On Trump’s need to attack — and the response I wish he’d sent to Meryl Streep

Paul Drinkwater/Courtesy of NBC
Actress Meryl Streep accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards show.

Speaking only for myself of course, a couple of posts back, I rejected Robert Reich’s suggestion that we all ignore the Trump inauguration, especially his inaugural address, for fear that if we paid attention to it we would be committing the sin of “normalizing” Trumpiness. I stand by my first reaction. I’ll watch the speech, and I will try to scribble out an honest take on it. My goal will definitely not be to “normalize,” nor, I suppose to “abnormalize,” although based on my recent conduct, I’m more likely to err on that side of the equation.

But, as the days go by, I understand the Reichian impulse to turn one’s head. I recognize the dangers that we scribblers of the ink-stained generation face that we will indeed get sucked into “normalize” conduct that should be condemned. My plan is not to get so sucked in.

Trump is not the first political figure to lie or to make offensive racist, sexist remarks. But he’s the biggest liar we’ve ever seen at this level and the first one in a long time to refuse to retract or apologize for offensive outbursts such as, for example, mocking the disabled, about which more below. Mocking people with disabilities should probably be disqualifying for a presidential candidate but, apparently, it isn’t because the guy who did it will soon be president and we have to keep trying to figure out how that came about.  

The ‘L’ word issue

We older scribblers are not set up for this. Some from the old school are arguing against calling Trump’s lies “lies,” because (according to some of them) we can’t be sure enough that he’s doing it on purpose. He may just be mistaken. Call them errors, correct the errors, but don’t pretend to know that he knows they are false when he says them, say these old-schoolers who (like me) came up in the age of so-called “objectivity.”

I remember when I used to see the wisdom in this approach. I used to avoid the “L” word (Liar). And part of the reason was the powerfully felt need, in days of “objectivity,” to want to shield oneself from allegations of partisan bias, more specifically “liberal” bias, which especially applied when one was criticizing the statements of a conservative or a Republican. Since reporters are mostly liberals (the critique went, and it was true as far as that assertion) we were all under suspicion of being too inclined to call fouls faster on conservatives.

But we’ve never faced a Trumpian liar at this level during my professional lifetime. And it isn’t strictly about lies; it’s also about willfully offensive false judgments about individuals or whole groups.

So, in that spirit, and fully expecting that Trump admirers will assume that I am just expressing my “bias,” I am not going to engage in an affirmative action program to try to say more nice things about about Trump, nor shy away from calling fouls. The man commits a lot of fouls, and he should not get away with three quarters of them uncalled, just so the refs won’t be accused of being biased. Luckily for him, as opposed to a basketball player, there is apparently no number of fouls that will get him thrown out of the game.

The three-tweet storm against Streep

Which brings me to Trump’s ridiculous three-tweet storm against Meryl Streep, certainly one of the greatest film actors of her generation, who used her on-camera moment at the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday to criticize Trump for mocking a disabled reporter. Watch video of Trump’s despicable imitation of prize-winning reporter Serge Kovaleski, now of the New York Times, who suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that reduces his ability to control his arms and legs. You can’t watch it without knowing that it is mockery (even though in the same clip he calls Kovaleski a “nice” guy and “the poor guy.”) If you watch the video and think it is inaccurate to call his impression of Kovaleski “mockery,” you have simply lost touch with reality. Trump’s grudge against Kovaleski was the journalist’s role in covering a story unflattering to Trump.

So, of all the things Streep might have done with her few minutes at center stage to receive an award, she chose to criticize Trump, without mentioning his name, for his cruel mockery of Kovaleski.

So Trump could have gone any one of three ways: Ignore Streep’s remarks; acknowledge the remarks and apologize for his despicable mockery of Kovaleski (I’ll provide a draft of the apology below); or attack Streep as an over-rated actress and continue to deny that his cruel mockery was mockery or cruel.

He went with Way Three, in a tweetstorm that ran over the 140-character limit so he had to string it across three tweet, thus:

Trump’s tweets

Tweet 1, which got 34,219 retweets and 104,374 “likes,” as of this writing:

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a…..

Tweet 2, 104,801 likes

…Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him…….

