Roger, Over And Out

It’s funny how you sometimes remember the smallest details in your life, like where you were when you first discovered something.

I remember where I was when I saw Fox News for the first time. It was on July 25, 1999 in Westchester County, New York, where I was for a relative’s wedding. (Actually, the wedding itself was in a church in The Bronx, but everything else took place in Westchester.) Then, when I came back to the Tampa Bay area from living in Charlotte, North Carolina for a year, FNC was on the cable system I had.

As many know now, Roger Ailes passed on Thursday at age 77. Not only did he have a hand in the creation of Fox News, but also was involved in the formation of MSNBC and the discovery of Rush Limbaugh for his national syndication run. 

Certainly I get why a lot of people hated Roger professionally and personally. However, I think the true test of the value of somebody’s life is to see if their field of expertise could be recreated if they hadn’t existed, or perhaps better put, if their accomplishments had changed anything.

I guess the argument could be made that TV and the political realm would have existed without Ailes, but it most definitely the face of each field changed under him. Again, some would say not for the better, bit it did change none the less.

Off The Train

I’ve had an amazing reversal, or maybe it was an epiphany, on my thinking regarding the President. It hit me Friday morning when I read his tweets, and his veiled threat to former FBI head James Comey.

It hit me that Mr. Trump is not a normal person, beyond being President. In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier. Normal people would let someone like Mr. Comey go, like someone you pass on the side of the road, eventually getting smaller in the rear view mirror. But Trump, against all logic, couldn’t let him go without threatening him. Normal people don’t do that.

But Trump made this veiled threat Friday morning on Twitter at Comey, suggesting there’s a tape (more likely some sort of recording) of a conversation between the two. It’s about there where I tapped out, my mind screaming, “I can’t! I can’t!!!”

What can I say? We all went looking for the quick fix voting for this guy. It’s not like voting for the wife of a former impeached President was a stellar idea in itself.

Trump is a child, and he had a hell of a tantrum last week. He’s going to do a lot more damage before all is said and done. And I voted for him, though I wasn’t alone.

I regret it though, seriously. All I can hope for is not to get fooled again, I guess. There was talk in the papers of a major cabinet shakeup on Sunday, so out President will only continue to accumulate enemies.

From Russia With Golf

Our president continues to make news at the most unexpected times.

Late Tuesday afternoon past, it was the firing of FBI director James Comey. It was a move Democrats would have supported several months ago, but suddenly don’t support now.

Then there was that curious sentence out of Trump’s letter about Comey telling Trump three different times the President was clear of any wrongdoing. Of what, pray tell? The whole Russian thing, or something else?

Oh by the way, I no longer think the Russian thing is a bunch of bull. There actually might be something there. I was watching one of Keith Olbermann’s GQ pieces, and a recent piece spoke of this golf columnist who played with Donald and Eric Trump on the Trump golf course in Charlotte in 2014.

The columnist and author, James Dodson, got curious about how Trump could afford to build courses six years removed from the economic upheaval of 2008. Long story short, Eric tells Dodson that the Russians were funding his father to build these courses. The younger Trump has since denied saying that, calling the report a bunch of garbage.

I’m just saying that it’s been my experience in life that the truth usually comes from unexpected places. Why would a golf columnist lie at the expense of his career about a Republican president? Doesn’t make sense.

So, maybe it’s true. If so, I’ve been badly duped, but at least I’m not alone in that.

Exposing The Divide

Last week, TV host Stephen Colbert referred to President Trump as someone whose mouth was only good for committing a homosexual act on Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Colbert would then go on and say a couple of days later that he regretted the wording, but that he tells jokes and Trump has nuclear launch codes, so it’s thus a fair fight.

Then on Friday past, Bill Maher made a similar “joke” that suggested that Ivanka Trump committed the same kind of act, with the President on the receiving end in an act of incest.

(The reason for Colbert’s outrage was that Trump had given CBS’s John Dickerson an interview, then abruptly ended it when Dickerson began asking Trump about his claims of President Obama wiretapping him.)

