By Kennedy Applebaum
January 20, 2017
We have three internet machines here at the ranch—two running Microsoft Windows, one running Linux—but no cable TV. Our experience from the Presidential debates has been that without cable, we can’t get livestream coverage of the event, except on Infowars.com. So we planned to watch Trump’s historical inauguration on Infowars.
No such luck. Shall I say we missed his swearing in? We did. I felt cheated. On the Linux machine afterwards, we found a photo—beautiful I must say—of Trump’s hand on a bible held by Melania, dressed in gorgeous blue. But the livestream event was not there for us.
How could this have happened?
First, Alex Jones of Infowars had promised to cover the Inauguration ceremony. But what he did instead, after holding an interesting discussion with top-hatted Roger Stone, was to have two of his flunky reporters talk over almost the entire event while a silent image moved on a wall screen behind them. We did not get to hear any of the introductory speeches: we just saw mouths moving in faces on the screen, while Alex Jones’ reporters talked and talked.
These two reporters—good heavens should I remember their names—had nothing to say except what I’ve heard a hundred times and known for months or years. It was an endless rehash of all the crimes of the neocon deep state. The young female reporter, too casually dressed in a tank top, was not even articulate. It sounded like breakfast table conversation.
Why do I need a rehash of the past when history was happening right now?
We began frantically searching on the Linux machine for some site—any site—that might give livestream coverage before we missed every last introductory speech. It was not to be. We were down to trying NBC, but no video would come up, no matter how many times we clicked. Meanwhile, I was yelling and cursing a blue streak at Alex Jones for promising livestream coverage and not delivering. It was 11:59 EST, the precise moment of Trump’s swearing in. Surely Jones would let us watch this, I thought!
Then something unexpected happened that was not Alex Jones’ fault. Suddenly, the livestream of his two gabbing reporters vanished, and a message appeared on the screen:
“This livestream has been terminated.”
What?? We could not refresh the screen, nor restart the video. Nothing worked. Nothing was there. Who, may I ask, terminated InfoWars livestream at the very minute Trump was to be sworn in as President? What nefarious censorship agency was at work? The NSA?
Frantic, we scrambled to crank up the old rabbit-ears shortwave radio and finally picked up an audible signal part way into Trump’s acceptance speech. After listening for a few minutes to his familiar inspiring message, in which he told us that power had been transferred, not from one party to the other, but from the Washington inner circle back to people of America, we discovered to our great joy that Infowars livestream had come back up.
So at least we got to watch the end of Trump’s speech, which was on-message, triumphant and positive.
No sooner was Trump’s speech over than Infowars—damn them!—again cut us off from the event with pointless jabber. I was screaming mad. We couldn’t hear the singer nor any of the subsequent speeches.
Hunting around on the internet again, we found a livestream YouTube. Now this livestream was interesting. The ceremony was by now of course over. What this YouTube was showing in realtime was the bigwigs gathering in the Capitol building to attend the Inaugural Luncheon, apparently a tradition since President Eisenhower.
This YouTube had a priceless feature I loved: No voiceover, no announcer! There was just the moving image of the scene and the actual sounds in the room. (Imagine that!) The decor was darkly colorful, with gorgeous reds scattered about, while fancily dressed politicos laughed and hugged about the tables.
Then the scene changed to a room where President Trump was sitting at a desk signing a pile of documents. He kept complaining about not having enough pens, then finally said he would have to keep using the same one. Surrounding him were his family and cabinet members. The children were sitting beside him at his desk, being boistrous and natural as children should be. The setting was warm, low-key and charming.
Abruptly the scene cut to riots down the street. This was quite instructive. It looked like about 100 to 200 protesters were milling about an intersection, clad in ragged dark garments, while some 30 to 50 reporters covered their actions, which were mostly inactions.
For a protest, it seemed rather pathetic. Pitiful, really. A few held up roughly scrawled signs saying “Not our President” or “Fuck Trump”. But this sorry lot could not even work up a chant.
Meanwhile, a line of burly police in riot gear blocked the road that led to the Capitol. A few protesters made feeble attempts to taunt the police (who stood like statues, unperterbed) yelling “Why don’t you go home to your families?” or “We are unarmed,” or “You are using undue force.” Which was false. The police were using no force at all. Occasionally though, when the protesters gathered a bit too close, we had the pleasure of watching the officers hurl Bang-grenades, which make a loud noise and create lots of smoke, causing the hapless demonstrators to scream and scatter, yet without hurting a soul.
The protesters had no leadership, no goal, no agenda and not much energy. At one point, someone yelled “We need to get organized!”, but no one responded to his useless entreaty. A few tried to start a chant “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”—implying the police were there to serve THEM. But after five or ten people chanted this for fifteen or twenty seconds, their voices petered out.
The scene cut again to another street where perhaps 30 protesters had set a trashcan on fire. One guy suavely lit a cigarette from the fire, while another warmed his hands over it. One person threw on an American flag just for jollies, completing the pathetic scene. Then nearby, a journalist’s voice was heard yelling at the cameraman, “This isn’t where the news is happening! This is just a trashcan on fire!”
The scene cut back to Capitol and the ceremonial luncheon. Trump and his elegant entourage entered the luncheon room, and our newly inaugurated President gave a very short speech expressing thanks. There followed a belabored talk by the host of the event, through which Trump looked bored and resigned, while Melania remained expressionless and regal. The host meanwhile illuminated us on the origins of some of the many statues and paintings in the room, letting us know that the newly added statue of Rosa Parks showed her sitting down rather than standing up like all the other statues, which posture the host found touching and meaningful.
And then, a most embarrassing speech was given by Paul Ryan, who ignored Donald Trump and heaped praise on Pence. The Vice President seemed to actually blush at the inappropriate adulations, while Trump smirked knowingly, and Melania remained elegant and regal. When the speeches were over and the meal began, we were not privileged to watch them eat, as the scene again switched to protests in the street. The same bunch. The same limp taunts. The same frozen line of stalwart police.
Time to cut the power. My inauguration day was done.
The good news: Trump is in! He made it! We’re home free.
[Apologies to Alex Jones, who has done as much as anyone in America to help Trump get elected.]