Back when I was working at the library, we had one of those days when something went wrong with the fire alarm and it went off four times during my shift (and more, apparently, later in the day.)
The first time the alarm went off, we did our job and hurried the students out of their desks, down the stairwells and out of the library, where we waited in the cold for nearly half an hour before the staff confirmed that there was a glitch and the alarm had gone off by accident. So we went back into the building and got back to work …
For twenty minutes. At that point, the alarm went off again.
Well, we were a little torn, but we knew better than to ignore it. So we chased everyone out again … blah, blah, blah … for ten minutes, whereupon we were told to go back into the building once again. And then – you’ve guessed it – the alarm went off twice more and we finished our shift having managed to get next to nothing done.
What happened, which should have surprised no one, was how grumpy the students became as we shooed them out of the building. It was the run-up to exam season, after all, and there just weren’t enough copies of the latest books. People were taking the textbooks and hiding them behind the stacks, for heaven’s sake. By the time the alarm went off for the third and fourth time, the students were actively arguing with us, insisting that it was yet another glitch and they didn’t have to leave the building. I shudder to think what would have happened if the fourth alarm had been a real fire.
That, in short, is the ‘Cry Wolf’ Syndrome, where endless false alarms keep people from paying attention to a real alarm.
As you know, I posted an article on the media and Donald Trump on Thursday. It got some interesting feedback, ranging from agreement to suggestions that Obama wasn’t actually the worst President since Buchannan. But it also raised suggestions that Trump genuinely is a fascist.
Ok, let’s assume, purely for the sake of argument, that Donald Trump really is a fascist, a Hitler-in-the-making who intends to enslave the United States and throw the rest of the world into the fire, etc, etc. Except … who’s going to believe it?
The problem with the MSM today is that it takes sides (and yes, I include FOX in this as well as CNN). When it has a favoured candidate (Obama, for example) the media will cheerfully refuse to print anything that doesn’t suit their favoured narrative, while pouring all sorts of scorn on his opponents. People are used to seeing Republican Candidate X (or Y, or Z) hammered for being a [insert something which is a sin in the eyes of the elites] on very flimsy evidence. And they wonder, quite reasonably, why a tiny mistake should lead to the destruction of a promising political career.
(As a side note, the praise and adulation poured on Obama, before he’d done anything to earn it, clearly went to his head.)
The point is simple. There’s only so many times you can hear someone crying wolf before you decide it’s just another false alarm. The MSM has simply proven itself, time and time again, to be untrustworthy. Why should anyone listen to suggestions that Trump is a fascist when the media throws a hissy fit at the slightest opportunity?
The morale of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ is that, eventually, you run into a real wolf … and no one believes you. It’s a morale the MSM would do well to keep in mind.