“I’m just going to say one thing. Fuck Trump! It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump.’ It’s ‘fuck Trump!’”
—Actor Robert De Niro on live TV at the Tonys last night.
Then he pumped both fists in the air, as a large contingent of the crowd of Broadway glitterati at Radio City Music Hall stood and gave him a standing ovation, endorsing the gutter insult.
I believe such un-American conduct creates an ethical obligation on the part of fair and reasonable American to demonstrate their contempt and opposition, in as strong and decisive a manner possible.
What that means is beyond my ability to suggest right now. I don’t like to write when I am angry, and I am angry. But this must not stand.
Yesterday, commenting on the unethical Tony Awards scheduling of De Niro, who has used other appearances to make vulgar, hateful, ad hominem attacks on the President, I wrote in part,
“If you invite Robert De Niro, you are deliberately announcing that your event is going to be politically divisive and include an attack, probably uncivil, on the President—and while he will be engaged in crucial international negotiations. The President has nothing to do with the Tonys, nor does politics—the main contenders for top musicals are “SpongeBob” and “Mean Girls,” for heaven’s sakes—nor does De Niro, who is just one more movie star being used by Broadway to attract a larger TV audience.”
Naturally, CBS allowed this to go forward, because it was in search of ratings for the perpetually viewer-starved awards show. The network either knew or should have known that this meant that it would be broadcasting some kind of ugly episode. The network was accused of conspiring with Janet Jackson to flash her breast during the supposedly family-friendly Super Bowl half-time show—you know, back in those halcyon days when games didn’t include NFL players symbolically calling the US. racist as a prelude?—and swore that it had no idea anything inappropriate was going to happen. Well, it can’t make that claim now about De Niro. De Niro’s outburst is like the breast-bearing if Jackson had been flashing at every public appearance. CBS knew he was going to insult the President. It wanted him to insult the President. Continue reading