Shiftiness

By | December 31, 2016

Humorists have to be keen observers. Otherwise, they have nothing to write about. So I was glad to see Dave Barry spare some lines for the head-snappingly swift narrative shift that occurred after Clinton’s “sure” victory turned to defeat.

As Election Day approaches, a consensus forms among the experts in the media/political complex, based on a vast array of demographic and scientific polling data evaluated with sophisticated analytical tools. These experts, who have made lucrative careers out of going on TV and explaining America to Americans, overwhelmingly agree that Hillary Clinton will win, possibly in a landslide, and this could very well mean the end of the Republican Party. The Explainers are very sure of this, nodding in unison while smiling in bemusement at the pathetic delusions of the Trump people.

What makes this unusual is that typically narratives are shaped and shifted, massaged and manipulated, over months of propaganda pushes and media barrages. This time, though, it went from most pollsters and pundits calling it in advance for Clinton to mere days later the retconning of reality to the position that the polls and their analyses were actually right and like Yogi Berra, they didn’t say all those things they said.

This denial and de facto repudiation of prior sureties offered a much more real-time glimpse into how our reality is managed by those with the power to do so, and also demonstrated how many are willing to go along with the hocus pocus with no further thought.

It’s been a really instructive year as I’ve pointed out before. So much unprecedented has happened in so little time that it has required the media to switch propaganda horses in media res more than once, making it much more discernible and to require much less evidence-gathering to demonstrate it.

The polls are a prime example of this, but there are a few others Barry touches on in the piece as well.