The WaPo Dies in Darkness as Trump Hate Burns Out

30 Aug 2022

CLAY: Encourage you to go subscribe to the podcast. We are about to finish off August. We had over 16 million downloads in the month of July. Hopefully you can help us set a new all-time record for the show in August. Search out my name, Clay Travis, Buck Sexton. A lot of you have been writing fabulous reviews. Dub is out there reading them.

I also want to congratulate all of you for sending us basically over 10,000 ratings. They haven’t updated yet, but I encourage you to continue to go hit those. I am quite confident — every few days they suddenly update everything. I am quite confident we’ve gone over 10,000 reviews on that program, which few shows ever get to.

Buck, I was reading this morning right before the show, Washington Post has major financial issues because they can’t get anybody to subscribe to their newspaper. The Washington Post, memorably wrote, “Democracy dies in darkness” at the top of their newspaper, and covering Trump obsessively and painting Trump as the worst person who ever existed got them to several million subscribers.

Since Trump left the White House, suddenly nobody cares. And not only is Trump destroying the Washington Post business now; CNN has fallen apart; MSNBC is in an uproar; Fox News actually doing fine; audience is up. But it is kind of fascinating that the anti-Trump brigade led by the Washington Post certainly, MSNBC, CNN, I think the New York Times to a certain extent.

But the New York Times now writing about the difficulty that the Washington Post is having inside of their business. No one will sign up because Trump is gone.

BUCK: I think that what’s happened is Democrats are suffering from — we talked about fear porn a lot during covid, right, which was a constant.

CLAY: Yup.

BUCK: — in the media, was, oh, my gosh. And now there’s covid on the frozen food and if you don’t wipe down — remember that —

CLAY: — gotta get the Lysol —

BUCK: — frozen food coming from China specifically might have covid on the frozen food box, all this stuff that people are saying was all crap and nonsense. But overstimulation is something that exists in many different capacities. I mean, for example, people will talk about a concept that I think everybody should be familiar with called hedonic adaptation. You know hedonic adaptation, right?

CLAY: No. I’ve never heard this before. I’m gonna learn.

BUCK: As everything — as things improve you get used to it, right?

CLAY: Okay.

BUCK: So, as you move into a bigger house, the first few months, this is amazing. And then that’s just the house you live in, right? You think that you’re gonna get that new job and you’re gonna have more time off, and then that’s just what you’re used to, the job that gives you, you know, more free time.

Hedonic adaptation is the way your brain effectively gets used to everything getting better. And so unless you actually recalibrate yourself and look at things as — in the context of, I should be grateful for, I should be thankful for, it’s a saturation issue, like the happy chemicals, the serotonin starts firing at a certain level, you adapt to it.

I think there’s a similar effect — I mean, I don’t know what the brain chemistry would be. It’s probable — it’s the amygdala that gets stimulated when you’re scared, the hippocampus? I can’t remember —

CLAY: Look at you. Dr. Buck Sexton all the sudden.

BUCK: You know, I throw a little white coat on. But Fauci does it, and that guy is wrong about everything. So, here’s the thing. For people that get used to a certain level of fear in their media news cycle, right?

For people that got caught in that CNN loop, the overstimulation of the part of the brain that it’s, “Oh, my God. Democracy is going to collapse. Oh, my God. Trump is worse than Hitler. Oh.” How do you bring people down from that?

CLAY: Yeah. Great point.

BUCK: Because now everything else —

CLAY: Same thing with covid, too, by the way.

BUCK: Yeah. Now people, “Oh, my gosh. The country’s gonna collapse. Trump, Trump, Trump,” all so freaked out about it on the left ’cause that’s the steady diet they’ve been fed. And now CNN has turned around having to say to them, “Yeah, now we’re gonna give you the latest numbers on inflation” and it’s “No, no, no.” You can get that from anybody. What they’re used to getting from CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post is that constant overstimulation of the fear center of the brain which is addictive after a while.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: You get used to this. Why do people like to watch scary movies?

CLAY: You need a bigger hit. That’s a great point. And they can’t give that hit — they even tried it, remember, probably not a coincidence, remember the Washington Post? I was out at the county fair with my family when this story hit, but the Washington Post said, oh, Trump basically had the nuclear codes, right?

That was the leak that they had right after Merrick Garland came out and spoke and then the Washington Post said, “Well, they really had to have this raid because Trump had the nuclear codes. And many of you out there certain us as well, we’re like, okay, I don’t think this is — even reporting since then has not suggested that there’s any kind of nuclear issues.

Maybe it’s gonna cycle back up ’cause they’re gonna need to scare people. But that’s the truth. You hit on it. And I think many people out there kind of understand it. Trump was perfect — I think this happened to Twitter too. Trump was perfect for Twitter. Buck, I’ve talked about this. I did early morning radio.

