President Jimmy Carter made waves this week when he told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.”
This, naturally, made right-wingers jump up and yell, “See! Totally unfair! Fake news! Banana, banana, BANANA!”
To this, I say, “APPLE!” Um, I mean of course the media treats Trump differently. Trump is different. Trump ran on being different. He also ran on being tough, which makes me wonder why he’s so whiny and snowflakey.
Granted, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all have devolved from news outlets into punditry platforms. They don’t cover important issues like the tax plan and health care the way they dwell on middle school playground issues like, “Ooo, did you hear what he said about you? He called you a dodo head! What you got to say about that?!”
But real journalists — most of them coming from or still at print-based organizations — are covering the issues and that makes them seem harder on Trump. When they seem hardest on Trump is when they use his exact, harsh words — mostly in the form of Tweets.
But while we’re comparing the treatment of Trump to the treatment of other presidents. let’s be sure to remember that: Continue reading
With all of the hullabaloo accompanying the craziness of the Bush v. Gore general election of 2000, people often forget about the two runners-up in the primary season — Sen. John McCain on the Republican side and Sen. Bill Bradley with the Democrats. I longed for these two distinguished, principled men to face off in an election that they vowed— in a written, signed compact, mind you — that would be about the actual issues without special interests dictating the discussions.
I truly believe that those two men could have mostly lived up to their promise of a principled general election campaign — although whether they really could have is a moot point since Howdy Doody and a talking tree got the party nods. I hate that we never got to see that McCain v. Bradley campaign materialize, and politics has gotten uglier ever since. Citizens United threw even more gasoline on that fire.
They had very different views. Bradley’s big issues were universal health care (looks like he was a little ahead of his time on that one) and gun control, while McCain was focused on a strong defense and bucking the political establishment and D.C. power brokers. It would have been interesting — and we would have been much better off with either of them as president.
I don’t agree with many of his political views, but I respect Sen. McCain as a war hero (yes, Mr. Multiple Deferment Trump, McCain is a war hero) and as a principled politician, not a pandering demagogue. More than once during the 2008 campaign against Barack Obama he put his own supporters in their place when they said they were “scared” of Obama or accused him of being Muslim or being born in Kenya.
(By the way, I always wondered why Obama’s parents would have put a birth announcement in the Honolulu newspapers if he were born in Kenya; perhaps they were laying the groundwork for his presidential campaign from day one.) Continue reading
I’ve got a crazy idea for a new television network. Bear with me because it’s kinda out there, like Ted Turner out there. But here’s my idea:
I think we need a 24-hour cable news network — all news, all the time. When something happens in the world, you can go to that channel to learn more about it. And, vice versa, if you’re not sure what important news is happening in the world, you can turn to that channel and learn what that might be.
What’s that you say? We already have 24-hour news channels? Oh, I beg to differ.
We used to have 24-hour news channels. Now, we have 24-hour punditry — on Fox News, on CNN and I assume on MSNBC, which I don’t watch. Everything now is a discussion and staging of right vs. left on every issue.
“Welcome to CNN Tonight, I’m Don Lemon. Tonight, Donald Trump has dinner with Mitt Romney. He had a grilled chicken sandwich and a kosher dill pickle. To my left is Fred Finklestein, who supports Vlassic Kosher Dills, and to my right is Sally Saltheimer, a Heinz Zesty Dill backer.” Continue reading