CANNES — How bad is the political conversation in the US these days? Even the editor of the New Yorker can’t seem to watch his language.
America is “on top of bullsh– mountain,” David Remnick, who has edited the prim publication for nearly 20 years, ranted from the podium at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in France on Monday.
Remnick’s potty-mouthed diatribe blasted Donald Trump and Facebook alike for the problem of fake news, and appealed to advertisers to stop the drip of dollars to the social media companies that brought huge revenue to fake news factories in Macedonia.
“Bullsh– is a willful ignorance of the facts,” Remnick said, citing author Harry Frankfurt, author of the popular treatise “On Bullsh–.”
“There are liars and there are bullsh—ers,” Remnick went on. “Liars know what the truth is. President Trump is a public figure who capably straddles both.”
Remnick lamented that longstanding media institutions are now vulnerable to the march of technology and its drain on ad revenue. He likened the situation to climate change, saying it can be ignored in the short term with terrible consequences in the future.
“You know the story — some of you are the authors of the story,” Remnick said. “Advertising migrated to Facebook and to Google, and classifieds went to Craigslist.”
One consequence has been Trump’s rise, Remnick added, saying the ascent of social media has not led to a more informed electorate.
“Bureaus have disappeared or been weakened or sold off for parts,” Remnick said. “When a paper in a midsize American city folds, who will investigate the corrupt mayor?”
Remnick spent time with President Barack Obama during his final days in the White House, and said Obama’s biggest worry at the time wasn’t Russia’s meddling in the election but how the “new mediascape and eliminated common dialogue or common understanding.”
He criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s knee-jerk…