Having just returned from embarrassing America overseas, Donald Trump is resuming his obsessive campaign against the free press and the Constitution. This preoccupation with what he calls “the enemy of the people” is being pursued in lieu of honoring fallen troops on this Veterans Day, directing aid to the victims of the California fires, or performing any other routine presidential duties.
One thing that Trump can be expected to never neglect is his “Executive Time,” otherwise known as tweeting and watching Fox News. And on Monday that’s precisely what has been occupying his short attention span. In particular was a tweet wherein Trump complained about the alleged antitrust violations of the media megalith Comcast/NBCU:
American Cable Association has big problems with Comcast. They say that Comcast routinely violates Antitrust Laws. “These guys are acting much worse, and have much more potential for damage to consumers, than anything AT&T-Time Warner would do.” Charlie Gasparino
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
Note that Trump is quoting from a comment by Fox Business contributor Charlie Gasparino, because Trump is incapable of having an original thought. Trump (via Gasparino) is terribly concerned about a report that the “American Cable Association has big problems with Comcast.” For those unfamiliar with the television video distribution market, the ACA is a lobbying group that represents small cable and broadband providers. It isn’t especially surprising that they are troubled by the business practices of a giant competitor.
To be clear, there are legitimate reasons to oppose Big Media enterprises like Comcast or AT&T/Time Warner or Verizon. But rest assured that Trump has no idea what those reasons are. He is narrowly focused on only what affects him personally. That’s why he opposes the AT&T/Time Warner merger (TW owns CNN). And it’s why he’s whining about Comcast/NBCU today (they own NBC/MSNBC). The fact that such mergers wind up giving consumers fewer choices and that cost more money never enters Trump’s ego-driven, cartoon brain.
Fortunately, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee is planning to hold hearings on Trump’s flagrantly self-serving assaults on the media. Among other things, they should prove that Trump couldn’t care less about antitrust laws. You’ll notice that he never complains about Disney, which owns ABC and just bought most of the assets of the parent corporation of Fox News (but not including Fox News). And he strongly supported the planned Sinclair/Tribune merger, which was blocked by his own Justice Department. Those are both rabidly right-wing media firms that shill for Trump on a 24/7 basis. Never mind that the merger would have resulted in a conglomerate that owned more local television stations than any other in America.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
So while fires rage in California, our foreign allies are laughing at us, our veterans are neglected, our cities are tormented by mass shootings, our economy is declining, and democracy is being subverted by Republican Nationalist Party efforts to suppress voting in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and elsewhere, Trump is keeping his powder (and his orange bird’s nest of a wig) dry by staying indoors and live-tweeting Fox News. And the rancid smell of his panic is only going to become more pungent as the January inauguration of the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives gets closer.