I am not a journalist so much as an essayist. A reader offended by a newspaper article, one hopes, understands the difference between the story and the story writer. A reader offended by my opinions can vent to me, stop reading my work and or equate my opinions to me as a person. Or threaten me.
Writers are under siege all around the world. Despotic regimes cannot survive if the free press reports the facts. And they view essayists as trouble makers. The more extreme among the despots think nothing of killing journalists or writers. Truth and despotism are opposed. Worldwide from 2001through 2017, 780 journalists have been killed. A newer trend shows women journalists to be more likely be a target.
“The New York Times and a third-rate reporter named Maggie Habberman [sic], known as a Crooked H flunkie [sic] who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected.”
The quote is from a morning tweet-a-thon posted by our president. See photos of him posing with Haberman in the Oval Office, his arm around her. His words and thoughts reveal low intelligence. To use a baseball cliché—because I’m an essayist not a journalist—the facts show us a “farm club” right-winger trying to leap into The Show. Having been raised by wealthy, racist parents, our hero boasts of his Mob connections, his misogyny, and his willingness to step on the little people.
By reporting what the man wrote, I am telling a factual truth. By writing what I feel about it, I am expressing my opinion—my emotional truth—which may delight or anger some of you. I don’t care.
Maggie Haberman is a widely respected journalist. Each of her stories contain at least three fact sources—good journalism. The fact that the facts have been declared fake does not change the facts.
Evangelical pastor addressing his congregation: “There has been some confusion among evangelicals as to what currently constitutes sin in the eyes of the church. So to clarify, we now condone the following conduct: lewdness, vulgarity, profanity, adultery and sexual assault. Exemptions to Christian values also include greed, bullying, conspiring, boasting, lying, cheating, sloth, envy, wrath, gluttony and pride.”
That is satire, of course, by Garry Trudeau in this morning’s “Doonesbury.” It reflects the facts of the evangelical church’s shocking willingness to overlook the above commissions and acts of our president which clearly have nothing to do with Christianity. Why?
If your response includes the words “lyin’ Hillary,” you sir, you ma’am are sycophants. You ought to be ashamed. You are equating not answering—either because you can’t answer, or you are still pissed off about that black president who had the temerity to win an election, mostly because of a solid black vote and an overwhelming white vote. You lost. And you’re going to continue to lose because the world will not spin backwards no matter how hard you pray.
What are the options for coopted evangelicals and right-wing populists? Gun toting: Happening. Insulting workers or patrons of stores because of cultural dress or color: Happening. White terrorism: Happening. Assassination: Happening. Whoa, who got killed? Elijah P. Lovejoy, Martin Luther King, the Kennedy brothers, Malcom X, the current student and church massacres, lynching (4,730), and the list goes on.
Journalists and essayists, writers in general are being killed the world over. As if my brothers and sisters will stop what they’re doing. A friend of mine recently told me that I needed to stop pissing people off re writing. The friend had heard people in their church discussing me, how I didn’t belong here and I had better learn my place. Stick to whimsy. They like that.