Ludicrous all the way down: In this morning's Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan discusses the increasingly Trumpian conduct of a certain bombastic barrister who's often seen blustering on cable TV.
This barrister has always struck us as transparently unhealthy. We mentioned his resemblance to Trump last week. Others have been catching up.
(In this case, Sullivan discussed the barrister's bumptious threat to sue a bunch of news orgs. He's like Trump in a great many ways—though he doesn't play tic-tac-toe!)
Then too, there's the major cable news star who was repeatedly out to lunch last week. Consider the way she kissed the ascot of the New York Times on Wednesday night's program.
The star was discussing the newspaper's "big, long new report titled Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation." The report appeared on the front page of Thursday morning's editions.
First, the cable star offered an absurd assessment in which she claimed that the Times had apologized for an error it allegedly made late in the 2016 campaign. Concerning the alleged apology, here's what she excitedly said:
MADDOW (5/16/18): This is sort of an important moment for us as citizens who depend on journalism for an important check and window into the exercise of American power, right? This is this Titanic force in the world of journalism. For the New York Times to do this a year and a half down the road, to sort of come clean and at least explain what happened around that incredibly consequential, misleading article which may have helped sway the election, because of what turned out to be a pretty wildly inaccurate implication and headline about a presidential candidate, it's just a remarkable thing to see. This is a big moment in American journalism.We're sorry, but that was pure nonsense.
For starters, the "apology" wasn't an apology at all. Beyond that, the remarks in question appeared in paragraphs 67 and 68 of the 77-paragraph report.
The comments in question were buried near the end of a 3900-word report. It was absurd to say that the remarks constituted an apology at all, let alone "an important moment for us as citizens...a remarkable thing to see...a big moment in American journalism."
The comments in question were no such thing, but so it goes when cable stars serve us nightly excitement. But just to show what toadyism really looks like, here's what the star said next—and no, we aren't making this up:
MADDOW (continuing directly): But because this is the New York Times, and you should never underestimate them even when they've screwed up, they also break a ton of news in this new story that also functions as an apology. We get, for example, in this new story tonight, the code word that was used inside the FBI to refer to the Trump Russia investigation. We've never had this before. Apparently, their code name for it was "Crossfire Hurricane."Because the New York Times is great, it had broken a ton of news! The first example—and there were only two—was this:
The code word for the Trump-Russia probe was Crossfire Hurricane! We'd never had that before!
By the edicts of Hard Pundit Law, people like this major star are required to kiss the ascot of the Times. It's part of the deal—they must toady to industry and social power, even in ludicrous ways.
Two nights later, the cable star was worse. We refer to her ludicrous, 25-minute rumination on (who and what else?) Richard M. Nixon and Watergate.
Her upbeat assessment made little sense. In fact, it made no sense at all—but as a gesture of moral greatness, we've decided to let it go.
At any rate, Trump will go out just like Nixon did. "We are living history, you guys!" At the end of 25 minutes, that's what the major star said!