The Media’s Cheap Shots at Those in Public Life Are Contemptible


by Conrad Black


It is time to show that it is not only the horrible and often almost psychotic excesses of Trump-hate that are unjust political commentary, but even relatively trivial shots taken at his opponents are unbecoming and contemptible.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with former president Obama holding a large 60th birthday party for himself at his summer house. His rise from relatively obscure socio-economic beginnings to two terms as president of the United States will always be an uplifting testament the meritocratic virtue of the country. That it is also shattered the color bar on electability of presidents is a bonus.

I do not think he was a successful president, but his story is, in the abstract, an uplifting one. And it’s his money, his home, his guests. He can invite whomever he wishes in whatever numbers he wants to his party, and it’s no one’s business but his.

Some of the snide remarks about the occasion have been based on the hypocrisy of the perpetual Democratic state of masked alarm about COVID. Instead of waging Democratic hysteria about the pandemic that was almost entirely politically motivated and was enabled and facilitated by the fishtailing and back flipping Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, such an occasion should be cited as evidence of the progress against the virus and of the need for everyone above the age of 15 to be vaccinated.

Trump-hate is a disgraceful and disgusting current pastime of almost the entire media, virtually every living Democrat, and the detritus of the well trodden sour grapes of the Never Trumpers. Obama himself contributed to it with his nonsense in 2016 that Trump was a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan and on many other occasions.

These people should not be emulated in attempting to dispute the right of anyone and particularly a former two-term president of the United States to celebrate a landmark birthday with his family and his friends.

The travails of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have naturally brought down upon him all of the animosity that has accrued to him in his lengthy and hard-hitting career as a New York politician. At such times everyone comes snorting out of the undergrowth with destructive memories going back many years.

I don’t like Cuomo politically and I found his entire COVID performance, for which he received an Emmy and a fat book contract, a punishing exercise in monstrous, misplaced egotism. The fawning, idolatrous, Trump-hating media constantly praising Cuomo and California’s Governor Newsom and doing everything possible to sandbag the president’s credibility, accusing him of being a negligent Philistine, and ridiculing him for promising to develop a vaccine within a year, were demiurgically obnoxious and unprofessional.

I saw the press briefing in which Cuomo said he did not know if COVID cases that came from homes for the elderly were returned to those homes. When he professed not to know, it was clear that he could have a serious vulnerability. His performance was aggressively self-promoting and was aggravated by the sycophancy of his mouthy brother on CNN, “Freddo” as Trump amusingly referred to him, likening him to the least intelligent Corleone brother in the Godfather.

The hasty shutdown of the investigation of Cuomo’s potential guilt for the very high fatalities in the state’s homes for the elderly is gentle treatment compared to the allegations about harassment of female state employees. No rape is alleged and undesirable physical contact and crude comments, outrageous though they are, are not manslaughter.

So far, Cuomo has been fortunate legally, that the women have crowded out the elderly alleged victims of Cuomo’s incompetence and dishonesty. The sexual assault or harassment cases will involve a lot of uncorroborated testimony from years before during which the claimed victims have been unbecomingly silent.

I do not agree that it requires great courage for women to come forth and make these allegations; I’m rather inclined to wonder why it took them so long. If there is adequate evidence, Cuomo should be prosecuted, but he has the right to the presumption of innocence.

The United States cannot continue with a system of unverified denunciation. The governor is entitled to remain unless he is convicted, and it should be a real conviction—he should not just be thrown out like a dead mouse, like television interviewer Charlie Rose or former senator Al Franken.

Tiresome in the extreme though Cuomo’s brother Christopher is, ignorant Trump-hater who famously condoned violent demonstrations and the tearing down of statues of some of America’s greatest leaders, the younger Cuomo has a right to declare his interest as he has and to try to assist his brother.

He and his even more obnoxious on-camera sidekick Don Lemon are about as thoroughly unprofessional, unamusingly snide, and uniformly obnoxious news commentators as can be found. But claiming that Christopher Cuomo had no right to give public relations advice to his brother is just unctuous hypocrisy, as contemptible as the endless mindless carping at the Trump family.

It is time that the Trump-hating media faced some of their problems with the Bidens. People voted for or against Trump, Biden was a stand-in and he has had a free ride. It is clearer every week that this president is not conversant with many of the grave issues that are developing and his performance in public incites the fear on almost every occasion that he does not possess the cognitive alertness or mental energy to discharge his great office effectively.

At some point the country is going to wish objective qualified professional assurance that he is an adequately capable office-holder. I am unfortunately old enough to remember the Democratic radio advertisement in the 1956 presidential election that referred to President Dwight Eisenhower as: “a sick old man with one foot in the grave and the other in his mouth.”

It was very unjust and the people weren’t listening, but after a mild heart attack and a bout of what has subsequently been designated as Crohn’s disease, there was a legitimate reason to question the president’s physical ability to go through another term. His doctors said that he was, the public believed them, and he did and lived on for another nine years as an ex-president.

Even in 1944, as he ran for a fourth term, President Roosevelt, who appeared tired, produced medical assurances of his physical and mental competence. Shortly after his inauguration he departed on the exhausting trip to the Yalta conference.

Although his appearance in news photographs distressed the world, there is no doubt that he was mentally and physically adequate to the trip and the conference, and he and Winston Churchill obtained everything that they wanted from Stalin. (The fact that Stalin did not honor the agreement did not reflect on the health of the Western Allied leaders.) The country is entitled to know if Biden is mentally and physically competent.

However, there is nothing wrong with the president’s wife calling herself Dr. Jill Biden. She has earned an academic doctorate as a mature student and that sort of activity should be encouraged. Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski were academic doctors; of evidently greater academic status than Mrs. Biden’s, but anyone who has earned a doctorate from a degree-granting institution is entitled to use it in their style of address.

Colonel Edward Mandell House was a highly capable man who had great influence with President Wilson. He was only an honorary colonel like Colonel Sanders, but nobody complained when he used the title.

The national political and social media are a disgrace for their partisanship, their dishonesty, and their nastiness. They should start to rehabilitate themselves by ceasing to take gratuitous shots at public figures, and those of us who were appalled at the unprecedented assault of media dishonesty and vituperation against President Trump should not engage in trivial disdain for his opponents; there are plenty of more effective and civilized ways of dealing with them.

First published in the Epoch Times.

2 Responses

  1. The tradition, the Old Normal, of backbiting, back-stabbing. and front-gnawing continues. The rats revel.

  2. I actually agree with Black on Obama’s party, and yet there are two factors that are harder to surmount than Black presents:
    1. Obama is the dominant leader of a party and movement (s) that insist on maximum social distance under all circumstances and with leaders who repeatedly display hypocrisy on the point.
    2. Obama is a grown man. He should not be wedded to the idea of having a birthday party for himself.

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