Barbara Plett Usher holds the undeniably Orwellian title of “State Department Correspondent” for BBC News. Her designation is especially discomfiting in this time of presidential transition, as the Biden Administration prepares to implement its technocratic agenda in the post-Trump world. If the new administration’s emphasis on conformity and surrender to neoliberal authority has not yet been made sufficiently clear, then it should be upon completion of Usher’s most recent article. The piece in question is titled “Antony Blinken: Who is America’s New Top Diplomat?” We can state with regretful certainty that Usher did not watch Dack Rouleau’s presentation of Antony Blinken’s imperialist political philosophy, which was made available on the Overwritten YouTube channel more than two months ago. If she had, then she would have found her own question answered for her—and with any luck, she would have been too embarrassed to pen his hagiography in digest.
Usher and her peers in the mainstream media have reported with uniform joy each of President Joe Biden’s federal nominations and appointments. Their insouciance contrasts sharply and purposely with their reflexive skepticism of each of President Donald Trump’s selections, even when—as Usher inadvertently acknowledges midway through her assessment of Blinken—their ideologies overlap. The establishment encouraged, and frequently demanded, merciless criticism of Trump’s federal government; but eventually, the state must revive the public’s confidence, lest the potential for civil unrest be realized on the rabble’s terms. While the inauguration of Joe Biden is hardly the most inspirational event, it is all that the elites were willing to arrange, and now, writers like Usher must do their part to effect the patriotic renaissance.
One of her first assignments is a profile of Antony Blinken, the newest Secretary of State. As stated previously, Overwritten covered Mr. Blinken’s militaristic bent in November of 2020, and we will proceed with the assumption that the reader has already viewed the aforementioned video, to which we have included an embedded link above. This is necessary if one is to grasp the crude absurdity of Usher’s portrait, which conceals Blinken’s bloodlust beneath a gloss that is as glamorous as it is vacuous. Usher begins by describing Blinken’s entrance into the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C., observing that “the lobby was nearly empty because of COVID protocols, but the absent presence of the diplomatic core was infused with a sense of relief”. I must confess, I do not know what an “absent presence” is, but in mentioning the “sense of relief”, Usher seeks to play into the redemptive mythology of the Biden Administration. For the last three months, the writers of the mainstream press have depicted Biden as the (white) savior who will deliver us from evil, the unrelenting evil of the Trump Administration. This was a bold and audacious prediction for a president who had yet to take office, and the certainty of its brutal disappointment calls to mind the grand expectations for President Obama twelve years ago.