My next newspaper column:
I’m on record, around my house anyway, saying President Obama should have refused his Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe that confers credibility when I say to those, including South Korean President Moon, suggesting the next one ought to go to Trump, “Not so fast.”
The question is to what extent Trump had anything positive to do with potential Korean peace, and the answer is, who knows? Was his uninformed bellicosity instrumental? If so, was it deliberate strategy? If the answers to both are yes, then, okay, give him a slice. So far, though, pledges to end the Korean War and denuclearize the peninsula seem to have happened absent the US.
Which leads me think the two Korean leaders decided to do it on their own; because, based on Trump’s desire to renege on the Iran agreement, TPP, and Paris, they figure they couldn’t trust any accord to which the US was signatory. Is there a Nobel Prize for untrustworthiness?
Other factors: the literal collapse of NoKo’s nuclear facility; Kim’s secret meeting with Xi; Kim’s existing nukes, about which, after his meeting with Pompeo, there was no mention of removing. That, it seems, is between the two Koreas. Aware Trump’s promises are worth less than a reverse Stormy denial, Kim cleverly asked for assurance we wouldn’t invade. It’s meaningless, but it gives cover for both of them. Moon knows Nobly flattering Trump accrues points for later. For that matter, Binyamin Netanyahu knows deceptions about the Iran agreement will impress Trump and the Foxified.
But, sure: if sustainable peace and verifiable denuking happens, if Trump avoids harshing the mellow, and if the Swedes want to include him in their prize, they should. (My fantasy: it goes to Kim, Moon, and Pompeo.)
More praise for Trump: I agree the White House Correspondents’ Dinner should go away. It’s become an embarrassment, especially to the White House press. Their job is not to make nice with any administration, it’s to keep skeptical distance while calling them to account. Given a chance to affirm those truths last week, they blew it. Ironically, at the bizarre, grandiose rally Trump held during the dinner, he passed the three-thousand official untruths mark.
Yes, Michelle Wolf was crude and nasty, though not compared to Trump’s most rabid – if easily offended – base. (NSFW proof.) But, more than many in her audience whose job it is, she spoke truth to power. She owes Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne Conway apologies? No. They owe us. They accept money to tell lies, about Trump, about the press, furthering Americans’ disregard for truth. Sordid lies from the White House vs. vulgar humor from a comedian: which damages our country more? Yet leadership of the press corps and several of its members condemned the speech.
Brooking unprecedented attacks on journalists and their profession, nonstop attempts to diminish their indispensable role in the preservation of freedom, an administration lying its way past multiple offences, even threatening blackmail of a US Senator, they hadn’t the courage to stand up. If there’s a problem with mainstream media, it isn’t liberal bias; it’s forgetting what they’re called to do, and by whom.
Right-wing screamerdom was outraged. Silent over the vulgarities of their president, fresh from eight years of slinging vile insults at the prior one and his family, countenancing misogyny, racism, homo- and xenophobia, torrents of dishonesty and threats, they melted like snowflakes at hearing someone respond in kind. Donald Trump, the very embodiment of the word, called Ms. Wolf “filthy.” From our unfair and unbalanced media such hypocrisy is expected. From those who consider themselves serious reporters, the sort empowered and protected by the Constitution, it’s discouraging.
So it’s a good time to recall the words of William Lloyd Garrison, journalist, abolitionist, suffragist, written before the Civil War (I do, when people tell me to tone it down): “I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation… Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm … but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present… I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch..."
So, good for Ms. Wolf. Her audience, present and absent, needed calling out for their malfeasance. Sadly, she gave them more credit for understanding their role than they deserved.[Image source]