“In short, there are a hundred ways in which you can listen to your conscience. But that you take this or that judgment for the voice of conscience—in other words, that you feel something to be right—may be due to the fact that you have never thought much about yourself and simply have accepted blindly that what you had been told ever since your childhood was right; or it may be due to the fact that what you call your duty has up to this point brought you sustenance and honors—and you consider it “right” because it appears to you as your own ‘condition of existence’ (and that you have a right to existence seems irrefutable to you).”
–Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1882
A process whereby, or an entity wherein, something is transmitted is a medium. Certainly, writing is the medium through which I transmit or communicate my thoughts. When you have more than one medium, or more than one version of a medium, then you have media, a word that, in its plural form, is seldom spoken in the United States. When the innumerable media are amalgamated, when they bind to one another and consolidate unto a solidified mass, then the term becomes singular—the media, as it is helpfully labelled—and we are referring not to a medium, but to a monolith. By its nature, a monolith is oppressive and threatening, hence why we invariably rebel against it. The media is no exception: whether we are right-wing conservatives condemning fake news or liberal progressives castigating propaganda, we perpetually war against the monolith; we tirelessly fight to overthrow the media.
Our mistake is to attempt to destroy one piece of the media at a time, as if the removal of a single brick could collapse an entire castle. When we read Dan Merica’s article, deceitfully presented as if it were a work of objective journalism, we immediately expend our collective salvo on a furious discrediting of his clumsy butchery—and easily so, as Merica lives up to his incidentally clownish, jingoistic name. In a piece for CNN, Merica reports on Hillary Clinton’s accusation—really, more of a juvenile taunt—that Tulsi Gabbard is coordinating with “the Russians” to discourage us from voting for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in November 2020. He acknowledges that “Clinton did not provide proof about how Russia is ‘grooming’ Gabbard”, but a few minutes later, he quotes Clinton’s spokesman, who says: “If the Russian propaganda machine, both their state media and their bot and troll operations, is backing a candidate aligned with their interests, that is just a reality, it is not speculation.”
Quickly, we submit countless quintessential questions. Why does Merica obtain quotes from Clinton’s spokesman on two separate occasions, yet he does not reach out to Gabbard for comment even once? How does the occasional praise of punditry, delivered through media like RT, who have no affiliation with Gabbard’s presidential campaign, amount to “grooming”, a term that implies a direct partnership between Gabbard and Putin? Furthermore, why did Merica, in the same paragraph in which he noted Clinton failed to present any evidence, immediately describe “allegations that Russian news and propaganda sites often report on Gabbard’s campaign and that moments in Gabbard’s campaign have been reportedly amplified by trolls and bots on Twitter”? Why did he voluntarily and generously justify Clinton’s baseless claim? Why did he emphasize the Russians’ suspicious habit of reporting on Gabbard’s campaign while refusing to make mention of the Americans’ curious habit of ignoring her campaign?