Up in the morning, nobody else is out there, 5:30 in the morning, Trump’s tweeting away. It’s like me doing radio and Trump sending tweets early in the morning. Twitter relies upon that dopamine rush. There needs to be constantly something new.

And when that something new is not engaging enough, I think you’re seeing it with CNN and the Washington Post, they desperately needed Trump. And without him, they’re not able to get the highs that they had before their business collapses.

BUCK: I also think that there was this implicit promise all along that with, oh, Democracy Dies in Darkness, and isn’t it fascinating, democracy has almost become a word used to signify a certain belief system, right?

People that walk around — if anyone says — if they start talking about diversity or equity, you’re dealing with a leftist. Like, you just know. It’s the same way that if someone announces their pronouns, you’re dealing with a leftist. Someone who’s always talking about “our democracy” — and it’s a republic, of course, not a democracy — but someone who’s always saying that is signaling that they are on the left.

I mean, that’s just the way our language works these days. And they’re always saying, “Oh, democracy’s in peril. Oh, democracy’s in peril.”

CLAY: It’s a great point. Do you remember that ever happening —


CLAY: — when we were kids growing up? We’ve gotten kind of used to it now. But I don’t remember in the eighties or the 90 — maybe the democracy was in danger as a kid —

BUCK: Our democracy was in danger from the Soviet Union nuking us, right? That is a different —

CLAY: Yes. That was nuke — like, an external threat. But this whole idea of — I mean, that’s what Biden’s talking about tomorrow in prime time, Buck. He’s be giving another address where he’s gonna say like this is the worst time since the Civil War, our sacred democracy is at siege, like, we know what he’s gonna say.

BUCK: With the change in how people get and consume information, even your point about — I mean, you’re sitting there doing a morning sports radio show, right?

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: You’re able to look at your phone, access all these different websites.

CLAY: Right.

BUCK: The value that news entities bring became less and less about just information ’cause everybody’s got — you know, everyone sees the official number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, right? I mean, everyone —

CLAY: — fake news.

BUCK: And so then it’s all about, well, who’s giving what narratives? And then it’s about who is building a narrative that will support their tribe, their side, their perspective. And that’s the entire media has moved in that direction.

But what’s fascinating is when you see along with that and along with the not just 24-hour news cycle but the 24-hour access that everybody has to news now on their devices, on their phones, something like racism, for example.

We have heard more about white supremacy in the last 10 years than in the previous, you know, 20 years altogether, I mean, easily, the last five years than the previous 20 years altogether. And this isn’t just a theoretical. News organizations decided that this was a narrative to push. You will see the term “white supremacy” replaced — ’cause racism lost its — everything was racist, right?

I mean, you’ve — we’ve talked about PCU before, the movie, where there’s the guy walking around —

CLAY: Way ahead of its time.

BUCK: — the chalk is racist, the pencil is racist, “everything is racist.” So, they change it to white supremacy. You can do a LexisNexis search and you’ll see that white supremacy went up — I mean, I’m —

CLAY: Spiked. You’re right.

BUCK: — estimating the number —

CLAY: Usage in media.

BUCK: 10,000 percent in places like the New York Times. All of a sudden, it’s the term used all the time. And so, people have this perception who are in that news information universe, “Oh, my gosh. Race relations are getting so much worse.” That is just not true. American people — wasn’t like the least — for a large, diverse country, we are the least racist country on the planet.

CLAY: In the history of the world.

BUCK: We love each other. We get along —

CLAY: America is the least racist country in the history of the world, today.

BUCK: — everyone is gonna be subject to the same laws, the same meritocracy, but they change the narrative entirely. So, now I think what you have, Clay, is some places like CNN, they’re kind of looking at, well, should we go back to being the old CNN? I don’t think that’s possible for them.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: Because it’s not just about the corporate decision. Their audience has been trained that they are fighting Hitler, they’re the #resistance. And now, you know, Orange Hitler, so to speak, is gone. He doesn’t exist for them, or maybe they’ll try to bring it back now. That’s the big question.

CLAY: Well, think about it. Biden’s speaking on Thursday. We can probably talk about this later in the show too — in a prime-time address where I guarantee he’s gonna call for more civility and bringing people together. On Monday he called people who disagreed with him Nazis, basically.

BUCK: Semi-fascists.

CLAY: Semi-fascist is a Nazi, right? I mean, you are basically, like, a lightweight Nazi, is basically what he called people who disagree with him. On Thursday I guarantee you he’s gonna be like our sacred democracy demands that we pull together. Wait a minute. Am I a Nazi or not? You just called me a Nazi Monday.

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