Meryl Steep’s Golden Globe Awards speech was as vapid, vacuous, self-important and wrong as anything to come out of liberal Hollywood. So naturally it made the front page of the New York Times.
Now Hillary Clinton is a public figure, and in an era of wall-to-wall PR it’s hard to argue that she’s not playing the game. But perhaps she simply backed into it. Perhaps she’s that Sixties activist at heart who preferred behind-the-scenes advocacy and the humility of action — but got drawn into politics as a result of her husband’s career. Perhaps she is a reluctant politician, not a Machiavellian schemer.
The debate post-mortem media analyses are filled with columns on who won and who lost. But rather than see the debate as an opportunity to get a measure of the candidate’s judgment, temperament, and approach to complex issues, we read instead about who “savaged” whom, which candidate “rattled” the other, who threw the most “punches” and who got the best “hit” on the other guy.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) was one of our most brilliant and penetrating journalists. He was also one of our most acerbic. Independent, fearless, and iconoclastic, he spared no one. He made a career out of turning sacred cows into hamburger.
American University student reporters sat in a Manchester Best Western, compiling clips from a Jeb Bush rally, a Chris Christie speech and a Democratic fundraiser. Many had quotes from local voters and a select few had interviews with state senators and other surrogates.
No one, however, had managed to attend one of the rare Trump events and capture the flurry of activity that normally accompanies the candidate. Continue reading Good luck Trumps all