Tweet 3, only 57,906 likes

“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 “dishonest” story that caused Trump to go after Kovaleski, if you care to know, was about Trump’s false claim that he had witnessed “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering as the World Trade Center towers came down on 9/11/2001.

So, to be clear, there is no evidence that the cheering Muslims thing ever occurred and Trump has had ample opportunity to produce any, but he has never retracted his anti-Muslim lie. He did mock Kovaleski. And Meryl Streep is one of the greatest film actors of her generation and perhaps any generation. (I guess you could put that last “fact” down as an opinion, but a very widely held opinion, and Trump never expressed a contrary opinion until Streep — without mentioning Trump’s name — had the audacity to criticize him.

So, to loop back to my diatribe at the top, if this happens — and reporters, or even this particular scribbler, decides to downplay it because they have already been so mean to Trump that their objectivity halo is starting to lose its luster — what are we and how can we help but “normalize” this kind of conduct by the president-elect soon to be commander in chief?

How he might have behaved

Trump doesn’t know I exist and he will not take advice on his manners or his humanity from me, but, as I promised above, here is what he might have said, if he’d felt he had to acknowledge the Streep statement and if he’d had any interest in behaving like something other than a cruel, thin-skinned egomaniac:

“It has come to my attention that at the Golden Globes ceremony, Meryl Streep criticized me for mocking a disabled reporter. Ms. Streep is a great actress whose work has entertained and inspired millions of viewers of her films and I respect her work. At the ceremony, she took me to task for my behavior on an occasion last year when I did an impression of a disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski. Of course, I shouldn’t have done that hurtful, mocking impression and I apologize to Mr. Kovaleski and anyone else who suffers from a condition like his. To overcome a handicap like that and have the career in journalism he has had should be an inspiration to us all and especially to those with handicaps.

“I said and did a lot of things in the heat of the campaign that I regret and wish I could take back. Maybe I got carried away with a tough-guy need to always be on the attack. Anyway, I will soon be president of all Americans and I know I need to mend some fences with some among you whom I have offended.

“I hope that some of you, who believe that I cannot be a proper president of all Americans, will open your minds to the possibility that I can do better now that the campaign is over to unify the country for the benefit of us all. I pledge now to try to earn your trust and respect for the task ahead of trying to make our country as great as it can be for as many of its people as possible.”

Have a lovely Tuesday.

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Comments (39)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/10/2017 - 10:04 am.

    Twitter is perfect communication by Trump.

    A concise, indivisible, opaque, easily repeated and unanswerable statement.

    A flashy bright object to distract from the more important issues of the day (for instance, do you know that the boatload of appointments that are supposed to be vetted an approved in the next few days ?)

    Bob Corker (R) says, “If it is his view, it would be really good if he would consider tweeting it out very clearly.”

    Is that what it comes down to ?

    Opaque, unanswerable tweets from on high ? Is it really Trump ? Or who really knows who the source of these tweets are ?

    Maintaining attention in a era of constant misdirection and distraction is the real challenge.

    It’s the “which cup is the pea under” writ large.

  2. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/10/2017 - 10:21 am.

    So this is what we’re reduced to?

    We’re imagining what alternative tweets from Donald Trump might look like? I think:”Grow up” pretty much summarizes the situation when an adult acts like a 4 year old.

    I know I’m wasting my time but seriously the best way we could all respond to Trumps tweets is to stop reading them, discussing them, and reporting on them. He would be left with no choice to communicate with the nation like an adult president, or take his childish behavior in front of the Washington Press Corps and see how it flies in a room full of adults.

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/10/2017 - 10:36 am.

    I am not defending Trump….

    The same standard you apply to Trump should be applied to all politicians and journalist.

    To broadcast the “L” word for Trump and ignore the using the “L” word for equally outrages statements made by others is a good example of the “H” word.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/10/2017 - 12:19 pm.

      OK, I’ll bite.What

      OK, I’ll bite.

      What comparable lie by a person in the same level of power/privilege has been told in the last couple of days ?

      • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/10/2017 - 03:29 pm.

        So many in the “last couple of days…”

        I will do better than rehearse recent history – I can prophecy you will her many Tuesday night!

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/10/2017 - 04:09 pm.

          I’ll be looking for your list tomorrow.

          • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/10/2017 - 09:42 pm.

