“February 2017 is when the President called us the enemy of the people. A few days later my son asked me, ‘Is Donald Trump going to put you in prison?’”
—Olivier Knox at last week’s White House Correspondents Dinner.
At the same dinner, “entertainment” Ron Chernow—will he trade in his historian gig for stand-up? I can see it now—Laugh with the Hysterical Hystorian!—said in one of his funnier lines,
“H.L. Mencken once warned of a political system that would ‘keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.’ We simply cannot allow the press to become an imaginary hobgoblin exploited for political gain.”
Great irony, Ron! The press has just completed nearly three years of trying to frighten the public by claiming that the President stole the election and is a Russian agent, but it’s the President who is alarming the public with “an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.'” HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one!
Well, as someone who has written some comedy routines, I agree that it’s important to know your audience. In this case, that means knowing your audience is smug, arrogant, lacks self-awareness, and afflicted with permanent delusions of virtue.
But back to Knox. The device he stooped to use is known (here)as the Amy Carter Maneuver, when an adult places words in his child’s mouth for dramatic effect. Surely you recall Jimmy Carter’s infamous gaffe in his debate with Ronald Regan, when he said, “I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry — and the control of nuclear arms.” Amy was 13, and most viewers found the device nauseating.
I can’t find the age of Knox’s son. If he’s older than 12, and really said this, then his father has succeeded in indoctrinating him into the crazy “resistance” narrative that the President is a fascist just waiting for his chance to shut down the Bill of Rights. I’m sure his teachers have helped out too. If he’s younger than 12, and Knox isn’t making the exchange up, then we know that he is raising his child to hate and fear the elected leader of his homeland, an attitude calculated to make him miserable and distrustful, and perhaps one more enthusiastic totalitarian.
If that isn’t child abuse as vile as teaching your offspring to hate other races, faiths and ethnicities, it’s too close for me.