Thus, the bar has been dramatically raised or lowered, depending on your perspective, as to what can be said about a sitting President. Usually such comments in past years demanded an apology at least, though it can be argued Colbert did that half heartedly.

Next month, I’m planning to start covering the 19th season of Big Brother. If I had to make the decision today, I would be boycotting covering the show. Trust me, I get why people hate the President, but calling him basically something rhyming with rock sucker is just a bit over the top.

Homophobia is homophobic, no matter the political leanings of the person making the remark. CBS doesn’t have to punish Mr. Colbert, just as no one is forcing me to write about one of their shows. In time, the people will speak with what channels they watch and the sponsors of these shows they do business with.

It’s just a matter of what the people choose to say that’s up in the air.  I just kind of wonder if we’ve crossed the line of what’s in good taste, and if so, when did we cross it, and how long will it continue to be ignored if we have?

100 Days

We’ve now passed the 100 day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

I’m kind of glad we’ve now passed that point, because I think everyone makes a big deal out of those initial days. Assuming Trump is there for the minimum time of one term, or four years, his presidency is going to be 1,461 days long. 

That’s only 6.84% of his time in office. That means 93.16% of it is still out there left to be played out. 

I don’t know. I think both the media and the White House make a deal out of a very small portion of it. When I go to the polls in 2020, I don’t think we are going to remember what he did back in 2017 unless it’s either very good or bad.

I just hate all the hype. Oh, and I give the Prez a B-minus so far. 

No Longer A Factor At Fox News

Imagine being a shareholder of Fox News corporation stock, and reading in the past month or so that FNC has spent $80,000,000 in legal fees, hush money, and settlements. That money mostly going to defend someone who used his power to harass his female colleagues, trading sexual harassment, if not worse, for a place higher in the chain of command.

Many thought that man, one Bill O’Reilly, was untouchable. Last week, the so called untouchable one was given the axe.

I have no respect for any man who uses sex as a weapon (to borrow the old Pat Benatar song title) to find who climbs up the ladder. I’ve always been a believer that people should advance on their merits, not because of who they latch on to.

As for the Republicans, they no doubt know that having all the political power is kind of like owning a car. The minute you own it is the moment it has maximum value. With time, what you own is worth less and less.

FNC finally did the right thing. The big question is, what took them so long?  Are the Feds interested in investigating this, with similar complaints now surfacing about Sean Hannity? We’ll see.

Mr. O’Reilly is not retiring from the scene, far from it. Announcements were made over the weekend for the launch of a podcast that premiered last night, April 24th. It’ll be a good way to introduce older generations to the on-demand audio world, and advertisers who still want to do business with Bill can do so.

Meanwhile, could it be that Fox News actually hurts the conservative cause more than it helps it?

Trumping Syria

Just when you think you’ve got the answers, President Trump changes the questions.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised Thursday night when I found out the US had bombed Syria. I thought our President would eventually lead such an attack for humanitarian reasons. I just didn’t expect it so soon. Some will no doubt wonder if this means Trump has joined the New World Order, and some in the populist movement have already turned on him.

Personally, I’ll wait and see. Might just be the exception that proves the rule, although now the dysfunction of a leader attacking his own people with chemical weapons has now been rivaled by attacking the same country but not allowing refugees to enter the United States.

For the people in congress who whined about how our president should have sought Congressional approval: give me a break! Our last six Presidents prior to Mr. Trump have led similar attacks with varying degrees of success for various reasons. Even President Obama suggested at one point during his term that the executive branch has such a power.

But let’s go after the former businessman and not all the presidents who have done similar things going back to Jimmy Carter. Such hypocrisy drives me crazy in the sports world (such as Tom Brady deflating footballs when others did it before him and got away with it), and it drives me no less crazy in the real world.

Then again, if Comrade Putin starts to get trigger happy, the wisdom of recent moves will no doubt be questioned.