Charlie Chaplin 1936 Movie Shows How Media Can Use One Jerk To Ruin Any Event.

Iconic scene from 1936 silent movie “Modern Times” starring Charlie Chaplin.  The hapless Little Tramp is crossing the street when the red warning flag falls off the back of a lumber truck.   The Tramp picks up and waves the flag so the driver can stop and retrieve it.  Meanwhile, a crowd of protesters rounds the corner behind him and marches behind Chaplin and his flag.  Police, seeing a crowd marching behind what seems to be a Communist banner, break up the march and arrest the Little Tramp who seems to be its leader.  Click here or photo for link to view video clip. (The background music “Halleluyah, I’m A Bum” had become the anthem of the “International Workers of the World” or “IWW” often called “The Wobblies” during the 1920s.  While the AFL and most labor unions in the United States fought for higher wages and better working conditions, the IWW supported socialism and the “fundamental transformation” of America.)  

The above Charlie Chaplin video shows how easy it is to manipulate the reporting of of rallies and demonstrations.  When Democrats or other “progressive” groups hold rallies or other events that are poorly attended, it seems that most major TV networks and daily newspapers report them with the same headline or frontpage coverage normally given to significant, successful events.  The poor attendance is rarely reported and videos and photos will be close-ups that do not reveal the sparse attendance.

On January 9, roughly 20 Democrats held signs calling for Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew to be removed from office.  This was front page news in the next day’s edition of the daily Press of Atlantic City,.  Ironically, these Democrats demanded that Van Drew’s election to Congress should be set aside because they falsely claimed Van Drew voted for a resolution urging Congress to set aside the election Presidential Electors for Democrat Joe Biden in Pennsylvania.  The truth is that Van Drew voted for only an investigation of mail-in ballots in that state.    

Although only a handful of Democrat plants or attention seekers out of roughly 100,000 Trump supporters displayed Confederate flags on January 6, photos or videos of them were included in almost every TV network and daily newspaper story of the event.  The photo above depicts the front page of the January 15, 2021 edition of the Press of Atlantic City.

Only a handful of Democrat plants or attention seekers carried Confederate flags at the the January 6, 2021 Capitol protests and riots.  Yet even the political cartoons of “mainstream” daily newspapers falsely implied that they represented a significant number of those who attended.   This cartoon appeared on the editorial page of the January 9, 2021 edition of the Press of Atlantic City.  

It seems that when Republicans or conservatives have large crowds and successful events, there is usually little or no coverage.  When there is coverage, reporters and photographers will cherry pick photos that portray the event in an unpopular light.   For example, there were only a handful of Confederate flags at the rally of some 50,000 to 100,000 Trump supporters in Washington D.C. on January 6.  Yet virtually every daily newspaper and TV network report of the rally included a photo or video of someone carrying or displaying a Confederate flag.  One individual out of all those people wore an anti-Semitic T-Shirt.  While some of those who did that may have been Democrats deliberately seeking to discredit Trump and his supporters, most seemed to be attention seekers knowing that the media was eager to give the most attention to those who hurt Trump and his supporters the most.

President Trump was the first Republican or conservative to call for this kind of big, unorganized rally in ten years.   Most Republicans and conservatives understood that the biased, Democratic Party media made these rallies counterproductive since August of 2010.  That was when TV and radio personality Glenn Beck worked for months with “Tea Party” conservatives to hold a “Restore Honor In America” rally in Washington, D.C.   The rally was a success and very significant.  Roughly 100,000 attended.  The event indicated the strength of a genuine, spontaneous movement that helped Republicans win a majority in the House of Representatives three months later.  The event was peaceful and orderly, and their was virtually no litter or need for taxpayer funded cleanup afterwards.  However, the major TV networks and daily newspapers gave the event little or no coverage.  Almost all of that coverage included a photo of a group of fewer than 20 people at the edge of the event who carried a Confederate flag.  Other participants had blocked that group from bringing that flag to the main event.  Because of that, Republicans and conservatives stopped having those rallies.  Even the rallies held by President Trump during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns were careful to exclude anyone with signs or banners that misrepresented the message of President Trump.

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1 thought on “Charlie Chaplin 1936 Movie Shows How Media Can Use One Jerk To Ruin Any Event.”

  1. “For example, there were only a handful of Confederate flags at the rally of some 50,000 to 100,000 Trump supporters in Washington D.C. on January 6.”
    How many people pushed the barricades aside at the Capitol? Did others, who themselves did not physically push the barricades aside, encourage them? Can they, or some of them, be identified? Arrested and prosecuted?
    How many people pushed Capitol Police officers? Did others, who themselves did not physically push the officers, encourage them? Can they, or some of them, be identified? Arrested and prosecuted?
    When one is in a large crowd, he cannot see, unless he is considerably taller, what is going on ahead. If the barricades are already aside, if the police have given up and are standing to the side, how is the individual to tell that there is anything wrong?
    When a small number from the crowd went into the Capitol, most walked in through already-open doors. They encountered people who were vandalizing and generally being nuisances. Some of the people from the crowd tried to stop the vandals and troublemakers. Most just walked around.
    The entry into the Capitol began while President Trump was giving his address to his supporters at the Ellipse. Now, the Ellipse is over a mile and a half, over a half hour brisk walk, from the Capitol.
    Allegations are still flying around as to who the initial group that was inside the Capitol while the Trump crowd was still at the Ellipse. According to some accounts, most of them had left by the time the crowd from the Ellipse began to arrive.
    President Trump is assailed because he did not lead the march from the Ellipse to the Capitol. If he had done so, the Secret Service would have had a conniption. When President Clinton suddenly decided to go on 2d Avenue North in Nashville Tennessee, which was lined with vendors and tourists, the Secret Service was nearly frantic trying to secure the area. They had no chance to position sharpshooters on the roofs, seal windows, check out the vendor booths, inspect everyone for weapons. There was no way that the Secret Service would not have strenuously objected to President Trump, or any president, walking to the Capitol surrounded by an uncontrolled, unsearched crowd.
    There had been many threats made against President Trump, from celebrities calling publicly for his assassination to lone loose screws making threats against him. Can you imagine his leading a crowd, even if 99.9% were his supporters, on the open avenue?

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