Britain’s public broadcaster — the BBC — has called the election of Donald Trump an “American Tragedy” in a headline for an article featuring an interview with the editor of the New Yorker magazine.
David Remnick, editor of the stridently anti-Trump New Yorker was granted an interview with BBC News, part of the British media company which is funded to the tune of billions of pounds a year by a television tax forced on the UK public.
Opening with his widely publicised comments from November when Mr. Remnick said of the Trump victory that it was “an American tragedy” and “a sickening event in the history of liberal democracy”, the BBC lauded the anti-Trump figure as a “hero to many in liberal America and beyond”.
His magazine has recently taken to publishing instructional articles on ways “to Oppose a Donald Trump Presidency” which includes information on signing left-wing petitions, protesting at the Presidential Inauguration, and even calling for an end to America’s Electoral College, the very system devised by the Founding Fathers to stop major, now liberal, population centres consistently dominating the country.
Claiming that the success of President-elect Trump was not down to a significant change in American politics but rather the willingness of the Mr. Trump to harness the concerns of many Americans affected by “globalisation, de-industrialisation”, Remnick said: “He’s a brilliant, I think pernicious, but brilliant demagogue, who was able to act as a demagogue – a successful demagogue – on the national level the likes of which you’ve never seen in the United States”.
“I get it… I understand”
Having failed — as with many in the mainstream media — to predict the Trump victory Mr. Remnick was at pains to emphasise how he understands the grievances which led to that vote. Stating “I’ve travelled everywhere in this country. I live in this country. I live in a city of immigrants. I have all kinds of relatives, quite frankly, who voted for Trump”, the New-York based journalist used the phrases “I get it” and “I understand” over a dozen times in the course of the interview.
Despite the apparent empathy, the BBC reported Remnick’s scorn on President-elect Trump, including on his transition team picks and campaign, remarking: “I don’t think you would call Donald Trump’s behaviour during the presidential campaign one of unification, decency, kindness, dignity. It was one of accusation. Playing the racial dog whistle – it really wasn’t even a dog whistle”.
He also had criticism lined up for media organisations, accusing some of failing to fact-check to his standards.
Mr. Remnick said: “I have my part to play as a journalist, and to publish fact, to investigate deeply, to speak the truth as we see it, to check facts, to live in a fact-based world – which not all journalism does.
“It never did, and now it’s even more chaotic and bizarre, and a lot of what’s entering into the world of political discourse – not least the Trump world – is this notion of non-fact based news… Trump himself has trafficked in these conspiracy theories whether it’s about the Chinese and global warming or about any number of other things”.
Ironically, the journalist also had a critical word for his BBC interviewer. When asked whether the USA had a unique problem in not having a media organisation that the majority could trust in, he hit back at the BBC, remarking: “If you think that French state television or the BBC in England is somehow a common narrative of the country, I think you’re fooling yourself. I bet you there are a lot of people, the people in the north of England, who think the BBC is a bunch of lefties”.
“A little moustache and an armband”
Completing his interview by comparing Mr. Trump with Adolf Hitler, and led on by the BBC interviewer remarking: “But the conditions are there, you said – this may be how this starts”, Remnick said he didn’t want to see a repeat of history.
He said: “I think a lot of countries have had the circumstance of believing it could never happen here, and it happened slowly, slowly and then all at once. And part of my alarmism, if you want to call it that, was to, in my own small way, be part of a sounding of an alarm, and a self-awareness that we’re not going to repeat history.
“I don’t think anybody thinks that a funny man is going to come out with a little moustache and an armband, with people marching in an odd way. No, we have a reality television billionaire who’s adopted certain ideological and characterological things that are not for the better of this country, in my view. And taken to its logical conclusion, yeah I think it’s a form of American authoritarianism at stake. And I think that’s an alarm worth sounding”.