Their night began with cheers and optimism — and then the panic set in.
This is our supposedly ‘fair-minded’ and ‘objective’ class of journalists who have joined that storied profession of reporting the facts — scratch that, reporting the news — no, that’s not quite it, either. Shoveling crap. Yeah, that seems about right.
As a professional class, they are so left-wing they walk around in circles, and nothing could be better proof of that than their own accounts of election night, 2016.
Esquire released a piece compiling the reactions of politicians, pundits, and media personalities from election night. The shift from exhilaration to terror was even better than you would expect.
Here are a few selected quotes from that piece.
They broke it down by timeline. Before and after the numbers started to shift.
Here is the budding optimism before the bottom dropped out for Hillary supporters.
Dave Weigel, The Washington Post: I called Jeff Flake the Sunday before the election. I said, “I have one round of questions if Hillary wins, and one if Trump wins.” And he just started laughing, saying, “Why would you bother asking the second one?”
Rebecca Traister, New York magazine: We got up around 7 a.m., and there was an electric current running through my body.
Ana Navarro, CNN commentator and Republican strategist: I schlepped my absentee ballot around with me for a month. It was getting pretty beat up inside my bag. I would open it up and look at it every now and then and say, “I’m not ready. I can’t bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton. Please, God, let something happen that I don’t have to do this.”
[Did you happen to notice that the ‘Republican Commentator’ CNN relies on was prepared to vote Hillary? Hmmmmm….]
Matt Oczkowski, formerly of Cambridge Analytica (Trump campaign data firm): When you see outlets like the Huffington Post giving Trump a 1 percent probability of victory, which is not even physically possible, it’s just like, “Wow, people are going to miss this massively.”
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker: I thought about, and actually wrote, an essay about “the first woman president,” and the historical background of it all. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the suffragettes, the relationship with Frederick Douglass…a historical essay, clearly written in a mood of “at long last” and, yes, celebration. The idea was to press “post” on that piece, along with many other pieces by my colleagues at The New Yorker, the instant Clinton’s victory was declared on TV.
Ana Marie Cox: At the MTV watch party, we had dancers and graffiti artists. There were people giving temporary tattoos. I remember my colleague Jamil Smith and I both bringing up at a meeting, “Hey guys, what if something goes wrong? What if this doesn’t go how we think it’s going to go?” And the answer from some MTV exec was, “We’ll pivot.”
[We’re using this next one mostly because the last line is delicious]
Sen. Tim Kaine: Based on the returns from one bellwether Virginia county I know well, I realized that we would win Virginia by a significantly larger margin than President Obama four years earlier. This was a huge feeling given all the work that Anne and I have done for 30-plus years to help make Virginia more progressive. It struck me for the first time, “I will probably be vice president.” That feeling lasted about 90 minutes.
All of those quotes are from BEFORE 8 pm. The following are from when the momentum had shifted.
Van Jones: You got smoke coming out of every gear trying to figure out what the heck is happening out there. And you’ve got John King who had said, over and over, that there is no pathway for a Trump victory. Suddenly, that whole thing starts to come apart.
Van Jones: My phone was literally warm from the text messages coming in.
David Remnick (New Yorker): Not only did I not have anything else ready, I don’t think our site had anything, or much of anything, ready in case Trump won. The mood in the offices, I would say, was frenetic.
Dave Weigel (Washington Post): I’m in the parking lot of the Scalise party. There are Republicans drinking, some celebrating, some not paying attention. My editor was calling to see when I would hand in my story. One, I’m on a minor story that’s falling apart, and two, I’m probably in the wrong place. Three, I need to reorder the story, and four, how much did I tell people confidently about the election that I was wrong about?
Michael Barbaro, The New York Times: Carolyn Ryan, who was the politics editor, pulled me aside and said, “I need you to be involved in a ‘Trump Wins’ story.”
Trae Crowder, comedian and author: I felt very mad at liberals, you know, like my team. I was very upset with all of us for a lot of reasons.
Rebecca Traister: I felt so alone, I knew it was done. I was by myself on the floor. I started to cry. … I was thinking everything from, “I’m gonna have to rewrite my piece” to, “Can we stay in the U.S.?” I texted my husband, “Tell Rosie to go to bed. I don’t want her to watch.”
David Remnick: Obviously, we were not going to press “post” until a result had been announced. So I made some revisions, came across a quotation from George Orwell, played around with various sentences, but all in a kind of strange state of focus that happens only once in a while.
Van Jones: I picked up my pen and I wrote down two words: “parents” and “whitelash.”
After 1 pm…
We can see the reasonable and rational reactions like:
Ana Marie Cox: A Muslim colleague of mine called his mother. She was worried he was going to be the victim of violence at any moment. A colleague who is gay and married was on the phone with her wife saying, “They’re not going to take this damn ring away from me.”