            Did you hear what I just heard….?

            It seems to me that Mr. Obama is “elite” in what Mr. Black condemns. Very smooth at the false “set up” and then compound it with the – “you know what.”

            I think we have finally found someone who has a “huge – er” ego than D.T.

            This campaign speech is typical of most all campaign speeches (both sides) – filled with – you know what.

            However – if his “campaign” continues it will be great for the GOP as elections across this country have already evidenced.

            The Dems now have a choice. They can bitterly cling to the failed policies of the past – that have been rejected or find a better “you know what-er.”

            • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/11/2017 - 08:03 am.

              While this comment may mean something to you, for anyone else it is pretty cryptic. Perhaps you could explain the lies you heard in whatever you were listening to ?

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/11/2017 - 03:12 pm.

                Here are two lies

                “I will put my businesses in a blind trust.”

                “No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/13/2017 - 08:04 am.

                Here are a couple more

                While these may not be the most important of Hillary’s lies, they are my personal favorites that have not yet been mentioned.

                During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Hillary claimed she landed in Bosnia “under sniper fire” during the 1990s. News video showed a serene scene, including local children; it was her Brian Williams moment.

                In an interview, Clinton stated that she “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt”. And now, the Clintons are worth $40-$50 million. They are amazing that way.

                Hillary claimed her e-mail server was in “accordance with the rules and the regulations in effect.” Not so much.

                Not to be left out of the telling of family immigrant stories, Clinton asserted that “all my grandparents… came over here.” The truth is that one did and three were born here.

                Remember when Hillary claimed that her campaign was going to go carbon neutral? -It didn’t.

                Hillary lied as often as it suited her purposes and she lied without purpose. Were this the eve of her inauguration, we would not be served a column reminding us that Hillary has a propensity to lie.

                • Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 01/13/2017 - 03:33 pm.

                  Hillary’s “lies”

                  Blimey. Four of those five exaggerations are so earth-shaking, they had a great and permanent impact on our foreign policies, didn’t they? LOL

                  Re: Hillary’s emails. You will also recall that what she said was true; not a lie. Both Powell and Rice also maintained private mail servers while each served as SoS.

                  • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/14/2017 - 02:06 pm.

                    Private Server?

                    Not for Rice nor Powell, but that is a popular lie that gets repeated. Here is an Politifact link and excerpt:


                    “So that leaves Powell, a regular email user, as Clinton’s only predecessor who serves as a useful comparison. When we reached out to the Clinton campaign, they pointed us to Powell.

                    Like Clinton, Powell used a personal email address. However, there’s a big difference: Clinton hosted her email on a private server located in her home. Powell did not.” The same is true for Rice.

                    The Hillary lies I provided reveal a pattern that paint a picture that shows the nature of a person. If she lies about these things, what won’t she lie about? She might claim that a terror attack on a U.S. embassy, was caused by a video posted on youtube.

                    Blimey, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/10/2017 - 05:01 pm.



        • Submitted by Mark Countryman on 01/10/2017 - 10:01 pm.


          Would you please clarify the following sentence: “I will do better than rehearse recent history – I can prophecy you will her many Tuesday night!” Thanks in advance!

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/10/2017 - 03:24 pm.

      Well, not exactly…

      It is clear fact that Trump lies at more than twice the rate of your normal politician. Paul Ryan, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi all have similar, historic, patterns and levels of spinning the truth to suit their advantage. Donald Trump represents a whole new ballgame in reality distortion.

      And, unfortunately, it works.

      He has proven that significant numbers of voters prefer an agreeable lie to disagreeable truth. Truth is the essential basis for science, the law, education and business. It certainly gets challenged and stretched on a regular basis; but, the Trump difference is that he has shown that truth does not even matter. And that depresses the hell out of me: It is bad enough that our new politics have abandoned the truth standard; but, what happens if it is equally applied to science, the law, education and business? Why test that new drug? Just sell it and reap the profits. Will our history books have photo shopped images of thousands of New Jersey Muslims cheering the collapse of the twin towers?

      Seems a big price to pay to get rid of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood and a handful of other right wing goodies that led many conservatives to hold their noses and vote Trump.

