Trump has yet again grabbed the country by the…eyelids…with another unnecessarily childish outburst.
This episode stars as chief foe the actress Meryl Streep.
The hook: a long-settled non-controversy alleging that trump mocked a handicapped journalist who may or may not have written something Trump may or may not have accurately quoted.
Yes, each player in this non-news story has a constitutionally protected right to say stupid shit. Yes, one of them is an actor who couldn’t have played the part of disgruntled “Hillary Flunky” (Trump’s words) any better if Steven Spielberg had directed it. And yes, one of them will soon be the President of the United States of America, and as such—having already beaten “the rigged system,” the Establishment, the media and the the Clinton Juggernaut in one of the biggest upsets in presidential political history—ought to be mature enough not to have to respond to every little criticism.
But isn’t this exactly why the people chose Trump?
After hearing 40 minutes of folks calling in to our local conservative talk radio show (thanks to a downed mattress in the interstate doubling my nightly commute), it’s pretty obvious that his Streep-bashing tweet isn’t losing him any supporters.
And honestly, while I think he could be more poignant with a clever, dismissive tweet over a seemingly angry and reactionary one, I don’t think it matters. It’s a tweet for christ’s sake, not a State of the Union Address.
If this is a controversy deserving of our attention, what do we do when Trump actually does something of some importance, like bombing California or extending the enforcement of deportation laws to Feminazi Social Justice Warriors?
Quid Pro Quo
Before we delve into who is right, let’s discuss one particular part of Streep’s over-acted comments: “Disrespect invites disrespect,” she said. “Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
We can assume Streep wasn’t talking about the Democratic Party paying people to violently protest Trump rallies, nor that she was being ironically self-reflective as a person of power (i.e., Hollywood actress, Medal of Freedom winner, multi-millionaire). But Streep was right in observing that “disrespect invites disrespect.” As a fan of the quid pro quo, I commend Trump for responding in kind.
Neither of them. Trump himself had previously called Streep an “excellent” actress and “a fine person” to boot. And she is a fine actress. She’s also just another Hollywood Liberal who thinks her opinion means something.
But what about her allegation? Did Trump mock a reporter for being disabled? It’s unfortunate that the media didn’t take the opportunity to point out that this has already been pretty clearly debunked. In another tweet, Trump reminded everyone of this fact, which I think is his right (remember how enraged we all were that John Kerry was too morally righteous to get down in the dirt and defend himself against the “Swift Boat” allegations in a 2004 presidential election he basically handed back to George W. Bush.)
“For the 100th time,” Trump wrote, “I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”
The fact is, Streep was re-igniting a scandal that never could quite catch fire, much as the media tried. And it shouldn’t have, then or now, because it’s not true.
Same: nobody. The media’s insistence on continuous coverage of the President-Elect’s Twitter shenanigans is giving steroids to the public’s already strong distrust of mainstream “news.” If this is a controversy deserving of our attention, what do we do when Trump actually does something of some importance, like bombing California or extending the enforcement of deportation laws to Feminazi Social Justice Warriors? Great fodder for political talk shows though this may be, it is also politically desensitizing, which is debilitating to the media’s already crippled reputation. No pun intended, of course.