Van Jones: I had Muslim friends who came from countries like Somalia asking, “Should we leave the country tonight?” Because in their countries of origin, if a president that hostile takes power, they might start rounding up people in the morning.
[Because that’s how things work in real life in America, yeah.]
Nate Silver: I felt like if the roles had been reversed, and if Clinton had been winning all of these states, that they wouldn’t have been so slow to call it. In some ways, the slowness to call it reflected the stubbornness the media had the whole time about realizing that, actually, it was a pretty competitive election.
Jon Favreau, Crooked Media, former Obama speechwriter: We were in a constant text chain with our buddies in the White House, asking, “What’s going on? What’s the boss thinking? What’s Obama thinking?” And finally they told us, “Oh, he just talked to her and he thinks she should concede and she agrees. She’s just waiting for the right moment.”
[Oh, so she KNEW she had lost… she just didn’t have the integrity to concede on election night. So much for those pearl-clutching ‘smooth transitions of power speeches.]
Michael Barbaro: There was so much going on that night and so many last-minute changes and such a hectic schedule that the story was published with the wrong bylines. The historic front page, “Trump Triumphs,” ran in the paper with the wrong bylines.
[With the wrong bylines. On their front page headline. The supposed ‘paper of record’.]
Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker: I saw the New York Times headline and I was very discomforted by it. For one, I knew that I had a child on the way.
[Oh no… the ‘other’ party won. Whatever shall we do? This is going to break America. What is she really thinking? Would she actually prefer America to be a one-party state? Because those tend to work out so VERY well.]
This related video capturing the meltdown of various media personalities NEVER gets old.
Reza Aslan: My wife stayed up and I went to sleep, then she woke me up around 1 or 2 in the morning bawling and told me that it was over. My poor, sweet wife. She wanted to hug and kiss me but I went into a panic attack and couldn’t breathe.
[Reza Aslan. Had a panic attack when people voted. But was just fine eating a human brain on TV. Way to perpetuate the stereotype of Democrat followers as ‘zombies’, Reza. An actual cannibal is our supposed moral superior. Riiiiight.]
David Remnick: (Editor-in-Chief New Yorker) We agreed that night, and we agree today, that the Trump presidency is an emergency. And in an emergency, you’ve got a purpose, a job to do, and ours is to put pressure on power. That’s always the highest calling of journalism, but never more so than when power is a constant threat to the country and in radical opposition to its values and its highest sense of itself.
[Emphasis added. Just in case you don’t already know what the media think their actual job description is.]
Zara Rahim: There were die-hard Hillary supporters that were like, “We’re not going.” Folks who were sobbing and literally couldn’t move because they were so distraught. I remember pieces of memorabilia on the floor, little Hillary pins and “I believe that she will win” placards.
[Well, here’s a glimmer of professionalism in a morass of despair. He wasn’t impartial, but at least he knew it was his job to SEEM impartial. Kudos to Mr Ramos.]
Jorge Ramos, Univision news anchor: When he won, I said it as if I was reporting a football score or a soccer match. “Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.” No emotion. Just the facts. That’s what the audience demanded. That is a sign of respect. As a journalist you have to report reality as it is, not as you wish it would be. That’s exactly what I was doing.
Symone Sanders: I still couldn’t believe it was happening. When he talked about us coming together and healing for the country, I wanted to throw up in my mouth.
The Kid Mero: I went home and smoked myself to sleep. I was like, “This sucks.”
[Remember Ramos and his professionalism? Here’s what he was really feeling.]
Jorge Ramos: I’ve been to wars, I’ve covered the most difficult situations in Latin America. But I needed to digest and to understand what had happened. I came home very late. I turned on the news. I had comfort food—cookies and chocolate milk—the same thing I used to have as a kid in Mexico City. After that, I realized that I had been preparing all my life for this moment. Once I digested what had happened with Trump and had a plan, which was to resist and report and not be neutral, then I was able to go to bed.
Michael Barbaro: I went home and woke up my husband, I think it was 4 or 5 in the morning, and asked him what the next steps should be journalistically. Should I move to Washington? Should I change jobs? It was pretty disorienting.
Maggie Haberman: One Trump supporter sent me a message saying, “You’re fucked.” [Laughs] If you use that, please recall me laughing about it. It was really something.
The Next Morning…
Reza Aslan: You take your kids to school, you go to the store, you go to the post office, you’re looking around, and you’re thinking, “These people hate me.”
And THAT — Right there is the most telling statement of them all.
Some pampered TV personality… who came to America from Iran, and is enjoying a life that neither the people from his homeland, nor the average blue-collar American could even IMAGINE… looking around at ordinary people of his adoptive country as ‘the enemy’.
This is the same guy who ate a human brain on TV (although he would object to a ham sandwich). He looks on the rest of us with disdain. Because America dared to vote for the OTHER party.
by Doug Giles
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