  4. Submitted by John Clouse on 01/10/2017 - 11:32 am.

    Tr**p tweets

    Interesting how now we no longer have to read the tweets because they are spread across the media landscape.
    Fortunately so too is the original recording which clearly shows him mocking the reporter’s disability.
    Just keep bringing this stuff up, Mr. T, and we’ll be treated to the original disgusting reality over and over. Perhaps the truth will sink in.

  5. Submitted by Pat Berg on 01/10/2017 - 11:45 am.

    It’s desensitization

    They use it in training animals like horses and dogs. You repeatedly expose the animal to the reaction-inducing thing until it becomes commonplace and no longer elicits the reaction.

    Some animal trainers dislike the use of desensitization because if used improperly, it can induce a state of learned helplessness.

    Another way to describe “normalization”, I guess.

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/10/2017 - 12:13 pm.

    Many Americans admire and agree with Ms. Streep’s eloquent defense of human empathy and diversity, and her attack on bullying by the people who hold enormous power in our country and the world. That she hit her target–without having to name him because everybody knows who mocked a disabled reporter last year–is revealed in those three intemperate tweets that do nothing but name-call. Another Trump attempt to attack the person, rather than the message.

    This man has a major failing, instilled in him by his father: He can never admit to any failing, least of all to not being First. He has to be The Winner in all contests, and cannot bear the least bit of criticism. The slightest crack in his facade, and he’ll break his self-image. He can’t risk that.

    We will go four years and more, without Trump ever admitting to a mistake. Ever admitting to a misjudgment. We will be subjected constantly to the ugly underside of his character as he continues his thoughtless, knee-jerk Tweets attacking this one and that one. As he continues to embarrass us all with his cringe-inspiring short spurts of bad prose.

    • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 01/11/2017 - 01:12 pm.

      We’ve Just Gone 8 Years…

      ..of hearing that everything bad that has happened has never been Obama’s and his administration’s fault. Obama has blamed everyone for everything. He’s even mocked general Americans that have opposed him and supported rivals.

      Was Trump’s mocking ridiculous? Absolutely. But no one seems to understand that Trump attacks people when they are being unreasonable towards him. After all, it was a reporter that changed a past story merely to criticize Trump. This is especially true of what most liberals do. They think it is perfectly in their prerogative to attack and attack and that who they are talking and lecturing to (Streep has done this before), is just supposed to sit back and take it.

      This is why Trump won and liberals just can’t get over it. Trump was a very flawed candidate. Normal Americans are tired of being ridiculed and lectured to by elitists, Streep well included in that group. Now there is a guy that is willing to say, enough of you clowns. No matter who you are, if you are going to attack, you better be ready to play by the rules you are laying down.

  7. Submitted by Rick Prescott on 01/10/2017 - 12:17 pm.

    The ‘L’ Word Redux

    “…the powerfully felt need, in days of ‘objectivity,’ to want to shield oneself from allegations of partisan bias, more specifically ‘liberal’ bias…”

    To be on the side of fact, truth, and rational thinking is not “liberal.” The only reason we even consider such nonsense is that it has been pounded into public consciousness by those who benefit from the ability to create their own reality.

    The modern media has been effectively neutered by such framing, and the industry simply must not accept it if we are to ever move beyond this terrible moment. If something is true, it must be reported, regardless of who it helps or hurts. Further, because truth can be complicated to discern, the media has a solemn responsibility to actually suss out truth — difficult as that may be — then expose and interpret it for the benefit of all. It is not sufficient to simply report what various constituencies believe if one proposition is verifiable and the other is not. It cannot be a consideration which party or ideology the facts help or hurt. In the face of facts, accusations of bias must simply be ignored.

    When you accept the idea that reporting facts which support “liberal” ideas represents “liberal bias,” then you play into the hands of those who would devalue fact, truth, and rational thinking. This is actually what has happened, and played a significant role in getting us to this moment.

    I do not want to suggest that this is an easy equation. Ambiguity is ever-present. But the bravery to attack ambiguity and discern underlying truths IS journalism. The bravery to prevent the amplification of falsehoods IS journalism. The bravery to speak truth to power IS journalism. The bravery to call out lies, obfuscations, unsound reasoning, manipulation, propagandizing, intimidation, omissions, and anything else which would undermine truth IS journalism.

