Meryl Streep's Speech

January 9, 2017

As expected, last night’s Golden Globe Awards gave Hollywood stars a chance to cry over the end of the Obama era and posture self-righteously about Donald Trump. But the one who’s getting the most press is Meryl Streep, for turning her acceptance speech into a combination attack on Trump for allegedly mocking a disabled reporter and a rallying cry for Hollywood stars to act as a sort-of truth squad defending the media. Here’s a quote:

“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists. Because we're going to need them going forward. And they'll need us to safeguard the truth.”

Meryl Streep is a gifted actress, possibly the best of her generation, but let’s get real: a guardian of the truth she is not. The last time she waded into public policy, it was to attack the use of Alar on apples, an overblown scare that bankrupted a lot of mom-and-pop apple farmers. She helped stir up a hysterical fear of cancer caused by Alar, even though, as the American Council on Science and Health reported, to get a dose of Alar equivalent to what was fed the mice in the study, a human would have to drink 19,000 quarts of apple juice every day for life. Cancer would be the least of your worries, since you’d drown in apple juice on day one.

Likewise, she couldn’t even get through her speech last night without repeating “fake news.” Here’s a link to a video showing that Donald Trump was not mocking the reporter’s disability but just using a gesture he uses all the time to indicate anyone who’s flummoxed about something. The idea that he was targeting the reporter’s disability came from a concocted Internet meme that juxtaposed two still photos.

Read more.

But I will say this on Ms Streep’s behalf: I agree with her that we need a press that will safeguard the truth and call the powerful on the carpet for every outrage. For the past eight years, I’ve wondered what happened to that press, as they ignored outrageous lies (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” “ISIS is the JV team,” “Bengazi was caused by a YouTube video,” etc., etc.), looked the other way at blatant corruption and malfeasance, and ignored attempts to unfairly interfere in the American presidential election (I refer to the DNC undermining Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton getting debate questions in advance, letting her campaign suggest questions for her opponent, etc.) We now know, thanks to WikiLeaks – and let’s face it, their own admission – that the media were not acting as a watchdog but as a willing lapdog, shilling for and colluding with one candidate while relentlessly attacking the other. Of course, NOW they’re ready to be fierce watchdogs again.

That’s the type of outrageous corruption and hypocrisy at the highest levels of power that cries out for a Hollywood movie exposing it all, a la “All The President’s Men.” I look forward to seeing that movie, although I won’t hold my breath.

Say, you know who would be great as Hillary Clinton? Meryl Streep! Read more.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! And not a minute too soon!

I hope you’re not nursing a hangover from last night. But if you are, at least take solace in knowing that the long national binge drunk that was 2016 is blessedly over. Last year saw Americans battered by a politicized media and over a billion dollars in attack ads designed to drive us all further apart and into warring fiefdoms. While far too many Americans remain “bitter clingers,” refusing to stop fighting a battle that was over in November, let’s hope they’ll come to realize how much of that anger and animosity they feel was ginned up by political theater, invented by consultants who profit and gain power from fomenting divisiveness.

For the rest of us who just want to make America great again, that starts with putting the election in the rear view mirror. We need to keep our eyes on the tough road ahead, and not let the profiteers of division distract us from all the things we have in common. Let’s hope and pray there are no more disasters, be they natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, or manmade disasters, like the terrorist attacks in Berlin, Nice, San Bernardino and Miami. But let’s bear in mind that if disasters come, nobody should care if they’re in red states or blue states. Wherever and whenever our fellow Americans are hurting, we all pitch in to help.

Let’s make 2017 a year to rediscover the things we have in common, and join hands instead of pointing fingers. Maybe reconnect with those Facebook Friends who unfriended you just because you didn’t see eye-to-eye on some political issue. If there’s one thing previous New Years have taught us, from the Y2K scare to the Mayan Calendar, it’s that despite all the apocalyptic gloom and doom talk, the world didn't come to an end. Life goes on. And life is what you make of it. 2017 could be the greatest year ever if we all agree that come what may, we’re going to make it great.

If you can't be that optimistic, then just be happy that 2017 isn't an election year! And here's more good news: the 2020 presidential campaigns won't start gearing up in earnest until at least October.