Pity poor David Muir, a babe lost in the woods. We’re all LGBTQ etc. these days, but was it fair to send him out as Barbara Walters? ABC doesn’t know its ABCs. The kid was totally wet behind the ears, a regular sponge job. The best thing that might be said of him is that he’d probably make a great personal assistant to one of the Donald’s sons. (In Barron’s case, maybe his fashion consultant and hair geller.) But c’mon, to interview the new president in an ABC EXCLUSIVE designed to show CNN it, too, can profit off a man it seeks to destroy?
Who knew Master Muir was such a defender of the American taxpayer? No one was going to wall him in: “Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall?” he began. “Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?” And he was off: “So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?” “But you talked — often about Mexico paying for the wall. And you, again, say they’ll pay us back.” “What are you gonna say to some of your supporters who might say, ‘Wait a minute, I thought Mexico was going to pay for this right at the start.’”
At least this opening rat-a-tat-tat made the “full” transcript ABC News posted. Not so the section on the Women’s March on Washington. Here, we thought “Donald Trump” (guests on the doomed PBS NewsHour never can bring themselves to call him “President” Trump — to be fair, Mr. Muir was great on that score, calling him Mr. President repeatedly, as if that made the kid questioner appear to be more grown up), yes, the big bad Trump, was to be the threat to the First Amendment. Instead, ABC News has beaten him to the punch. And so transcript readers will never learn what the deft new president said in response to Muir’s questions about the embarrassingly huge anti-Trump turnout at the Women’s March the day after:
MUIR: Could you hear them from the White House?
TRUMP: No, I couldn’t hear them. The crowds were large, but you will have a large crowd on Friday, too, which is mostly pro-life people. You’re going to have a lot of people coming on Friday. And I will say this, and I didn’t realize this. But I was told. You will have a very large crowd of people. I don’t know as large or larger. Some people said it will be larger. Pro-life people, and they say the press doesn’t cover them.
MUIR: I don’t want to compare crowd sizes again. I – I – I –
And the cluck had no further response to Mr. Trump’s response. A regular profile in courage. So it got cut from the official record.
All we can say is, ABC, you’re no CNN.
There are other contenders. Sidney Blumenthal has reappeared after the debacle he helped bring about for his bosom friend, Secretary Clinton. He was always her expert on politics and history and intellectual sophistication. And so on Inauguration Day, he overcame the embarrassment of Secretary Clinton’s loss to comment on the new president’s Inaugural remarks, comparing them unfavorably to those of the late John F. Kennedy in 1960. In a better line than any delivered that day by Robert Frost, Blumenthal expressed disdain for the “American First” conceit:
Trump has little if any of [Pat] Buchanan’s sense of history. Yet standing on the West Portico of the Capitol, on the spot where John F Kennedy spoke 56 years ago, he unfurled the slogan of Lindbergh and Buchanan as the mission of his presidency.
If only history were so easy. Fifty-six years ago, Kennedy stood on the East Portico. Trump was standing on the spot first used by Ronald Reagan 20 years later. You’ll see more of America first by looking west.
Our old friend Madeleine Albright prefers to look east these days. Having been a Catholic, an Episcopalian, and a Jew, she has decided she’s actually a Muslim. All because the new president has an anti-terrorism policy she disdains. If the new president wants to win her favor, he’ll have to become anti-Serbian first and foremost. We only hope Mme. Albright hasn’t been watching too many ISIS videos. But who will pay for her conversion? Now there’s a question she won’t want this week’s EOW, Mr. David Muir, to ask her. He brings too much expertise to such interrogations.
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