    Because it is JOURNALISM that the fear of accusations of bias can destroy.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 01/10/2017 - 01:27 pm.


      The fear of having the truth labeled as “liberal bias” and therefore equating the value baseless opinion, lies, and misdirection with facts and truth have made the media worse than worthless. They made them a tool of said lies, misdirection and baseless opinion. A lie is a lie, regardless of intent. We can be pretty sure that Trump is lying, even if his followers do not recognize it.

    • Submitted by Mark Countryman on 01/10/2017 - 10:15 pm.


      Well-stated, Lowell. And that is the very reason that my wife and I are Minn-Post sustaining members. Whatever happens in the next X number of years, it is our earnest hope that history will have the benefit of a dispassionate record of what occurred.

      Mr. Black, as a journalist, you don’t enjoy the luxury of boycotting the inauguration, discusting though it may be. You are obligated to watch, and I look forward to your analysis. As a non-journalist, I don’t have to, and I will not. I can watch or listen at my leisure, after the fact, when ratings are less important, on any number of media outlets. I don’t envy your job, sir.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/10/2017 - 12:59 pm.


    …wishes (“…I wish he’d sent…”) won’t make it so. A lot of voters – not a majority, but our system doesn’t require that, curious for a society that likes to call itself a “democracy” – successfully ignored Mr. Trump’s stunted emotional and intellectual development, and he is now, to my personal embarrassment, the president-elect. I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to grow up, as he needs to do.

    Meanwhile, as most of our attention is on the 5th-grade bully about to take over the Oval Office, the Republican Congress is busily dismantling most of the progress, environmental and otherwise, made during the past 8 years. If there is such a thing as karma, may it fall in full proportion on Mr. Ryan and Mr. McConnell. While we’ve been paying attention to the tweets…

    Trump has fired all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.

    The Republican-dominated House has brought back the Holman rule, allowing them to reduce the salary of individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointees to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted the names and positions of people in the Energy and State departments.

    The Republican House has expressly forbade the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking any costs related to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. There ain’t no free lunch, but in this case, you won’t hear that from GOP ideologues.

    To the dismay of Richard Nixon’s ghost, Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Vladimir Putin, despite the growing pile of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.

    Trump has already broken a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (i.e., the taxpayers) to pay for it. The chances of Mexico paying for said wall were near zero to begin with, and have now vanished. Some will sigh with releif, while others will wonder if the Republican Congress will acquire the necessary funding by robbing other segments of the federal budget (with the military excluded, of course).

    The GOP-dominated House has passed the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department — for example, FDA or EPA bans on a specific drug or pesticide can be overridden by a GOP-controlled Congress, an action likely to be based on the opinions (and campaign cash, and perks) of lobbyists, not science.

    And so on.

    While the Titanic sinks, I don’t really care what kind of music the orchestra plays. I’d much rather we at least tried to maintain what little watertight integrity was left, make sure fellow-passengers have their life jackets on, and got as many as we could into the few lifeboats available.

  9. Submitted by Bruce Brothers on 01/10/2017 - 01:00 pm.

    Bless Meryl Streep

    The need to call out hurtful behavior exists now more than ever, thanks to its practitioner-in-chief. Well done, Ms. Streep!

  10. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 01/10/2017 - 01:17 pm.

    About that ‘L word’

    Once again, I have to recommend Harry Frankfurt’s essay “On Bullshit” for those who can’t tell whether Trump is lying or just saying stuff. Frankfurt makes a cogent case for a distinction between liars, who implicitly acknowledge the truth by denying it, and bullshitters, who have no use or respect for truth and simply say whatever they think (or feel) might further their own ends. I think is is obvious which Trump is.

  11. Submitted by Elaine Frankowski on 01/10/2017 - 01:40 pm.

    Trump, Streep and foreign relations

    Sunday a truck plowed into a group of Israelis, killing four and injuring others. There was no message of condemnation or note of condolence from the President-elect or his staff or appointees to an ally nation.

    Monday Meryl Streep spoke at the Golden Globes, condemning bullying by unnamed people. While Mr. Trump had plenty of time and energy to take out against Ms. Streep, he ignored foreign affairs and common courtesy among ally nations.

    Highly overrated handling of the two incidents.

