Time Will Say Nothing But I Told You So

"Time only knows the price you have to pay."

Time Magazine's current cover, showing a gigantic Trump looming over a weeping Honduran girl, is supposed to depict the agony of illegal immigrant children separated from their illegal immigrant parents.  The Getty photograph has been published in many places including the Washington Post.   Unfortunately, as the Trump administration has been vociferously explaining, the child was not actually separated from her mother.

In the self-justifying tone we have come to expect from Big Media, Time responded:

The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she (was) taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.

Did anyone expect an actual apology?  As I used to sputter out in all too many speeches, the Regime's media outlets have a motto: Never apologize, never explain.  They lie about everything under the sun.  A few decades ago, it was conventional to say you shouldn't believe anything in the newspapers except the sports and weather.  Those were the good old days.  Now, the sports pages are filled with fulminations against the lack of black quarterbacks and woman NFL coaches, and the weather--if you believe in Global Warming, you must also believe that President Obama is smarter than Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels really cares about those poor children detained at the border.

I only have one question to put to conservatives who are waxing wroth about the media coverage of  the Trump Administration:  Why are you reading Time and the New York Times?  Why are you watching ABC, CNN, and FOX?

The Big Media have been lying to you all your life.  One of the biggest lies is the conservatives' lie that they used to be better.  No, they were not.  Compared with normal people, Big Media  reporters and columnists have always displayed a casual disregard for facts on as grand a scale as their ignorance of everything worth knowing.  Big Media is a corporate world in which the late Charles Krauthammer was treated as a serious intellectual, much as the Big Mac is treated as food.

I have no particular animus against American multi-national corporations, apart from their hostility toward the country that has protected them and made them rich.  Some of them do useful things, but many have gained wealth and power by enslaving Americans to their basest appetites.  ABC news programs have been particularly biased against Trump, but who owns ABC?  Disney--for decades the promoter of every kind of depravity.  People who watch ABC News and let their children go to Disney movies, have no grounds for complaint.

Disney-ABC is only one of many examples.  Paramount Pictures and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom, which also owns BET.  Viacom used to own CBS, and plans are afoot for what they are calling a "re-merger."  NBC is owned by COMCAST, which also owns Universal Pictures and Dream Works,  and almost owned Time Warner. And on and on.

I am not advising any rich young men to sell what they have and follow Jesus into the desert.  I am not even asking them to cut the cable.  But I wonder why so many otherwise decent sensible people read the Daily Mail or watch Fox News.  Isn't there a beer somewhere in the refrigerator and a baseball game on the radio?  Tony Bukosky has recently published a collection of his best stories, and somewhere the fish must be biting or the lettuce needs picking.

"If I could tell you, I would let you know."

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

15 Responses

  1. Khater M says:

    Could you elaborate on Krauthammer? I remember seeing him a couple times on Fox years ago( when my family still had cable) Most people I knew regarded him as a serious intellectual, but I don’t remember a thing he said.( the only thing that really struck me about him was his odd accent)

    My family canceled the cable a few years back because there wasn’t really anything worth watching, and the $70 per month could be spent on better things.

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    There’s nothing in Krauthammer on which to comment. The best thing he had going was a dyspeptic demeanor that made people think he was worldly wise when he was only ill-tempered. He was Irving Kristol lite.

  3. Dan Hayes says:

    The Daily Mail is oftentimes problematic but one must give that devil its due in that it broke the actual facts behind the weeping Honduran girl fantasy tale!

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    What I hold most against DM is the fact that many of the editors are intelligent and sensible men. When I was writing for them, my editor Simon Heffer was not only perceptive but he was considerate, and, even when t he legal department was axing another piece of mine, he was extremely polite without in any way running down the paper. London papers in general have pretty good editors, but they have to know-tow to the latter-day Beaverbrooks. I judge them not so much by the good they do as by the good they do not do because they are gutless.

  5. Dan Hayes says:

    I’m wondering how things will or will not change at the Daily Mail now that Dacre has been given the boot upstairs. I’m laboring under the impression that whatever was good in the DM was due to his impresarioship.

  6. George Gaudio says:

    I remember two books from my father’s early 60’s library, The Left-Leaning Antenna, and And That’s The Way it Isn’t.
    The only thing different was their control. Give Fox and Limbaugh credit for challenging that.

  7. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Limbaugh yes, Fox no. Absolutely no. Fox is a corporation whose executives–all part of the ruling establishment–have sought to establish a niche as the comfortable non-threatening alternative to the far-left mainstream. They give unreflective housewives a safety valve and the daily talking points–“Ooh those awful liberals!” but, not only do they never challenge the basic foundations of the regime, but, when one of them gets an opportunity, he or she joins the other side. Glen Beck was the perfect Fox commentator: a renegade from Christianity, a self-seeking poseur with a flair for sob stories, a hypocrite and liar who is now working for the other side.

    Limbaugh is far too courageous and clear-headed for FOX. Sure, he knows nothing about American history, the Constitution, or just about everything under the sun worth knowing, and, sure he has an ego the size of several football fields, but he is a shrewd analyst of the political game and has the capacity for reducing complex and detailed questions to a metaphor or narrative. He also has guts. FOX has no guts, just nerdy political junkies.

