March 19, 2017

Big National News at Yahoo: Sleep-Deprived People Upset About Trump

At Yahoo News, Lisa Belkin, its Chief National Correspondent, filed a story on Saturday about how “Trump-induced insomnia stalks blue-state America.” The writer, who is apparently too disengaged despite her position to cover substantive national issues, reports that “Blue America is having trouble with sleep — tossing and turning as they lie awake, then falling into nightmares,” and they “tend to blame the 45th president of the United States.”

Belkin is the same Yahoo News reporter who in May of last year, after 29 years of inexplicable silence, accused Donald Trump of “making a pass at her” in 1987. Trump says “it never happened.”

One would think that someone with Belkin’s background and experience could at least correctly identify “blue-state America,” but she couldn’t even do that in her ponderously long Saturday sob story (HT Daily Caller).

Among the self-described insomniacs and their dreams which Belkin cited, the following live in states Donald Trump won, the majority of which have been reliably red (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Alicia Bowman, a journalist from East Penn, Pa., is racing frantically through a train that is heading the wrong way, flinging off her belongings so she can run faster, calling frantically for her son, who is transgender.

… Diana Noya also finds herself staying awake late or waking up early in Yardley, Pa., because that’s when news (and presidential tweets) seem to break. “I feel like I have to consume it all in order to get my own thoughts out to my senators and representatives right away,” she says. “So I’m exhausted, but resisting.”

… “Last night I dreamed we were hiding people in our basement,” says Allentown, Pa., physician Jenni Levy. “Not sure what they were hiding from.”

Though Trump’s win in the Keystone State was the first for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, he carried Carbon County, where East Penn Township is located (there is apparently no city or village of East Penn) with almost two-thirds of the vote. Hillary Clinton carried Bucks County, where Yardley is located, by less than one percentage point, and won Allentown’s Lehigh County by five points.

The following comment goes off the fearmongering chart:

“I worry that even though my family members have been American citizens for generations we will be targeted … because of our surnames and our looks,” says Soraida Justiniano of Palm Harbor, Fla. (ellipse is in original — Ed.)

Trump won Florida, which has elected Republican governors who were on the ballot in each of the past five elections, and which has had a Republican-dominated legislature for most if not all of that period, and currently has 66 percent and 60 percent majorities, respectively, in the House and Senate. Palm Harbor, Florida is in Pinellas County, which Trump carried with 48.1 percent of the vote.

Next:

Mary Molina, a retired clinical research assistant in Durham, N.C., rotates among bourbon, vodka, or melatonin, depending on the night.

Hillary Clinton carried Durham County with 78 percent of the vote, but lost North Carolina to Trump by 173,000 votes and a far greater than expected 3.7 percentage points. Republican presidential candidates have been victorious in the Tar Heel State in nine of the past ten elections.

It’s fair to ask the above residents of states Trump carried if they are the real outliers, and if they’re the ones who need to adjust to and accept reality instead of feeding their hysteria and losing sleep as a result.

Though this item is from a longtime blue state, it was hard to miss the irony in another story Belkin cited:

Others are meditating — or trying to. Lindsay Steiman, a consumer researcher for Toyota in Hermosa Beach, Calif., was all but ordered to do so by her ob-gyn after she complained of stress and poor sleep from “trying to work full time, raise a family and bring down a fascist regime at the same time,” she says. That was a week ago, and she hasn’t managed to find time to follow her doctor’s orders yet. Hasn’t slept much, either.

Ms. Steiman works for a company which is in the later stages of moving its sales and marketing headquarters and 3,000 related jobs from Torrance, California to Plano, Texas. Although it may very well be that she is among the “about 2,300 employees” remaining in California after the move, it apparently hasn’t occurred to her that all too real blue-state tax and regulatory policies under Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and others at lower governmental levels in the Democrat-dominated state have chased over half of her company’s corporate jobs away, and that perhaps the same thing might eventually happen to her job if conditions don’t change. Instead, she’s far more preoccupied with the “fascist regime” in Washington she imagines in her sleep-deprived head.

Belkin’s theme about these poor, sleep-deprived folks runs as follows (links are in original):

Blue America is having trouble with sleep — tossing and turning as they lie awake, then falling into nightmares. And those who are suffering tend to blame the 45th president of the United States.

To be sure, a state of heightened anxiety over whoever is in the White House is not new. Two presidents ago, columnist Charles Krauthammer coined Bush Derangement Syndrome, the symptoms of which were the “acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.”  Next came Obama Derangement Syndrome, memorialized by a conspiracy-spouting satirical character on the “Stephanie Miller Happy Hour” radio show.

And now there’s what Hollywood screenwriter Sam Friedlander has spoofed as Trump-Induced Anxiety Disorder.

There is no way to quantify whether there are more sufferers during this administration than previous ones. But for those going through it this time around, it certainly seems very new and very real. And it looms largest in the dead of night, say dozens across the country who described their pillow-punching wakefulness and fraught sleep to Yahoo News.

What Belkin appears to have revealed is that she’s a willing participant in a post-Trump election feedback loop:

  • Prominent leftists — politicians, reporters, entertainers, and activists — declare the end of the world as we once knew it.
  • Such pronouncements, reported and played often, cause everyday left-leaning people to get emotionally overwrought and to start losing sleep.
  • Outfits like Yahoo solicit and publish stories of sleep deprivation.
  • Prominent leftists have their beliefs reinforced and announce “news” such as what Belkin has just reported as proof that we are on the way to the end of the world as we once knew it.
  • Rinse and repeat.

It’s a lot easier for a chief national correspondent at a place which at least poses as a major news outlet to publish paranoid pablum like this than to dig into the policy weeds, which in a long-forgotten time people in Belkin’s position were expected to do.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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