There’s been nothing like it since 1968. Let’s go to the videotape. The movie, Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen as the eponymous SFPD detective Frank Bullitt. It was McQueen’s greatest role — he let his eyes do his acting for him, always a wise choice in his case and boy was he observant this time. The movie is most famous for its extended “chase” scene, up and down San Francisco’s hills, full of left-turn, right-turn skidding and screeching until it all ended badly for the bad guys.
What people forget is how the chase started and what happened midway. Leaving the scene of some initial investigating, Bullitt, in his Mustang, notices a Dodge Charger lurking nearby. Next thing you know, that car is in his rear-view mirror, with two heavies inside, the driver and a guy literally riding shotgun. At about that point you hear Bullitt click on his seat belt. This is going to get serious, we’ve just been informed. The chase is on, the two bad guys very seriously on his tail, very much out to get him. After a good few miles in this mode, Bullitt decides he’s had enough. A few evasive moves and deft turns later, suddenly he’s on the tail of the Charger. They’re now in his sights. And they scramble like mad to escape the detective they’d been pursuing. Too late. They’re history. It’s just a matter of time before he “explodes” them.
Something like that happened early last Saturday morning, if without all the roar of muscle car engines and hubcaps flying loose and auto bodies banging and scraping.
A mere tweet was all it took to set the moral order on course again. Months of relentless pursuit of our beloved new president until the pursued became the pursuer, and now the official word is that there was never any pursuit to begin with. Maybe it flatters them too much to compare them to mafia goons. More accurately, as the great Roger Kimball notices (BTW, why isn’t he running the National Endowments yet?), they’re Chihuahuas.
Which reminds us of another, more local scene. Think of it as a Bullitt showdown, Chihuahua division. On a nearby street, there lived a gorgeous Irish setter. Across from him lived two yapping Chihuahuas who couldn’t stand him. He paid them no mind until one day someone left the gate open from the Chihuahuas’ front yard and out the two of them raced to pounce on Big Red. They were going to rip him to shreds, from the comedic sounds and looks of it. Whereupon, much as it wasn’t in his nature to do so, he bit the first Chihuahua once, then the second one, once, and off the two little bullies limped to the safety of their fenced-in yard. Big Red’s owner made sure to shut the gate behind them.
Is it the end of the story? We don’t think so. Whole new litters of the Chihuahua-brained will re-emerge to resume the aggressive play that’s giving their breed such an unfortunate reputation. Still, it is amusing to see some of them licking their wounds. Take the New York Times, for instance, lead attack-Chihuahua of the roving anti-Trump gangs. A few days ago, Jeffrey Lord reported on a funny thing that happened after the president’s tweet.
On January 20, the Times had headlined “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.” Yet post-tweet, using the same reporter, it claimed, “Trump, Offering No Evidence, Says Obama Tapped His Phones.” So was it now withholding evidence it once offered? (Is that legal?)
But it gets better still. Yesterday, Andrew McCarthy reported that that Times January 20 headline has suddenly been changed:
No longer is it “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.” Instead, readers are now told, “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry into Trump Associates.”
To be sure, we at Enemy Central always read the fine print, so we’re not ready to charge the Times with destroying evidence. At the end of the re-headlined article on its website, the paper does note, in tiny Chihuahua-sized print, if you will:
A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.
By the way, out instincts were correct: an update from Mr. McCarthy indicates the Times has had it both ways with its two headlines. “Who knows how the wind might be blowing” is one of the Gray Lady’s less well-known mottos.
So the Times boys haven’t gone the full Orwellian route. Or have they? Yesterday, they ran another missive from psychiatrist Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, who raises new concerns about the president’s “mental instability,” “erratic patterns of behavior,” “and repeated failure to distinguish between reality and fantasy.” Alas, as the Times would say, Lifton offered no evidence. Fortunately for us, there was a letter to the same New York Times a few days earlier from a Lifton wannabe who does his practicing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He goes by the name Edwin B. Fisher and is identified as “a clinical psychologist and professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.” His diagnosis is cruel:
The biggest concern is not who talked with which Russian about what or whether Trump Tower was bugged. It is, instead, the mental state of the president of the United States. President Trump’s tweets at 6:35 a.m. on a Saturday show us a man we would hesitate in trusting with life-or-death decisions for those around him, let alone the globe.
Have we met our Enemy or what! Is 6:35 a.m. too early in the day for Professor Fisher? What would be a more convenient time for him? Let the record show that this week’s EOW prize is going out to Edwin B. Fisher at 12:04 a.m. Friday morning. A crazy hour, no doubt, but only because we know that the early bird still catches the worm, and our president was in very sound company last Saturday at his tweeting hour. He probably could hear the birds tweeting as he tweeted. Life is sweet.