it’s not like being a governor, either.” (Two minutes and 53 seconds into the clip titled “Root of Rubio gaffe: confirming suspicions he’s scripted.”)
In fairness to Marco Rubio, at least he remembers his rehearsed lines; Barack Obama needs a teleprompter to remind him of his.
It’s proving very hard to reboot Rubio.
A day after Marco’s debate night malfunction, the senator went straight back to “explaining his canned talking points with … more canned talking points”:
“I’m going to continue saying that, because it’s at the core of our campaign.”
“I’m going to continue saying that, because it’s one of the reasons I’m running.”
“I’m going to continue saying that, because not only is it the truth, it’s at the core of our campaign.”
“At the core of this campaign is that statement and I’m going to continue to say it.”
There’s more of the same but columnists are bound by a word count.
A gaffe, an odd moment, a bad night is how the Marcobot Media has framed Rubio’s recitations. (At least three of the country’s smartest female columnists have been warning about Rubio for years. The one is Ann Coulter; the other Phyllis Schlafly. Modesty prevents this column from naming the third, but she has been pairing “neoconservative” Rubio and the adjective “robotic” for some time.)
Governor Christie has taken himself out of the presidential race. He is, nevertheless, owed a debt of gratitude for exposing Rubio’s faulty circuitry.
Inadvertently Christie has done the country another kindness: He has given viewers a glimpse into the low-watt, spiteful coverage coming from the Kelly arm of the Murdoch Media.
Ilana Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the U.S. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason.” She is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. Her latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.barelyablog.com Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IlanaMercer “Friend” her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilanamercer.libertarian