Breaking News: Liberal Juan Williams is out at Fox News' "The Five," as former DNC chair Donna Brazile revealed her Fox contract is over. Dan Bongino is rising as a new talk radio star.
Flashback: Donald Trump complained the primary difference between 2016 and 2020 was media coverage. Trump critics are now "out," and others rise. Bill Gates told us big money would come from "content," but Jay Baer warned, "Content is fire. Social media is gasoline."
News ratings are down everywhere (as Trump predicted they would be) and the fog of war (like the media fog) means casualties are all around, the unintended consequences of 24-hour news cycle assaults on the authority of the presidency.
The unintended "friendly fire" casualties of all-out media warfare: Big Government, Big Government's willing corporate accomplices and Big Media itself. One more unintended victim caught in the crossfire: the American soul.
Media sniping has long been an American pastime. During World War II, General George Patton (the subject of my book and film) savaged by the press, organized a coup to suppress his voice and succeeded.
Patton, like Trump, was unbridled, verbose and an easy target. But in the end, the accusations and later his demotions (not unlike the removal of Trump from social media) only delayed the war's end, sowed the seeds of a 40-year Cold War and helped lose the lives of the 100 million victims of communism.
In the 1960s and '70s, the media, including NBC and The Washington Post in cahoots with the Democratic Party, targeted Richard Nixon. White House leaks fueled his Gestapo response and inevitable downfall.
The clash of media vs. the White House paralyzed the country, beginning a wave of distrust for both government and media, leaving us with political post-traumatic stress syndrome.
In the 1980s, the media depicted Ronald Reagan as a "doddering" idiot, a heartless racist, a hollow showman, tending to the rich and leaving African Americans and the homeless to die with his "trickle-down" economics.
He was called a warmonger, controlled by his puppet masters (his wife depicted as obsessed with astrology.)
He "had more horses than books," the media falsely claimed. He was "sentimental, hypocritical, cheap," and borderline senile. But the Teflon president, a performer with good timing, significant presence, a sense of humor, well-delivered lines and a streak of artful pragmatism, was able to preserve his legacy.
President George W. Bush lacked Reagan's star power when the media tore him to shreds. He was accused of being ill-suited to his role and was portrayed as a Simeon, the boy king, who morphed into a warmongering cowboy.
Americans began to cringe when he took the stage. Conventional wisdom still portrays him as a ventriloquist's dummy seated on the lap of Dick Cheney.
Then there is Trump. Like tennis legend John McEnroe, Trump grabbed glory and victories while maligning and trashing the system and its self-appointed judges. Each attack on Trump only fueled his fire and the fans enjoyed seeing sparks fly.
Note, NASCAR became a more prominent sport for the masses because the fans enjoyed the risky turns, high speeds and occasional crashes. Take away the tension and conflict of Trump's world and the media is as relevant as sports without scoreboards. The media lost its credibility when it decided to be the leading player while merely claiming to be a scorekeeper.
For the first time in history, the media met its match, someone who understood them better than they knew themselves, making him "dangerous," in their words. They couldn't keep Trump in check because he lives for the fighting, "likes the heat," and if the fight got dirty, so much the better.
So they pulled the plug on his social media accounts. But they still needed someone to blame, so they shifted to piling on the 75 million Trump voters, turning a Capitol protest that went a bit too far into "an insurrection" while calling literal riots "peaceful protests." The 75 million Trump voters weren't buying it, so they changed the channel.
And now, Big Media and its allies in Big Government and Big Business are scrambling to stay relevant. This tension is at the heart of my new book, Citizen Trump: A One Man Show. Repeatedly, we've watched the media lose perspective and step over the line, witnessing more vicious warfare.
When viewers feel ignored or insulted, they roll their eyes, seeking alternatives where they can find a populist character without insider pedigree. They are even willing to cover their eyes when the fighting gets downright ugly.
Sadly, Trump voters needed Trump even more than the media did. They were the still forgotten men and women who felt left behind, who lost their basic dignity and voice.
You don't need a college degree to understand hurt. Media bashing the commoner turns into a rant that devalues and dismisses. The neglect will only fuel more anger. And a vicious cycle can only spiral out of control.
As media ratings continue to plummet, the largest crowd since the pandemic began assembled in that Red State bastion of Indianapolis as more than 135,000 gathered to watch the Indy 500 complete with high speeds, quick turns.
And note, not a single mask was visible in that massive crowd.
Robert Orlando is a filmmaker, an author, an entrepreneur and a scholar. As an entrepreneur, he founded Nexus Media. As a scholar, he has in-depth knowledge of ancient and modern history and politics. As an award-winning writer/director, his latest films are the thought-provoking documentaries "Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe," "Silence Patton," and the new release, "The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War." His books include "Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe" and, as co-author, "The Divine Plan." His work was published in "Writing Short Scripts" and he has written numerous articles on a wide range of topics for HuffPost, Patheos and Daily Caller. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.