Welcome to another edition of Boos and Bravos, where we skewer the daft and uplift the worthy:
BRAVO to President Trump’s brush-off of Time magazine’s duplicitous advances. According to Trump’s tweet, the magazine offered to make the 45th president the man of the year if he agreed to a big photo shoot and in-depth interview. Trump said he could do without the hassle and passed on the once-prestigious title.
This shows me Trump exposes the media, even when it doesn’t benefit him; he doesn’t care about titles and status as much as we think he does, and Time has the audacity to wheel and deal with potentials before naming an honoree. The world of the elites is all hogwash and horse drivel, even the naming of a person of the year. How sad. Trump is undeniably the person of the year, for all he’s done and sparked. Love him or hate him, Time will look like fools if they don’t name Trump man of the year, because no one else deserves the title more.
The more I see of Trump and his willingness to swim upstream and go against the grain, the more I like him. Even liberals should appreciate a president who doesn’t go along with the elites to get along with the elites. And though he has always been rich and famous and influential – elite in every way, except for attitude – he actively undermines them. And we, the proletariat taxpayers, love that about him.
Speaking of Mr. Trump, he earns another BRAVO for, so far, reining in North Korea. What happened to those missile tests, Mr. Never Trumper? While Obama was powerless, Trump has stifled them.
We all know Trump is hot and cold when it comes to the little rocket man. He’s threatened, berated or befriended Kim Jong Un on various occasions, which is perplexing both to Americans and, I imagine, Kim. But that ability to shift gears quickly is what I like about Trump. He is practical. He responds to the current situation; he’s not defined or limited by what he’s said in the past. And folks trying to define his “doctrine” will have a hard time because it changes so often. Today’s crazy world demands someone with the kind of situational pliability Trump tends to employ. So far, so good.
BOO to my car’s right front drive axle, which decided to break on Thanksgiving Day with my mother, nephew and his new wife in the car. But where we broke down, at a restaurant where we were picking up our Thanksgiving meal, was the perfect place because the home of a longtime church friend was across the street.
Norm Steadman, at more than 90 years old, was just finishing up Thanksgiving dinner with his own family when I walked across the road and up to his back door with cries of help and despair. Well, the scene wasn’t that dramatic, but Norm, ever the helpful angel, needed no arm-twisting or promises of monetary reward to drive my family members and me safely back home.
We were all thankful not only for the good fortune of breaking down in a safe place, but also for a trusted friend coming to our aid. Norm probably thought his act was a small gesture of friendship, but we all agreed it was huge and full of God’s providence and presence.
BOO to all the men – journalists especially – being accused of and admitting to sexual harassment. National Public Radio and Charlie Rose, two of my favorite news sources, have become embroiled in the scandal that expands almost daily. I admire the women for coming forward and am especially surprised by Rose, who is one of the best interviewers the business has ever known.
When I get home from work, I usually watch Rose and his guest, or guests, banter back and forth, with Rose always asking questions that the viewer would ask if he or she could. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed over the years that he had a tendency to be particularly tough on conservatives, while going easy on liberals, but I nevertheless appreciated his curiosity and probing manner. And I especially admired him for speaking truth to power (and seeking truth from power) during news-making interviews with despots such as Bashar Al-Assad and Vladimir Putin.
I’m not sure if we’ll see Rose seated around his iconic interview table – where the viewer enjoyed a figurative seat as well – ever again. But he was one of the best, and it’s a shame he ruined it with intimidation of subordinates, which is the root of sexual harassment. It’s nice to see these people held accountable, though. The swamp is definitely draining, toads and all.
John Balentine, a former managing editor for Sun Media Group, lives in Windham.