What’s the News?

Mister Sum got a retweeted message that revolved around the following. US domestic politics are on the way to a November presidential election. So there is a battle on about who binds the most voters: the republicans (Trump) or the democrats (Biden). There are four crises going on in the USA at the same time. Economic (recession), social (discrimination, the black lives matter movement), enforcement (police brutality) and medical (the corona virus pandemic).

The battle for the voter runs through the media. The message Mr. Sum received contained the following: “I deeply apologize and I retweeted without watching the full video. I deleted the tweet, ”Schlapp wrote. “I would never knowingly promote the use of that word. This is time for healing the nation and not division.”

The article from which this quote originates warns against a technique used by the republicans to simultaneously serve the racist part of their own constituency by tweeting racistly. Wait a while until it is retweeted enough to then serve the others by withdrawing the message under apologies.

In this way the medium becomes the message. Marshall McLuhan illustrates what he means by pointing at the inscription of a sign at a scrap metal dealer: “Help Beautify Junkyards. Throw Something Lovely Away Today.” It may help to remain sensitive to humor. In fact, however, this practice of serving two contending extremes with a single trick is extremely dangerous. I will call it the Frankenstein Fusion.

It goes without saying that if a mechanism works it will be used by both the left and right. All in all, it seems to have become impossible to look with any confidence at what is news and what is not.

News in the sense of objectively describing reality no longer exists. The New York Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine do also have to choose what their message or their medium character will be.

Mister Sum chooses multiple media channels to form his opinion. Left-wing and right-wing TV from America, an American newspaper, following @realDonaldTrump on Twitter, a Russian-supported TV channel, an English-language newspaper from Hong Kong (SCMP, owner Alibaba), a Chinese state TV channel, and the under EU auspices released Euronews.

Mr. Sum is not sure that he will be able to sustain this approach for long. It takes a lot of time and does not provide a reliable overview of USA news. The disrespect expressed in presidential tweets about political opponents is unprecedented. The same goes for tweets about supporters who quit the president’s service. For those who believe that a president has been given his power to wield it for the service of his entire country and all of his people, this lack is a sickening symptom, heralding the coming end to the international support that a world power existentonally needs.