For me, the big news on CNN the other days was the fact that one of the reporters – the parroting panelist/CNN contributor type – went off script.
They were talking about the national Independence Day celebration produced by President Trump. Of course, there was universal agreement that it was inappropriate, stupid, overly expensive, too militaristic, and a bit of a farce designed to placate Trump’s ego.
Despite the focus on the American military, they deemed the entire event to be akin to a May Day parade in Russia or North Korea’s Kim Jong-un birthday celebration. They declared the entire national celebration of America’s Independence Day to be … well … un-American.
After several rounds of uncompromised Trump bashing by the entire panel, Ryan Lizza, political correspondent for Esquire Magazine offered up an uncharacteristic summation of their analyses. He suggested that perhaps … just perhaps … the universally anti-Trump panel was being a bit unfair … biased … unbalanced, you might say. Lizza actually had the audacity to suggest that a lot of Americans … millions, in fact … just might have a different perspective on Trump Fourth of July festivities.
He said (with my added highlights):
Look, Trump is an incredibly polarizing figure and all of us bring our knowledge of his history and our own biases about how we feel about him to any event like this and a speech you know, it has to be said there are millions of Americans who watched the speech and probably don’t have any criticism, thought it was just a perfectly ordinary Fourth of July address. And that’s the nature of our politics right now. You can’t — you’re not going to insert Donald Trump into something like the 4th of July and not have a sort of huge diversity of opinions about it. You know, my test for when trump does something kind of off the wall is what if Barack Obama had done this or said this, what — what Trump — Trump supporters — how would they have reacted. I think this is a useful thought exercise, what if Barack Obama had given this speech, you know? How would we have — have reacted?
Bingo! It was one of those rare occasions when one of the denizens of the east coast media bubble gave some indications that they knew there is a world beyond the New York City/Washington, D.C. political mega-metropolis.
The implication of Lizza’s question was based on that old whataboutery. He understood the media bias well enough to know that had President Obama planned that same celebration and given that same speech, the ensconced media liberal establishment would have been comparing it to Washington’s farewell address to his troops at Fraunce’s Tavern or Lincoln’s second Inaugural – with malice toward none –speech.
Despite the fact that none of Lizza’s fellow panelists nodded in agreement, he was correct. Millions of Americans viewed the honoring of our military on Independence Day was not only appropriate, but long overdue. Our American hearts beat a bit faster as we hear the traditional patriotic songs. We fight back tears when hearing the marching themes of our armed forces – recognizing the hundreds of thousands who have died over the years to preserve American values and freedoms. That is especially true for those of us who have lost loved ones in those battles in defense of our country.
News is often defined as that which does not happen normally. By that definition, Lizza made news. His media colleagues may choose to ignore his comments, but that does NOT mean the millions of Americans to which he alluded do not exist. The others would be wise to consider that reality.
So, there ‘tis.