  8. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I should add that I have not always been fair to Limbaugh, and that was largely because his ignorance and effrontery were as appalling as his knee-jerk National Review take on events. He has grown out of his Reganism, though he may not know it. Still, people who regard themselves as conservative should avoid listening to him with any regularity: He’s the security blanket that reassures them that everything is really going to be all right. It’s not. Fox, on the other hand, fills their heads with disinformation that makes them feel that they are in the opposition when they merely playing “shirts” to the big boys’ “skins” in the same team’s practice game.

  9. Robert Reavis says:

    Tom, So true but so few who will say it. You have always impressed me with your courage to state the obvious when all the others are heading for the tall grass. You and Clyde Wilson I have always admired for that quality and it is no coincidence you are friends.

  10. Curtis says:

    I took the Fleming Challenge – cancelling cable and giving up reading the news on a daily basis – years ago and I haven’t regretted it. 95% of stories don’t matter. I learn about the few that do matter indirectly through a handful of online essayists and podcasters whose judgement I trust. That’s enough. Let them do the unpleasant sifting of the wheat from the chaff, and give me some good insights along with the facts.

    I’m a more serene person now, and I have more time to read old books that teach my how to think for myself. Better to cultivate the ability to make good judgments, whatever facts are thrown at us in the future, then to be kept confused and distracted and emotionally strung out to the point of despair by an endless torrent of ephemeral nonsense and lies.

    Another windfall of giving up cable is that my taste in distracting, light entertainment has improved. The shows I used to watch now seem juvenile and obscene compared to old film noir and 60s Cary Grant films. Shakespeare they ain’t, but at least they provide entertainment while teaching me something about how to dress and comport myself like a man, without actively degrading my senses.

  11. Dan Hayes says:


    I found your take on Limbaugh very interesting in giving him his due. He certainly is a shrewd political analyst but I am not so sure about his supposed “guts” and being “courageous”. Nevertheless plenty of food for thought.

    I have learned from you to never put my trust in either Princes nor the media. But what about Tucker Carlson? He seems to go as far as permissible and then some on Fox. Sometimes he comes across as a watered-down Sam Francis inveighing against our Overlords on immigration and other matters. And his forthright comments about the priestess-witches inhabiting the lost-cause Episcopal Church are what I would expect from you! Just asking.

  12. Robert Reavis says:

    Dear Curtis,
    Thank you for the post. I gave up the television and our local daily paper is down to only twice a week now so I planted a garden and a hive for the honey bee. Since bees like flowers I finally discovered the various clovers, cone flowers, wild flowers but still lack a few names for a couple of trees I don’t recognize and some weeds like night shade and the difference between broomsedge and little bluestem bunch grasses. Redeeming an old overgrown cemetery too that has 117 graves the earliest from 1897 and the most recent 1959. One corporal from the Missouri cavalry C.S.A. and a sister whose brother is buried in Normandy, France which is about as far from her final resting spot as 0 is to ten. Yes, there is life beyond the antenna, cable and satellite dish.

  13. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Tucker has come a long way. For a long time he was what kids call “a complete tool.” When I still had to keep up on these things, I watched Jon Stewart make a complete monkey of him on “Crossfire.” He was the all-prep spaniel wearing a bowtie. Anyone can grow up, and when he changed his style of necktie, he started grappling with reality. From the little I have seen, he is a disgruntled establishmentarian. His father, some sort of retired State Department or Foreign Service officer, has been writing for a weekly paper in Charleston. He’s a decent old-fashioned Cold Warrior who has no clue of the world that has passed him by and moved on. Since I don’t watch FOX, I don’t have much basis for an opinion, but when I have seen him on TV in a hotel room, I find him sensible but about two decades too late to be of any use. I hope I am not wronging him.

    Limbaugh comes from a political family in Cape Girardeau, and I have heard tales from a friend who also came from there that the Limbaugh boys were pretty wild pranksters–definitely a good sign. When I say he has guts,. I do not mean that he would risk life, limb, or income in order to tell the truth, only that his instinct is to stand up to illegitimate authority. There is something refreshingly American about Rush, which takes him out of the sordid league of Levin, Hannity, Beck, and others I won’t name, because it would only bring on more talk about people who don’t matter.

    Thanks to Curtis and my friend RR for their reassuring remarks. Thanks too to Dan Hayes who should be attending our Summer Schools and programs in Italy but is so charitable to his neighbors. Dan, have you ever thought of bringing your training in astronomy to the use of the boor benighted humanities majors who write for and comment on this site?

  14. Robert Reavis says:

    ” When I say he has guts,. I do not mean that he would risk life, limb, or income in order to tell the truth, only that his instinct is to stand up to illegitimate authority.”


  15. Curtis says:

    Thank you Robert. Southerners take their cemeteries seriously. I once skipped out on a legal conference in New Orleans to wander around the above-ground one in Metarie, quite a beautiful place. Heidegger said that the most important thing modern people can do to improve themselves is spend more time in graveyards.