  12. Submitted by T J Simplot on 01/10/2017 - 02:06 pm.

    11 years ago President Bush poked fun at a reporter who was wearing sunglasses when it wasn’t very sunny. The reporter has an eye condition that is eased by sunglasses. Upon hearing this, President Bush called the reporter later and personally apologized.

    Several years ago former State Representative John Kriesel (a veteran who lost both his legs in the line of duty) was criticizing a Vikings receiver for poor play on Twitter. The receiver tweeted something along the lines of “why don’t you run on down here”. He didn’t know Mr. Kriesel was disabled. Upon hearing this, the receiver apologized profusely.

    In both cases, the person apologized for their comments and the other person accepted their apology. All parties involved moved on. This is something Mr. Trump should learn.

  13. Submitted by Constance Pepin on 01/10/2017 - 02:19 pm.

    To Eric (author)

    1) First, this statement is inaccurate:
    “But, as the days go by, I understand the Reichian impulse to turn one’s head.”
    Robert Reich does not have an impulse to turn his head, about anything. His suggestion to avoid the inauguration is not about turning away from DT or the crisis America is in, but is part of a conscious and rational (not emotional) strategy to (as you got right) not normalize what is abnormal–the inauguration of a dangerous, ignorant, unqualified narcissist in the office of POTUS.

    2) Unfortunately, your article is already normalizing DT and I don’t think you realize it; hence, my attempt here to influence your perspective.
    “Trump is not the first political figure to lie or to make offensive racist, sexist remarks.”
    Right there you are contributing to the normalization of DT, which is a disservice to all readers and all Americans!
    I hope you will watch this video to understand what I mean:

    Any article that compares DT to sane people is normalizing DT’s insanity, with harmful effects. Not only is DT unqualified and divisive, he’s a narcissist, ignorant about the Constitution, and dangerous. The fact is that DT is dangerously unstable and different and Republicans are empowered to dismantle not only Obama’s signature achievements, but fundamental rights and earned entitlements as well. Your article fails to recognize the danger of normalization. I think you are the one turning one’s head.

    3) DT’s tweets against Meryl
    “So, to loop back to my diatribe at the top, if this happens — and reporters, or even this particular scribbler, decides to downplay it because they have already been so mean to Trump that their objectivity halo is starting to lose its luster — what are we and how can we help but “normalize” this kind of conduct by the president-elect soon to be commander in chief?
    It’s not about objectivity, it’s about America. But if it is about objectivity, then as a journalist your responsibility is not to normalize what is abnormal. His lies, excuses and attacks do need to be reported, as lies, excuses, and attacks. Don’t bother to try to make sense of them, and don’t waste your time writing statements that he should have made–he is not going to change. He’s not going to be the person you (and I and America) need him to be. Pretending that it’s possible only weakens journalism and the resistance we need to focus on.

    Here’s a book that might help you understand what we’re dealing with and why Reich and others are not turning their heads, but rather facing reality:

    • Submitted by Joe Musich on 01/10/2017 - 10:07 pm.

      I whole heartedly ….

      agree that giving any attention to the man who will go unnamed is a contribution to his self important focus. Enough attention will come to him once the Russian intelligence about his predilictions breaks into the public forum. It is going to get uglier then it already has become. Unnamed chicken tweeter can only scream “fake news” to cover his tracks for so long before the evidence can be seen in the snow job he and his cohorts have concocted. Each one of us needs to become a Meryl Streep and direct our light on not just “not so yuge” but the syndrome itself.

  14. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 01/10/2017 - 02:38 pm.

    Don’t fool yourself, Mr. Black: you are on a Don John Trump enemies list somewhere. Maybe not the top of any of them or a short list, but he has or has delegated the task of marking you up.

    Under the tutelage of Richard M. Nixon associate, Ray Cohn, DJ Trump learned to take names and attack, attack, attack without regard for truth, and it falls to you and other great Americans like Meryl Streep to stand and figuratively bloody the nose of this sad excuse for a human being for all to see with every opportunity because otherwise, he is going to make Tricky Dick look like Abraham Lincoln.

  15. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 01/10/2017 - 05:50 pm.

