1 O.J. was guilty??? I’m shocked! I was going to run a quiz about whether Fox broadcasting the 12-year-old O.J. Simpson interview in which he “hypothesizes” about what really happened—when Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman ended up with the lives stabbed out of them and a trail of O.J.’s blood leading from the scene to his home—was unethical or just icky, as in “revolting taste.”
Never mind: I’m willing to say it was unethical. Fox was aiding and abetting a murderer’s efforts to cash in on his crimes. Yes, yes, I know: in the eyes of the law, Simpson is innocent. But Fox, and you, and I, and O.J.’s lawyers and certainly O.J. all know beyond a shadow of doubt that he did it, and Simpson deserves a full shunning from the culture in every respect.
Fox, many forget, produced this interview as part of the promotion for O.J.’s book, “If I Did It,” written by a ghostwriter after interviews with Simpson. Simpson got $600,000 in the deal, denying later that he had anything to do with the project, and saying, “Hey, they offered me $600,000 not to dispute that I [wrote] the book…Everybody thinks I’m a murderer anyway. They’re not going to change their mind just because of a book.”
The consensus is that the Simpson’s statements in the Fox interview amount to a confession to double murder. I saw the key portion in a promotion,, where O.J. says that he remembers being at Nicole’s home, grabbing a knife, then seeing lots of blood…but not remembering what happened in between. But Simpson is a liar and a sociopath, and because of double-jeopardy, he can say that he watched Nicole and Ron get attacked by an army of zombies he recruited and it wouldn’t make any difference.
The degree to which Fox debased itself by running this offal cannot be exaggerated, and anyone who watched it without being paid to do so is an accessory after the fact to the unjust enrichment of O.J. Simpson.
2. Bonus O.J, ugliness: Read this hateful, racist, biased and legally ignorant essay by Michael Herriot at “The Root.” Herriot is another of many contributors to CNN whose anti-white racism is palpable, but deemed acceptable mainstream punditry. How deep and widespread is this kind of blind, unreasoning hatred of white Americans in the black community? How can anyone read something like this and wonder where the upsurge in white nationalism comes from?
3. And speaking of CNN’s race-baiters…Here is Van Jones on his newly minted CNN show, whining and grovelling to Oprah Winfrey:
“It meant so much to us, and, you know, I have to let you know how it is for us now. We had you. We had the Obamas in the White House. Even on a bad day, you had a north star. You had some hope. And then it was like the universe looked just said, psych! And threw us in the toilet and closed the lid and now we’re just stuck in this crazy situation, swirling…Help us, though, help us though!…I go out there and I try to tell people, let’s not become what we are fighting. Let’s not be what we’re fighting. They tell me, shut up, Van, because we got bigots out here, we got Nazis out here, we’re getting bullied, we are tired of going high. We want to go low and kick them in the private parts!”
There is disturbing evidence that “the resistance” and the anti-Trump mob, including the news media, is heading into a new and even more deranged stage, which is scary, since the previous stage has been putting unprecented stress on the nation’s mental and political health. We saw this deterioration with Jill Abramson’s open admission that she keeps a totem of Barack Obama in her purse to stave off despair. We are seeing more and more alternate-reality rants, like this one by David Remnick in “The New Yorker.”
The rhetoric is getting more shrill and hyperbolic every day, even when the news is good. At least Paul Krugman is consistent: his rhetoric about Trump has been shrill and hyperbolic from the start. Here he is this morning:
“Now, it’s a commonplace, but also a euphemism, to say that Trump has authoritarian instincts. A more accurate statement would be that he expects the kind of treatment tin-pot dictators demand, free from any criticism inside or outside his government and greeted with constant hosannas of praise. And everyone who isn’t willing to play the full game, who has tried to play by something resembling normal democratic rules, seems to be fleeing the administration. Soon only the shameless sycophants will be left. This will not end well.”
Sigh. All of America’s strong Presidents have had autocratic instincts, with the arguable exception of George Washington. Jackson, Polk, Lincoln, Cleveland, Teddy, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Ike, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton. Obama did as well, though he wasn’t a strong President. It’s just that people like Krugman are so offended by Trump being President that when he behaves essentially like the rest, they think it’s sinister. The complaining about this President surrounding himself with yes-men is especially hypocritical, since there were few complaints from the same critics about President Obama’s dangerously deferential inner circle, bolstered by a worshipful rather than properly objective press.
Krugman’s title is “Springtime for Sycophants.” Trump is Hitler, get it?
4. Hillary’s place in history and ethics. I think Hillary Clinton is ensuring that she will be cited for decades, if not centuries, as the perfect example of a graceless, bitter loser, and as the antithesis of good sportsmanship and accountability. (No, I do not think that will be good for women.) If this were ancient Greece, she might be transformed post-mortem into Hillary, Goddess of Gracelessness. What she’s said and written already was enough, but Hillary is determined to keep running up her bitterness score, fanning the flames of division in the nation while doing so. Here is her quote, being eagerly seized upon by the GOP publicity folks, from an appearance in India:
“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product… So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards. You know: ‘You didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.'”
Yeah, that’s a fair description of what Americans who didn’t vote for Clinton don’t like. Somebody explain to me again that Clinton didn’t mean to suggest during the campaign that Republicans and conservatives are “deplorables.”
5. Objective coverage test! President Trump announced this morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was leaving his post and will be replaced with Mike Pompeo, now the CIA chief, and Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman ever to hold the position.
It was clear, and has been for some time, that Tillerson was contemptuous, often openly, of the President and his international policies. That kind of relationship between a Secretary of State and POTUS is untenable; Trump should have done this a while ago. No watch Tillerson become, retroactively, a diplomatic genius in the news media. Wait and see if the President gets any accolades from women’s groups and leftward pundits for breaking the glass ceiling for women in one of the government’s most male-dominated agencies, but I advise against holding your breath.
A related note: CNN established a “Trump Jobs Tracker” to keep its online audience updated on whether President Trump could keep his promise to preside over booming employment after eight years of anemic growth under Obama. On January 5, the economy had only added 1,839,000 jobs since Trump took office, and CNN pointed out that Trump was “off track” to fulfill his promise that he’d help create “25 million jobs in 10 years, or 208,333 jobs per month.” Then employers added 200,000 jobs in January and another 313,000 in February, more than enough to be on a healthy pace to average 208,333 jobs per month in 2018.
6. The downside of chaos. As I wrote earlier this week, Trump is a chaos manager, and constant churning among managers and staff is part of the modus operandi of such leaders. Tillerson was a dubious appointment in the first place, the only Secretary of State in U.S. history without any government experience—not exactly the steady hand required by the only President without either military or government credentials. Even if the latest shake-up is a good one, the accumulated stress and disruption is exhausting, not just for those in the Administration, but for the public. Managed chaos is difficult, but can be effective. Constant chaos is irresponsible, and incompetent.
If some basic stability doesn’t become apparent soon, “this will not end well.”