Media likes to use its influence to set the political agenda and when they lose, they use the same influence to sanitize themselves. Donald Trump fought the media, his own Republican party, the Clinton corporate machine, media-shaped world opinion, overrated pundits, pollsters, and statisticians to swing one of the most spectacular upsets in the history of modern politics. Media had shouted, admonished, warned, scare-mongered, insulted, smothered, cajoled, ridiculed and caricatured him to the level of demonizing him. The guy won! When media and its idle writers were shouting and trying to force their agenda, Donald Trump had his thumb very firmly on the pulse of the American electorate. He had a novel political narrative of change that resonated with millions of Americans. He won on a master stroke. Decisively.
Our deplorable Uncle-Tom Kenyan media had joined the bandwagon of parroting whatever was coming from the American media. Our media shocks me on its shallowness, shamelessness and cluelessness, unless you are talking about their greed for money, their love for wheeler-dealing and cavorting with tribalists and thieves.
In their dazed parroting, one local daily called the election on Tuesday night Kenyan time, before polling had opened in the US. They had a bold headline featuring Clinton in a triumphant posture with the headline “On the verge of History”.
Boy, were they wrong!
What got me though was the headline of another Daily after the earth shattering, tectonic Trump victory. Instead of a big bold poetic headline announcing “He’s Hired”, they put a pretty distasteful and unkind face-shot of Trump with the unthinkable title, “America does the unthinkable”.
They went on to describe him as a “foul mouthed casino owner, showman with an alligator sized-ego and reportedly the sexual morals of an alley cat”. Ignoring all the other things he has promised to do for the Americans, (who have believed him), the paper goes on to say, “he has promised to wipe out Obama’s legacy, build a wall on the Mexican border, start a trade war with China, and shoot the relatives of ISIS fighters”. As a political blogger, I have followed the American Presidential campaign from its inception 18 months ago, and the only thing I can call a promise is building a wall along the Mexican border and I cannot see what is wrong with that. Our own government has toyed with the idea of building a wall along the Somalia border. The media seems irked by his promise to undo the Obama legacy. What is so sacrosanct about Obama’s legacy that it cannot or should not be undone? And on China, while our own government is busy auctioning us and our children to China, Trump is saying No! What is wrong with confronting China on terms of trade with the US if the Americans feel they are getting a raw-deal? If these are the things that make the election of Trump unthinkable, then our Kenyan media is even shallower than I thought.
Unthinkable? Let us talk unthinkable.
How soon have they forgotten that in 2013 we elected two tribal kingpins who were indicted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity, yes, crimes against humanity! They were not charged with being foul-mouthed or for having a big ego, or wanting to build a wall. They were charged with murder, rape, deportation and persecution. The charges have since been dropped. Not because the case went to full trial and the suspects were acquitted and found innocent. No. But because the Kenyan government refused to cooperate, witnesses retracted and others disappeared and the whole matter was turned into a political circus of global proportions. If such people can be elected to the Presidency, can the Kenyan media tell us what is so unthinkable about the election of Donald Trump?
To parrot the narrative of the American media, the paper goes on to suggest that Clinton was a better candidate. It says, “They (Americans) could have elected Clinton, a smart politician with 30 years of experience”.
Think People. Thiiiiiiiiiink!!
Do not shout stuff because you have heard it from foreign white journalists. What you claim to be the dazzling credentials of Clinton were actually the problem. Americans did not want to elect Hillary precisely because she is “a smart politician with 30 years of experience” in Washington. Americans did not want status quo, they wanted change. Can’t you get that? Besides Jeb Bush in the Republican Party, and our own Uhuru Kenyatta it is not possible to find a democracy with a candidate more steeped in status quo than Hillary Clinton. She is the closest America has come to a monarchy after the Kennedys. For a country that wanted change, the Democratic Party committed political suicide when they smothered Bernie Sanders, the change candidate, in favor of Hillary Clinton the quintessential status quo candidate.
More importantly the same paper agrees that she had “a few dozen closets of skeletons”.
Politics is about narratives. And the media spins several narratives of its own. They like us to believe that they are factual, objective and professional. Nonsense. They are every bit as imagined, scripted and spun like those of the politcal class. The media narrative was that the status quo Hillary with a few dozen closets of skeletons is better than the change candidate who is foul-mouthed and will deport illegal immigrants. The American people disagreed. They went with the media “unthinkable”. The media was out-foxed, outsmarted and honestly out-foulmouthed by Donald Trump. And he won.
Our Kenyan media having no agenda of its own has jumped on the warped American media narrative and called America’s choice unthinkable. Seriously? If they want unthinkable they do not have to look that far. They need to look at Statehouse in Kenya. We are the only country with the dubious record of electing two suspects of crimes against humanity to the Presidency. Truly unthinkable. Trump comes along, and all of a sudden our media has forgotten this. Our media is behaving like the proverbial tortoise who stayed for weeks in a pit latrine and on the day of his rescue was shouting that he could not stand the smell.
If they want to talk about the American elections they should rethink their parroting of media nonsense from America.
What is unthinkable is that the Democratic party swayed by the Clinton corporate machine smothered change oriented Bernie Sanders for the quintessentially status quo Hillary Clinton;
What is unthinkable is that weighed against Trumps foul-mouth the American media had decided that Clinton’s “few dozen closets of skeletons” are the lesser evil;
What is unthinkable is that with all its pundits, statisticians, experts, ground-game, insiders, analysts and spinners, American media was blind-sided by a billionaire reality TV star who has open disdain and disrespect for them;
What is unthinkable is that he beat 16 Republican Party establishment candidates using billions of dollars’ worth of free media;
What is unthinkable is that with all its dazzling technology, big data and sophisticated modelling, American media dismissed the real feelings of the voters. They dismissed Trump supporters as being out of touch with “reality”, probably a “basket case of deplorables” a Clinton and a newsroom manufactured reality.
What should be unthinkable is our local media eagerness to parrot nonsense from the American media. What is unthinkable is that we have a media who got it all wrong, and are now telling us that the success of the people who got it right is “unthinkable”.
The shamelessness, shallowness and parrotry of our Kenyan media can only be described in one word, unthinkable!