    So if Trump denies doing it and Streep never used his name. Why did he respond? There is nothing to respond too, right. The reason he responded was because he recognized the behavior she called out as his own despicable behavior. Streep was right on the mark with her comments and they needed to be said. If you don’t have any better judgement than he displayed in the referenced event he deserved to be called out. This isn’t a partisan issue, it is a decency issue. If you are so insecure you need to pick on a person with a disability you do not deserve to represent the people of America because we are a better country than that.

  16. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 01/10/2017 - 07:37 pm.


    This is really getting old. We all know about Trump’s rants. I voted for him. It makes me cringe. However, I’m still glad I voted for him.

    He may be a bully and say stupid stuff. But he’s the only person who was running who understood the total outrage that the average Joe had against the elite and professional politicians who are running this country into the ground.

    Trump wouldn’t be president today if the Democrats and Republicans had been doing their jobs over the last 20 years. We’ve had 8 years of Obama, for whom I unfortunately voted twice. What a mess we have in the Middle East. How come no one got prosecuted for all the illegal fraud that was going on in the financial industry? Not to mention the disaster that Obamacare has turned out to be.

    In the end the test is going to be what Trump does, not what he says. Save your breath and credibility to focus on that and quit this boring whining about what a terrible person he his. That’s old news and we are all getting tired reading about it.

    • Submitted by Bill Phillips on 01/11/2017 - 09:23 am.

      wow, boring – really?

      Well, that’s an interesting perspective – to be glad you voted for a man who makes you cringe, in the hope that a billionaire businessman who is so self-centered and thin-skinned will look out for the “average Joe.”
      Throughout his business career, our p-e has never looked out for anyone but himself, and when a deal didn’t turn out to his advantage he has taken liberal (in one sense of the word) advantage of our bankruptcy laws to, in essence, cheat those who dealt with him or who invested with him. This is the man we can expect to save us? Yes, he read the mood of too many voters and said whatever they wanted to hear, without regard to the truth of his statements and a total willingness to perpetuate his lies by repetition. Why would anyone think that Trump will change his behavior now? And, once elected, the back-pedaling began. Ok, I won’t go after Hillary; ok, we’ll pay for the wall, but we’ll get Mexico to pay later; blah, blah, blah. Skip the press, I can tweet. Well, if it’s Tweetledumb for four years, I think we’ll all pay too high a price. Protest is an American tradition and right; get used to it. And there will be a lot of it over the next four years.

      As to the Affordable Care Act, largely crafted by the insurance industry and hospital lobbyists, it’s a pretty inept first step, but it has helped me and my family over the last several years. Insurance premium increases aren’t all due to the ACA, or even mostly due to the ACA, and a majority of Americans support it, which leaves Congress and the p-e with an interesting challenge in the upcoming months.
      We will see, but that’s no reason to shut up and suffer in silence. If you’re tired of protests, stop reading about them, put your head in the sand, and keep your hopes up.

      • Submitted by Mike Schumann on 01/11/2017 - 10:36 am.

        Trump and Change

        I have no illusions that Trump is going to change. He’s a bull in a China Shop. It can be hard to watch, but that’s why I voted for him.

        I also have no illusions that he is going to be looking out for the “average Joe”. I do think that he shares the view of ~ 1/2 of the voters that the country is a mess and he’s going to try to fix it. The existing political establishment has had 20 years to fix it, and hasn’t. Look at the murder rate in Chicago, now run by Obama’s trusted side kick. Look at the achievement gap in our public schools (even in MN).

        I have absolutely no idea if Trump is going to be able to fix this, but I’m willing to give him a chance to try. If he is successful everyone will be better off, including the “average Joe”. If not, heaven help us.

        • Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/11/2017 - 03:01 pm.

          If Charles Manson showed up at your door

          to profess that he would love and protect your daughter and make her happy for always, and to ask for her hand in marriage, you probably would decline. You would consider his words, and you would consider what you know about him to judge whether you should take his words to be credible.

          Donald Trump professed to you that he would “Make America Great Again.” Donald Trump has a massive body of history, actions, statements and choice of associates demonstrating that he is a sociopath unable even to conceive of the notion of the welfare of another, let alone the welfare of the public generally, and unable to form an interest other than augmenting his bank account, serving his ego and punishing anyone who does not sufficiently embrace his greatness. No person of judgment can credit any word that he has said to the contrary or conclude that he will “try to fix” anything, except as it may occur, purely by chance, collateral to his self-enrichment.

