It’s been close to a week since a young man showed up outside Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home with every intention of getting of him off the Supreme Court the old-fashioned way: by killing him.
To the best of my knowledge, this still hasn’t generated any coverage in the Danish media beyond a single Ritzau news service item.
Danes were, however, appraised of every new development in the Johnny Depp – Amber Heard trial. Most of the major outlets had at least one story about it every day for as long as the trial lasted. (I never paid much attention, myself: it’s over, right?)
One of the reasons the Danish media haven’t run any stories on the Kavanaugh assassination attempt is that the Danish media take their cues from the leftist American establishment media: when the New York Times sneezes, the Danish media catch a cold. And the American establishment media have more or less embargoed the study. The name “Kavanaugh” wasn’t even mentioned on the agenda-driving Sunday talk shows over the weekend:
Even the (increasingly red-pilled) left-winger Bill Maher finds this… peculiar.
Best line from the clip, if you didn’t watch it, is Maher’s impression of the New York Times: “If it’s not part of something that feeds our narrative, then fuck it. We bury it.”
All of this highlights two problems. First, the way America’s leftist news media are elevating their own political agenda over reality; second, the Danish media’s almost exclusive reliance on those same outlets in their coverage of America.
The establishment media in both Denmark and the United States are increasingly occupied with what Maher refers to in the clip above as their “narrative”—and have therefore become increasingly less attentive to actual reality. As more and more of their narrative gets harder and harder to reconcile with reality, the harder they push it.
I try to avoid talking about “the narrative,” because usage varies and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it defined definitively.
As I think I understand it, “the narrative” is a carefully curated selection and interpretation of conditions, circumstances, or events intended to support a particular political goal. It’s the story you tell to win people over to your side. It’s how you characterize the people and places and things in your story, the logic of your plotline—switching from a textual to a video metaphor, it’s also your camera angles, your lighting, your special effects, your soundtrack. “Narrative” is how you turn the wicked witch from Snow White into the heroine of Maleficent. It’s how you turn Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, old schoolmates of Hamlet who intend to betray him to his death, into the bumbling heroes of their own dark comedy. “Narrative” is how I may someday write a novel in which Moby Dick turns out to have been tragically misunderstood all along—and a damn fine dancer, to boot.
In other words, if your narrative is that America is in the throes of political right-wing violence (a narrative with the goal of delegitimizing your political opponents), then the reality of a left-winger setting out to assassinate a Supreme Court justice has to be ignored.
And when the New York Times puts a story like that on page A20, the Danish media get the message: it’s not an important story. Not significant.
On the flip side, when the New York Times runs a front-page story distorting or even entirely inverting the facts to suit their political preferences, that message is also received by the Danish media: false alarm on the Biden kid’s laptop, everyone, stand down! The real story is how the wily Republicans are trying to use that Russian misinformation operation against the obviously infallible and bullet-proof Joe Biden!
There’s nothing inherently wrong with partisan organizations putting out partisan stories, whether in America or in Denmark. I’m not advocating censorship of any kind: that’s always a worse solution than whatever problem it’s supposed to solve.
But what’s the point of Danish news outlets perpetuating the distortions of the American left in their coverage of America? Is it the goal of Danish journalism to keep readers, listeners, and viewers informed of what’s going on in America, or to propagandize on behalf of the American left?
Even the most rabidly partisan Danish news outlets, of any political orientation, have nothing to gain by misinforming their own readers about events in America. The attempted assassination of a Supreme Court justice is a big story: it may behoove American Democrats to play it down, since it makes them look bad and plays hell with their narrative, but the event itself is real, and anyone on the outside looking in at America is better served by being aware of it.
Wouldn’t Danes be better served by understanding that this thing happened in America, these are the apparent facts of the case, here’s what Democrats are saying (or not saying) about it, and here’s what Republicans are saying (or not saying) about it?
Wouldn’t Danes be better served by Danish polemicists opining on actual American events, rather than the Democratic party’s spin on events?
Fair enough if a “journalist” or opinion writer wants to put their own spin on it: “Nicholas John Roske made his way from California to Maryland with the apparent intention, based on his own statements, of assassinating Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s what he had on his person when he was apprehended by police shortly after he himself called 911—America’s 112—to turn himself in. Democrats are down-playing the episode while Republicans are playing it up. Here’s my own analysis…”
But for God’s sake, let it be Danish spin. Let it be a Danish “narrative.” What have the American Democrats ever done for Denmark to deserve our unswerving and unconditional allegiance to them? Was it their war to defend the institution of slavery? Their establishment of the KKK? Their development of the Jim Crow laws? Their internment of Japanese Americans? Their dropping of a nuclear bomb? Their support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Their “leading from behind” in Libya? Their “red line” in Syria that turned into an invisible line? Their retreat from Afghanistan without giving us a heads up? Their support for the Russian pipeline? Is it the way their economic wizardry helped raise the price for gas at Q8 and groceries at Netto?
Seriously: you can be a leftist in Denmark without being a whore for American Democrats.
And if you’re a conservative in Denmark and think your values are closer to those of Democrats than Republicans, you can still be just as wrong without being Nancy Pelosi’s pretty little Danish bitch.
Meanwhile, for what it’s worth: en venstreekstremiste forsøgte at myrde en højesteretsdommer i USA på onsdags.
That’s Danish for “a left-wing extremist attempted to assassinate a Supreme Court justice in America last Wednesday.”
At least someone has said it in Danish now.
Indeed. At the risk of inflicting yet more kinetic impacts to the deceased equine, one might think that even if the Danish journalists are in complete agreement with the BLOB about the overall narrative, that anything that makes Democrats look bad or casts a possible sympathetic light on someone on the *shudder* other side, should be downplayed as much as possible, there is still a pretty clear case for at least mentioning the incident.
For one, it allows you to put your own spin on things.
But by ignoring it completely, you are also failing to inform the Danish public about an event that is likely to provide yet another talking point and rallying cry for the conservatives. Millions of conservative voters in America are going to have heard about this, they are going to have this incident in the back of their minds going forward, it will inform their view of the world, and the fact that a left wing nut was close to attempting an assassination of a conservative Supreme Court justice will play a part in their political calculations and dispositions.
But, having never heard about it, the Danish public (and many if not most of its journalists) are going to be mystified going forward. Just like millions of conservative voters know very well that Congressman Steve Scalise was nearly killed a few years ago when a madman shot up a Congressional softball game with the specifically stated intent of killing as many Republican lawmakers as he could, and the Danish public (and most of its journalists) are not even aware of that happening.
Making sure the Danish public sees only one half of the picture is a sure way to ensure an increasing disconnect between our understanding of what is going on over there.
Somebody ought to write a book…
I almost used that exact line in the post. 🙂