Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Memory of the Saturday Night Massacre at the DOJ October 20, 1973
This is one minor footnote or view of an important event in history.
With the Tuesday Afternoon Massacre yesterday with James Comey at FBI being fired for doing his job by the world's worst American CEO Donald J Trump and his elves Jeff Session and Rod Rosenstein over at "Justice" (a place and certainly not lately a civilized American concept).
It occurred to me at the time, a flashback to 1973, when the Media made the announcement in such a bungled way that they themselves set off part of the firestorm reaction to the firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and others at DOJ who refused to fire him in the chain of command.
The announcement came to me on CBS in the last five minutes of the highest rated show of the week All in the Family. Season 4 Episode 6 went black during a commercial with a stationary "Special Bulletin" letters posted on the black screen.
It was all well and good to make an announcement but this got lost for at least sixty seconds, which IMO created anticipated suspense and possible anxiety connected to a national disaster. A similar scenario had only aired one afternoon on November 22, 1963 ten years earlier when "they" killed JFK, near my birthday.
There were sounds, people talking, even yelling, noises, of equipment dropping, of director's commands and the shuffles of papers. Radio and no pictures.
That was the longest 60 odd seconds of my life until then. Then some CBS news talking head came on to announce the massacre details.
I so not think that the American public had noticed or cared much about Watergate until that very real uncertain moment in TV History. After that moment, they focused.
The letter I wrote that night in long hand and mailed immediately, the local mail box was only two doors away on the street corner in Philly.
October 20, 1973
Hon. William J. Green (Phila., Pa.)
House of Representatives
Dear Congressman Green:
This citizen is of the opinion that the President
has abused the office to which he has been elected
and should be impeached and removed from office.
#Russia #Trump #Putin #Russia #Trump #Putin #Russia #Trump #Putin #Russia #Trump #Putin #Russia #Trump #Putin #Russia #Trump #Putin— Last Civilized Yank (@Areligionist) May 10, 2017
"Soo-ee News" Alert from @FoxNews @TuckerCarlson— Last Civilized Yank (@Areligionist) May 10, 2017
"There is no there there in Russia" @SarahHuckabee #Putin #Russia #Trump #TrumpRussia #GOP pic.twitter.com/KV4XwEZX5B
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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Donald Trump —
By SYDNEY H. SCHANBERC
(Run in the Finger Lakes Times Opinion Page, Geneva NY September 14, 1987)
Every time you look up, there he is — the world's most successful public relations man. He's in Moscow trying to talk the communists into luxury-hotel capitalism. He has become the gambling king of the East Coast and is now reaching for a casino in Australia. He says he is John Cardinal O'Connor's adviser on real estate, and according to one published account, gave the cardinal as a character reference on his application for a Nevada gaming license. He has issued a kind of press-release foreign policy, and a Republican operative in New Hampshire is trying to draft him for the presidency.
That's not even the quarter of it. He recently bought his own private Boeing 727 with two bedrooms and a sauna, after which he commissioned the world's longest limousine. He continually makes big rolls on the stock market, manipulating certain prices higher, at which point he sells for impressive profits. For all his wealth, he manages to get big tax abatements on his luxury apartment projects in New York City. He feuds with the mayor and calls him a moron and worse. His autobiography, "Trump by Trump," is due out this winter. And there's got to be a sequel, because he is only 41 years old.
The part I like best about Donald Trump is his deep and abiding concern for the homeless and the poor. He never misses an opportunity to tell us — in print, on radio and on television — how very upset he is about the working-class people who can't afford decent apartments at the going rates and about those who end up completely shelterless, living on the streets. It's terrible, he says, as he dedicates his latest condominium tower for the moneyed, with his name in giant letters on it.
And even last week, when he purchased full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe calling for more "backbone" in America's foreign policy, he took care to include an expression of his pain over the plight of the troubled among us. He said we ought to stop carrying wealthy nations like Japan and Saudi Arabia on our backs and instead make them pay us for defending them militarily in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Then we could take these billions of dollars and use them to "help our farmers, our sick, our homeless.
It came as no surprise that Mayor Edward Koch, another public-relations virtuoso and thus a rival of Donald Trump's for the world title, sneered at the foreign-policy ads and said that as a politician, Trump was "a flop" and "a schoolboy." Trump responded by calling Koch a "jerk" and "a loser who will go down as the worst mayor in the history of the city."
They've gone through this routine before, so it's quite polished by now. In their last go-around, which had Something to do with Trump's grab big tax abatements, the mayor called him "Piggy, Piggy, Piggy" and Trump purred back with "moron."
It's not always easy to understand their spitting matches, given that they're so much alike in their religion: Mirror Worship. Not only that, but Koch is just as verbal a champion of the downtrodden as is Trump — so that's something else they have in common.
Never the less a new chapter in the sandbox war opened Thursday. Trump, smarting over Koch's barbs about his international views, volunteered some insults about Koch's plans to visit Nicaragua as head of a fact-finding group. "How can our idiot mayor go to Nicaragua," Trump asked, "when he can't even run New York City? The man is totally incompetent ..." and more of the same. The only thing Trump left out this time (he must have been so overwrought he forgot) was a sentence about poor people.
After he got through reading his anti-Koch remarks to a New York Newsday reporter, he said, "I know you guys like this kind of stuff." He's right. That's what makes him the master of public relations that he is.
He can deny all he wants any designs on the White House, but Trump has the kind of instincts that are perfect for the age we live in — the age of stage smoke and magic mirrors and imagery. He looks out and sees public-relations mayors and public-relations senators and a public-relations president. In short, he sees the kind of men we admire and elect these days and he naturally asks; Why not me?
For example, he offered us a couple of years ago his belief that he could do a better job at negotiating arms control with the Soviet Union than "the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past." Blowing high-grade smoke, he added: "It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles. I think I know most of it anyway." .
When Trump bought Resorts International's casino and extensive properties in Atlantic City earlier this year, he said he felt a sense of social responsibility to the slum-ridden New Jersey casino city and was therefore going to build housing there for families with small pocketbooks.
"With the vast land holdings we now have, we want to create some moderate- and low-income housing on a private basis," Trump said. "So far, nobody has been able to do it, but we have an opportunity now and we are making a commitment to do it."
That was on March 19. On July 23, he amended his pledge. He said that Resorts had big financial pressures and "must straighten out its affairs" first. This meant, he said, that until he completes the costly Taj Mahal — a new casino that he has under construction,which will be the world's largest — the low-income housing will have to wait.
The March commitment got substantial news coverage; the July pullback was hardly noticed.
In an age where smoke is everything, Donald Trump can blow it with the best of them.