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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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February 26, 2024

Who Is Part of the Resistance?

The New York Times has a history of being the first ones to garner a story sure to be explosive in its impact. Whether it be secrets whispered over drunken pillows, a political sphere draped in betrayals, or the juicy details in an international star’s life, the newspaper company always finds a way to take shocking revelations and ink them into its paper. September 5, 2018 was no exception. With bold words such as “I Am Part of the Resistance,” the article is absolutely irresistible, which is from the viewpoint of an individual who claims to be a renegade hell-bent on thwarting our capricious president.
The president in question later tweeted out, “TREASON?” where his shock, anger, and overarching bafflement is perfectly conveyed in seven bold letters. Besides the president, the American public itself has worked itself into a frenzy trying to determine the author of the anonymous op-ed. Theories from it being Mike Pence to Kellyanne Conway to Conway’s husband have circulated the Internet. But in all this frenzied haze, truth and fact have merged. And a good detective is always impeccable in separating the intertwining strands of truth and fact. If we truly want to point and declare the identity of the author, we must look at the facts first:
Fact #1: The author may be disloyal to Trump, but they are not the traitor the president has impulsively labeled them as. Referring to the constitution, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Obviously, the author is not “levying war” against the U.S., or supporting its enemies; this isn’t giving away atomic secrets or leaking classified information (which is a whole other sphere of debatable acts of treason). This is an official whose disloyalty to a single individual (which, let’s be honest, is completely understandable) stems from a genuine concern for the nation.
Fact #2: According to the article, the official is “a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.” So, we have an official who is most likely close to the president in terms of being very aware of his motives, inclinations, and fast-food addiction (because we all can clearly imagine the president gulping down a Big Mac).
Fact #3: National Security is not being threatened. Noting the president’s ranting tweet in response to the publication, “If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once.” Again, referring to the constitution, the official is not acting against the United States. National Security is not being threatened. You just have an official who isn’t a fan of Trump.
Fact #4: The author has made it clear that they are not a liberal hero or secret agent from the Democratic Party working to undermine Trump. In their own words, “To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.” So the official is supportive of the administration, just not the president. The official is not the liberal hero we all immediately think of, just a concerned conservative. Failing to hold Russia accountable, derailing against the press, and being unable to adhere to the ideology of conservatism are where the author’s concerns lie and where he believes Trump fails as a Republican president.
Fact #5: There were talks about invoking the 25th amendment earlier in the administration that were later abandoned due to it being such a long and tedious hassle. Cue many cheers and claps (but I still would’ve appreciated seeing the president’s removal from office). Either way, the official (and most of the administration) sees Trump as incompetent.
In the midst of all these facts, we have to take a page from the immortal wisdom of Sherlock Holmes and declare, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” All these facts have suggested a myriad of possibilities with regards to whom the true author is. But at least we may hypothesize:
Possibility #1: Mike Pence.
Quiet, unassuming Mike Pence holds the second position of power in the U.S. Perhaps his quiet exterior hides a person deeply concerned about the direction the nation is taking, although it’s doubtful.
Rating of likelihood: 0.5/5
Possibility #2: Kellyanne Conway (and/or her husband)
Conway’s husband is well known for trolling Trump on his social media. Conway, however, has had no issue thus far spewing out the “alternative facts” we’ve come to associate with the administration.
Rating of likelihood: 1.5/5
Possibility #3: Don McGahn
This White House Counsel has had a history of clashing on ideology with the president. He refused the order of firing Robert Mueller and has showed support for the investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election. Also, he’s planning to leave in the fall, so publishing an anonymous article in a news source Trump is universally known to despise would be a final and poetic “screw you.”
Rating of likelihood: 3/5
Possibility #4: Dan Coats
The Director of National Intelligence has shown a history of sarcastic disagreements with the president. When told Russian President Putin was going to attend a summit with Trump, he replied, “That is going to be special.”
Rating of likelihood: 2.5/5
Possibility #5: Melania Trump
She clearly despises her husband, but this is highly doubtful; our First Lady would be incapable of such an eloquent article if she’s not copying from Michelle Obama.
Rating of likelihood: 0.25/5
Possibility #6: Javanka
The elegant power couple of Washington are seen as the sensible counterparts of the Trump administration. But this is all deceiving; Ivanka Trump’s business has been accused of benefiting from a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, and Jared Kushner is a clear favorite of Trump.
Rating of likelihood: 1/5
Possibility #7: Trump himself
Publishing an article on a news outlet you are known to despise would be the perfect dramatics of a reality TVstar–turned president. The publication of the article could have been a deliberate attempt at drawing attention away from the actions of the Trump administration. It would be the perfect distraction. But this is more intelligence than we would expect from the president—it was probably one of his speech writers.
Rating of likelihood: 1/5
The possibilities of the author’s identity are practically infinite. Perhaps the writer was the president himself. Perhaps it is an official genuinely concerned about the public. Perhaps it was a reticent vice president. Perhaps it were children concerned with their father’s actions. Perhaps it was a wife known to despise her husband. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. As we all point fingers, hypothesize, speculate and wonder, keep in mind another piece of immortal wisdom from the immortal detective himself, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”