          Far more than half of the voters believe the country is a mess. Many who voted for Clinton, including me, certainly are under no illusions and recognized that she would continue damaging corporatist policies. But we recognized that the alternative was someone completely unfit for the world’s most powerful office, who would spend four years swinging a battering ram against the norms and institutions that hold our society and the world together. In other words, the lesser of evils: live to fight another day and work for a true anti-establishment candidate (i.e., Sanders 2.0) in four years, or give over everything to an authoritarian, heedless president and party on the tiny hope that everything we have ever learned about them will prove to be wrong.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/11/2017 - 04:46 pm.

          Why You VOted For Him

          You’re telling us that you voted for him because he is a brash, loudmouthed boor with no sense of decorum or decency. Not in spite of, but because of.


        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/12/2017 - 09:56 am.

          Let me fix this for you

          “Since nothing appreciable has changed in MY life, I decided to blow up everyone’s life in the hopes that something good will happen for ME. If everyone else’s life is ruined as a result, so be it”

  17. Submitted by Misty Martin on 01/10/2017 - 08:59 pm.

    Mr. Black, will you be our President?

    I say that, because the response you wrote in how a gracious person might respond to Ms. Streep’s remarks at the Global Globes ceremony, was right on the mark, and I, too, wish our soon-to-be Commander in Chief might have taken the high road, but alas, I fear that is one road he doesn’t seem committed to take, or very knowledgeable about (considering his many tweets, quotes, remarks, etc., made throughout all the years the public has known him, as a businessman, a Republican candidate on the campaign trail, and now as President of the United States of America), and I realize that even as I write this, he deserves our respect for possession of that title, and I’m trying to muster up the courage to show that respect; however, with great power, comes great responsibility, and OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING, President Trump! Please bear that in mind, when in the future, anyone (you, Sir?) dare to mock people with physical disabilities or other disabilities, OR if somehow they fail to meet with certain expectations of what you call beauty (remember certain insults aimed at Rosie O’Donnell or when remarks were made about a certain supermodel no longer being a ten – both UNTRUE, btw) please bear in mind that words do HURT, and cruel words and insults are SO unnecessary, and are not words that our children need to hear from the office of the President, where a certain amount of dignity and integrity should reside.

    There is already a wide-spread national problem of “bullies” in our schools, our work places, our communities, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed and corrected – not made worse by someone in the Oval Office. I believe the whole country can agree with that.

    And as a final note, it doesn’t make a man (or woman for that matter) a weak person, if when he or she has made a mistake, to ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND APOLOGIZE! Actually, it takes a big person to admit when he or she has made a mistake. Isn’t that something else we try and teach our children?

  18. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/11/2017 - 12:05 pm.

    I’m constantly amazed at people who say that Trump is awful, but they voted for him because he’s disruptive and knows nothing about Washington, etc.

    Okay, like a tantrum-throwing toddler, or Bull breaking everything precious in Our China Shop. Maybe Trump will bring disaster, these voters admit. (Hillary would not have been a disaster, but you can’t have someone with policy chops elected to the presidency again–after Obama–right?)

    I look at Trump’s characterizing Meryl Streep as an “over-rated” American actress–his personal attack on her professional expertise, because he can’t defend his mockery of a disabled reporter, which we have ALL SEEN.

    Streep was receiving a Lifetime Achievement award from the international press. Lifetime, meaning that again and again and again she awed her own professional peers with the astonishing acting skill and talent she showed. For Trump not to recognize–or to pretend not to recognize and acknowledge–Streep’s extraordinary career success is an indication of Trump’s extraordinary bad judgment and narciussism. Not merely a lack of taste, not just a dismal attempt to dismiss and bully a woman who simply cannot be bullied. Trump’s lack of judgment was on display here.

    For those who knew, before they voted for the absurdly unqualified man instead of a qualified woman, that Trump was a terrible candidate but he made them feel good about themselves, there is no way to absolve themselves of guilt for whatever disasters he comes up with: He’s your guy. Not mine.

    And the rest of us will keep pointing out that you made a Big, Big Irrational Mistake that all the rest of us will have to live, or die, with.

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