We’ve all spent a lot of time since the election of Donald Trump obsessing over our so-called bubbles, the self-reinforcing networks of information and commentary that have created directly oppositional views of reality in America. While there’s some merit to claims that this bubble effect is overblown—it isn’t the only reason Trump got elected, after all—it’s still certainly a system worth examining and getting to know a little better.
The utterly batshit past week of the Trump administration provides a great focal point for doing just that. Vox dug into last week’s news—first, that Trump leaked information to Russian ambassadors, thus compromising another country’s intelligence operatives; second, that Trump requested James Comey call off the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the election, which certainly looks a lot like obstruction of justice. This was all widely reported on in traditional journalistic outlets, and has begun to spur action in Congress. But the Fox News punditry caste had their own method of damage control for the Trump administration, their current favorite gang of evil plutocrats. Please note that the ensuing video contains many images of Sean Hannity’s chin:
The House That Roger Ailes And Bill O’Reilly Built Then Got Run The Fuck Out Of clearly has a widely distributed playbook that its pundits are using as the Trump administration begins to crumble. Assuming that downfall continues—Trump’s recovered from worse—it’ll be interesting to watch how Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the gang respond, first probably fighting with increasing vehemence on behalf of the president and then eventually, gloriously, abandoning ship. Their modus operandi is to reinforce preexisting racial, social, and financial power structures, so what happens as Trump loses that power? This, after all, is the same apparatus that reinforced the Bush administration with a “don’t change horses in midstream” battle cry only to run fleeing in the final years of his presidency, as he was rightly derided as a know-nothing and a war criminal and the Iraq war seemed to be stretching on into an interminable quagmire.
What might the fallout of the Trump era look like, and how will Sean Hannity’s chin respond? Only time will tell, but hopefully Vox is there with a thoughtful explainer on chin physics.