No, General Kelly, There Isn’t …


As much as I hate saying it, I’m afraid the answer to an implied question in White House Chief Of Staff General John Kelly’s impassioned statement at a 10/19/17 White House press conference is “No, General Kelly, there isn’t anything sacred in America any more”. In that forum, he openly expressed his impressions of remarks made by U. S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson [D-FL] about President Trump’s call to the mother of one of the four U. S. soldiers recently killed in Niger. The implied question in General Kelly’s remarks was “Is there anything sacred in America any more?”.

Congresswoman Wilson had characterized one sentence made by the President during that call as insensitive — the sentence was “He knew what he had signed up for”. The liberal media, of course, pounced on that one thing and covered that “story” for days. General Kelly shed light [very eloquently and sincerely in the eyes of many] on what the President meant by that statement, but by then the media train had already left the station.

I made it a point to watch the entire statement, since nowadays all you get from news and commentary on any event of the day is biased interpretations [the “tilt” of bias depending on what media outlet you choose to access]. Then, I made it a point to watch coverage of that “story” on Fox News and CNN, switching between them enough to get a sense of the overall theme of analysis by their “expert panels”. What I saw was exactly what I expected: on Fox News, praise of General Kelly’s “high road” approach, agreement with his overall “tone”, etc.; on CNN, denouncing of his explanation of President Trump’s “He knew what he had signed up for” remark, branding him as a racist for voicing his offense at Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s comments about the President’s remark, etc.

My conclusions from trying to ferret out these details? …

    • I have been “spot on” in my posts about “Fake News” and the conclusion one could draw from those posts [best described in Fake News Or Just Meaningless News? and News [Or NNTN] Circa 2017].
    • The answer to General Kelly’s implied question “Is there anything sacred in this country any more?”, unfortunately, is “No, General Kelly, there isn’t”. Politicians will use any eye-catching “news” to further their political ambitions [personal ambitions first, party agendas second]. The people who are the subject of the “news” are important to them only to the extent that what they say and/or do can be used as tools to further their agendas.
    • Unlike his predecessor, anything President Trump says will contain some word or phrase or sentence that somebody will find offensive, insensitive, inappropriate, or whatever. Most of the media will pick up on that one thing, report it as a major item of the day, generate multiple “story branches” from it [e.g., the racist angle in this case], and then hash out in panel discussions the whys and wherefores of the expanded “story” for days if not weeks or months.

I’ll close with this quote from one of the above-referenced posts:

Only two things give a person the ability to develop truly well-informed positions on issues like this one: 1) personal choices of “channels” to access [“channels” here being much broader than the TV/YouTube connotation]; and 2) personal filters, based on his/her value system and Worldview, applied to the content flowing through those “channels”. Anyone who limits the first to just one or two channels and/or who essentially delegates the second to just one or two “trusted consolidators” runs a substantial risk of simply disappearing into the huge crowd of what one popular radio personality calls “low information voters”. Anyone who takes whatever time is required [whether he/she thinks he/she has that much time available or not] to control both of these things himself/herself will always be a part of making things better than they are. It’s a hard choice, but the greater the “flow” of people from the latter category to the former, the more rapid our drift toward authoritarianism will be.

Thanks for reading this post, and if you regularly follow my Blog, for that, too. Please consider sharing this or other posts with your friends, colleagues and associates.

img_7026 Charles M Jones

Charles M. Jones

Author: Charles M. Jones, PE, CPA

[retired — neither license active]

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