Hatred of President Donald Trump is so intense that people out of the mists of ancient history are emerging to spew it out for the edification of the American people.
First, convicted Watergate criminal John Dean was trotted out before the House Judiciary Committee, not so much to render facts about obstruction of justice charges related to the Russian collusion investigation, but his expertise in the crime.
Dean, for those who are history impaired, was accused and eventually convicted for his supervision of the cover-up of the Watergate break-in.
He turned state’s evidence to secure a reduced prison sentence. Dean landed on his feet and has become a book author, a lecturer, and a CNN commentator whose job seems to be to slam Republicans.
Whatever public relations advantage that House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler hoped to gain from having Dean testify was wiped out by a freak helicopter crash that took place in Manhattan.
The media choose to cover the crash rather than the hearings. From the point of view of the House Democrats, who intend to conduct a kind of pseudo impeachment process, it was just as well.
The spectacle of having someone whose main claim to fame was being a criminal was just too cringe-worthy to bear.
However, the most delicious instance of someone from history being brought forth to attack President Trump was the review of Jim Acosta’s book on what it’s like to spar with the president, “Enemy of the People,” by none other than Sam Donaldson, retired reporter for ABC News and antagonist of another American president, Ronald Reagan.
The review begins:
“Reading Jim Acosta’s new book “Enemy of the People” is like watching a train wreck in progress, with passengers bracing for the inevitable crash.
“Friends and critics agree we have never seen a president like Donald J. Trump, whose disdain, even contempt and apparent hatred for many members of the press is almost daily on display.”
“Acosta cites instance after instance when this President and many of his staff show that they are bent on interfering with the ability of reporters to bring the public an accurate account of the administration’s stewardship.”
By “an accurate account” Donaldson really means “relentless fake news.”
A more than cursory examination of how most of the media covered the Russian collusion affair suggests a pack of slavering, rabid animals which did not even hide their lust to see Trump brought down.
When the Mueller Report debunked the Russia conspiracy theory, the media reacted in shock and rage, and then shifted to phony accusations of obstruction of justice, hence John Dean being brought forth as an expert witness.
Trump has fought back with the fury of a barroom brawler. Donaldson sees this as not only unseemly but dangerous.
“For most of his adult life, President Trump courted the press, lived for its attention, even for a time pretended he was someone else when calling reporters to sing Trump’s praises. Whether now he truly believes that the mainstream press, as he says, reports ‘fake’ news and is the ‘enemy of the American people,’ or that such language is simply part of a tactic meant to stoke the anger of his ‘base’ while escaping an objective accounting of his actions doesn’t matter. The effect is to undermine the credibility of the media, leaving him free to pursue policies that harm us at home and abroad.”
“Trump’s wholesale attack on the mainstream press is wrong, and it is dangerous.”
“History shows that tyrants and would-be tyrants always attempt to destroy a free press. And that is why the First Amendment to our Constitution specifically forbids the government from interfering with the work of the press.”
Donaldson’s accusations are breathtaking in both their scope and irony. He is accusing the president of the United States of being a “tyrant” whose policies “harm us at home and abroad.”
In other words, Trump is just like Reagan, a president he also detested. Trump is supposed to just sit back and take these calumnies.
Donaldson’s memoirs bore the title of “Hold On, Mr. President” and depicted the subject confronting President Reagan.
He clearly wishes he was back in the fray, yelling provocative questions at Trump as he heads out toward Marine One, just as he did Reagan, in an era when presidents didn’t hit back.
Welcome to the new world, Mr. Donaldson.
Now that the media is being held accountable as well, how does it feel?