This blog title is called an idiom and this particular idiom dates back centuries, but it seems that many have decided that almost anything that is said by President Trump needs to be taken with that ancient ‘grain of salt’. The meanings ascribed to this phrase include: to understand that something is not completely true or right, to not take something too seriously, to accept what is said but with reservations or skepticism, or as a statement that one does not exactly believe something.
I suspect that the meaning often taken whenever our President makes a claim is the one which says that the statement is not completely true or right. Of course, the press, at least the majority of those who make their living in that world, holds everything said by President Trump as suspect even though there may well be ample truth to the statement. He might’ve made it sound like there was no debate over the ‘fact’ or something to that effect, therefore we are justified to essentially call/infer that our President a flat-out liar if we belong to that august group we know as “the Press”.
We can easily contrast this “hair-on-fire” press corps with that which we found in the Kennedy era or the LBJ era or the Obama era. But that press corps, comprised of some of the very same people we see today, was eager to help us understand just how fortunate we were to have these genius politicians in the White House. Of course, the fact they were more liberal than our current President might’ve had a bit to do with that message-massaging.
These journalistic inflections of suspicion and disbelief have quite an impact on many of us, even though we can’t quite identify what has been done to our belief system. Bombardment for day after day makes an impact that we may not even begin to recognize. Brainwashing comes to mind though that is a bit of a rough comparative; but, we are being subliminally trained in the subtle manner of how we are to go about taking in what President Trump says and we’re not always, if ever, aware that this is happening to us.
I would suggest that we each take virtually everything coming at us as “news” today with that proverbial ‘grain of salt’ and reserve our final positions on whatever the subject is until time has passed and the event has been more fully framed in our mind’s eye. There used to be members of the media who would buck the trend created by the majority of their brothers and sisters, but that seems to be almost dead so far as our media today. Even outlets we might think of as more conservative than others manage to pussyfoot around issues so as to confuse their real positions.
I guess if the media masters aren’t sure of what is being spread as fact, then obfuscation is a great way to conceal their inability to figure out what is going on and thus claim they’re on top of every nuance and subtlety. Adding to this is the simple fact that President Trump refuses to play the games of the media; at times I wonder if he isn’t actually tweaking the media folks to see if anyone is sharp enough or brave enough to pick up on his game. If they have, it appears an editor somewhere in that food chain has caught it and put it back the way ‘it ought to be’.
This old idiom is very important to us today. We would be wise to take virtually everything said or printed with a large grain of salt, and to use our intellect and our time to ferret out the truth, if what we read or heard isn’t exactly the truth, and to remind our friends and relatives that there are multiple sides to everything and those sides are determined by the utterer of each.
We owe this to self and to each other. (As originally posted this blog measured 666 words…and that is not a good number. Now it is twenty-two words longer.)