Once upon a time, Late Show host David Letterman liked the man who would go on to become president. According to Rolling Stone:
Letterman said that in his Late Show days, the “big, blowhard billionaire” was the “perfect guest”: “Nobody took him seriously, and people loved him when he would come on the show,” he said. “I would make fun of his hair, I would call him a slumlord, I would make fun of his ties. And he could just take a punch like nothing.”
Once “he” ran for president, it was squeamish Dave who couldn’t take a punch. Next thing you knew, Dave called him “a person to be shunned.” Dave didn’t mention it the other night when he was honored at the Kennedy Center, but the New York Times in its coverage of the event repeated the line anyway. Perhaps it will now work its way into Senator Corker’s and Senator Flake’s routine. Afraid to face the voters who once elected them, those two are counting on the hosannas emanating from the media to save them from their astonishing lack of political courage and honor. But isn’t that the way it goes? A senator fears defeat and turns sniper?
The five presidents gathered at an obscure telethon last Saturday night somehow failed to fill the room the way their successor once filled a Letterman show. But at least one of them, codenamed W, must have been feeling good about himself. He had just come out denouncing his unnamed successor for, among other things, apparently colluding with the Russians — this just days before the Washington Post, much to Ben Bradlee’s posthumous discomfort, reported that Hillary & Co. had actually funded the Trump Dossier project. Poor Dubya never was well served on the intelligence front. Be that as it may, the Post story sent a few New York Times reporters into a huff, given all the times Hillary & Co. had assured them they had had nothing at all to do with the Dossier project.
So now the question looms — have the Washington Post and New York Times set off on a noble quest to recover what may be salvaged of their journalistic honor and reputation? As if – if you go by the stories headlining their online home page.
“‘Dangerous,’ ‘utterly untruthful’: Two retiring GOP senators sound alarm on Trump” reads the first story header, accompanied by two related stories. Then we get: “Senate Republicans’ dilemma: Speak out or hope silence pays dividends,”
Only after that and a long interlude do we get the headline that shook the world yesterday afternoon: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier.”
As for the NY Times, if a story could be buried any deeper it would be coming out the other side of planet Earth. On the Times homepage there’s a link to it in a subhead five anti-Trump stories down the left column. It won’t be on the morning edition’s front page either — just on p. A17, if the dog doesn’t get to it first.
Not that there’s much worth reading in it anyway. Our favorite is its description of the dubious Brit who took the money and apparently ran to the nearest Russian hotel mattress: “Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, a respected former British spy with extensive experience in Russia.”
Even Rodney Dangerfield was never called “respected” by the Times.
In happier news, the great Stevie Wonder played the national anthem the other day while on his knees. Before his performance was over, he managed to display a lot more respect for the man in the White House than any headline writer, you can be sure of that. “Feel me, feel me, Mr. President,” he pleaded. Let’s just hope he wasn’t auditioning for Billy Bush or a gig in a Moscow night spot. These days you never know what people might be up to.
Oh, yes, we need to hand out a prize. We’ll flip a two-headed ruble coin and if it’s heads the winner can only be Christopher Steele, hiding under his mattress. Don’t worry, Senator Snowflake. You’ll still have a chance to win an EOW of your very own — once your head cools and you reexamine the conscience you say is in there somewhere. Anyhoo, serves you right. We never did receive a review copy of your scintillating book.