OK, so there was a HUGE amount of information that broke last night about Donald Trump, the Russians, some really sordid sex behavior, and about 14 other things. I have said on this blog numerous times that I don’t like to “knee-jerk” react to things, and quite honestly there’s way too much to digest to write a coherent post right now. So I’m just going to take one small piece of the Donald Trump pie, something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and look at at that today.
“Golden showers,” my goodness. And we thought the Ken Starr report on Bill Clinton was salacious…
OK, on with the show.
When I was a college sportswriter at the University of Delaware, the football team was coached by a man named Tubby Raymond.
Tubby was a fun guy to be around (guys named ‘Tubby” usually are), a real rascal and a pretty good coach, too. He always had our Blue Hens in the Division I-AA playoffs, gave great quotes to us media, and generally comported himself well. (Tubby was getting up there in years when I covered him and his memory was fading; to this day I’m convinced they announced which players were sitting next to him at the weekly press luncheon because otherwise he wouldn’t recognize who was with him.)
But if you ever dared to question his strategy or decision-making, Tubby’s face turned red. He sometimes exploded or mocked the question, and seemed to take great offense at any suggestion that what he did or said wasn’t right. He was, still to this day, the most thin-skinned “celebrity” I’d ever seen, and I always wondered that if us, the little Delaware press corps, got him upset with his questions, what would happen if Tubby ever coached in a bigger city? He’d implode, that’s what.
I was thinking about Tubby the other night because once again, the man who in just a few days will be the leader of the free world couldn’t handle being criticized by an actor.
The easiest thing to predict in the entire world was that after Meryl Streep criticized Trump at the Golden Globes, that he would lash out on Twitter and attack her back.
This fits his entire pattern of behavior. He’s gotten mad at Vanity Fair magazine for a review of his restaurant that was negative. He just last week criticized Arnold Schwarzenegger for not getting as high ratings as The Donald did on “The Apprentice.”
There is no slight too small, no alleged critique too tiny, for this small man to fire back at. He is the most thin-skinned celebrity in the history of the world, and he’s about to have the nuclear codes.
Of all the things that scare me about a President Trump, the idea that an offhand remark by a world leader about him, or to him, will start a nuclear war.
God save us all. Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post wrote about this idea yesterday, his column is excellent.
**Next up, I thought about writing a long screed about Barack Obama, who gave a farewell speech last night that was moving, heartfelt and smart, and contrasting him in a thousand ways with the guy about to inherit the big chair in the Oval Office.
But there’ll be time for that next week; I don’t want the stench of Trump to mix with the appreciation of Obama. So instead, I present a true American treasure, Mr. Bill Walton.
Because they can, ESPN didn’t just show the exhilarating college football championship game on one channel Monday night; they gave viewers about 10 different types of coverage to watch, including one featuring Walton and other non-football people watching the Alabama-Clemson tilt sitting around talking.
Walton, dressed as Uncle Sam (of course) has some great questions and comments, especially when he asks what city Clemson is in.
God I love Bill Walton.
**Finally today, my wife and I don’t get to the theater that much despite, you know, living less than a mile from Broadway, but when I heard there was a play about newspaper reporters from the 1930s being revived and coming here, I immediately knew I’d be seeing it.
So last Friday night we saw “The Front Page,” based on Ben Hecht’s play about one night in a Chicago-area courthouse press room, when a bunch of tabloid scribes are waiting around for a scheduled hanging of a convicted murderer.
I was pretty certain I would love the play, which starred a huge number of major actors, including Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, and Holland Taylor. And it was sensational.
The rapid-fire dialogue made Aaron Sorkin’s characters seem like they had slow Southern drawls; the acting, especially by Slattery and Lane (who really is a force of nature as a soul-less, no morals editor) was superb, and it was pretty damn hilarious, too.
It was a long, long show (2:45, with two intermissions) and honestly sometimes so many people were cross-talking on stage that I missed some of the great one-liners.
But there were so many actors working at the top of their craft, and having so much fun (John Goodman always looks like he’s having a good time, doesn’t he?) that I didn’t mind. With newspapers in such bad shape these days, and me being a dyed-in-the-wool ink-stained wretch, it was fun to step back into a time when reporters were true characters, had very few scruples, and what they wrote really mattered.
“The Front Page” is only going to be on Broadway for a few months, but if you’re here anytime soon, I highly, highly recommend seeing it.