Friday, April 14, 2017

Another day, another columnist in agony

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-content Generator

Hardly had we finished mending Nick Kristof's heart, broken by entirely reasonable disagreement over his odes to not racist at all supporters of the Grifter-in-Chief than another pontificating gasbag was brought into our Emergency Room also suffering from the agony that comes from saying something stupid on TV and being justly criticized for it.

Today's Neediest Case is Fareed Zakaria, who, when he is not bloviating for CNN or improving the minds of Columbia students, adorns, if that is the word, Freddie Hiatt '76's Washington Post editorial page. Busy fella.  His latest effort for the Post is an attack on liberals for what he calls “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, by which you might think he means the view that the current President of the United States is a lying crooked bigoted ignorant dangerous admitted sex offender.  In other words, the truth.

No, you'd be wrong.  Our columnist seems to share that view, or at least he claims he does.  So what's scrambling his signal?  It takes a while to tease it out but eventually the attentive reader learns that he's suffering from the same illness that felled Nick Kristof: his feelings are hurt.

What happened, Fareed?  Tell us, we're listening:
I supported the strike and pointed out — in print and on air — that Trump was finally being presidential because the action “seems to reflect a belated recognition from Trump that he cannot simply put America first — that the president of the United States must act on behalf of broader interests and ideals.”  . . . .

From the response on the left, you would have thought I had just endorsed Trump for pope. Otherwise thoughtful columnists described my views as “nonsense” and a sign that the media has “bent over backward” to support Trump. (Really?) One journalist declared on television, “If that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it.” A gaggle of former Obama speechwriters discussed how my comments were perhaps “the stupidest” of any given on the subject.
Wow, that sounds awful.  Maybe not as awful as the 5,000,000 Syrians driven from their country by the insane violence unleashed against them by that Himmleresque weak-chinned murderer and his Russian armorers, but let's stipulate pretty bad.

Now, what really happened?  Let's go to the video tape, or at least the transcript:
On New Day this morning, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria praised Donald Trump for launching missiles at Syria. When Alisyn Camerota asked him, “What changed last night?” Zakaria responded that Trump “became President of the United States.”
That's a little different, isn't it, Fareed? And wouldn't you have to admit that equating being President with ordering a pinprick missile attack that did nothing to alleviate the suffering of Syrian civilians between bites of Mar-a-Lago chocolate cake is just a tad fatuous?  Wouldn't a better example of creeping Presidentiality have been the Grifter-in-Chief's flip-flops on one China, Chinese trade sanctions, or the discovery that NATO is “no longer obsolete?”  At least those show that some information and judgment has infiltrated the fever swamp under that thing on his head.  Not sure you can say the same thing about establishing the principle that it's OK to kill Syrian kids with barrel bombs, but not with nerve gas.

Also, isn't it dangerous to encourage this unstable clown to think that blowing stuff up is good for his image?  He does watch your network, doesn't he?

At any rate, you could argue this back and forth but at the end of the day Syrian children are still dying and Fareed Zakaria gets to jet off to Davos none the worse for a little Twitter snark.

That's not the way Zakaria saw it.  It wasn't that he said something inartful or worse; it was those same liberals persecuting Grifter-in-Chief voters and their apologists now making life a living hell for another gasbag.  Taking issue with Zakaria's reification of random bang bang was in fact a sign of something much worse: 
Liberals have to avoid Trump Derangement Syndrome. If Trump pursues a policy, it cannot axiomatically be wrong, evil and dangerous. 
Of course, no liberal ever said that.  What they said was, oh, let's let them speak for themselves:
For a number of reasons, military intervention is unlikely to work in Syria.
What deranged liberal said that?   If you guessed Fareed Zakaria, you won!

Anyway, between Kristof and Zakaria, we hardly know where to begin to salve the narcissistic injuries of well-compensated bloviators.  We would only commend to their attention one Maureen Dowd, who gets raked over the coals endlessly for the dumb sh*t she says about Hillary Clinton.  But you don't hear Ms. Dowd crying about those deranged liberals being mean to her.   Instead, she goes about her business as if she doesn't give a toss.

Our Rx for Nick and Fareed:  Be more like Maureen Dowd.  Woman up.

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