A Glass Half Full Of Poison
This virus turmoil brings to my mind a character named Turk. He was a regular in my father’s saloon.
Turk always made us laugh. But he used his humor to camouflage his criticisms. To hide the barbs.
Yes, he entertained us. But after a while you had to realize something. That while he deployed humor, he criticized most everything. He shot down any and every positive idea or event. His bottom line was that he was against most everything. In an entertaining way.
He comes to mind because we have so many entertainers who insult the president. Over his handling of the virus situation. For many Hollywood types, the president is a punching bag.
In one corner we have one of the biggest crises in our history. Millions are scared half to death over it. They fear losing their jobs. Or their businesses. And their retirement savings. And their lives. Or their children, parents and loved ones. Their nights are sleepless. Their world is upended and dark.
These frightened souls can use some assurances. Some positive thoughts. They would welcome positive messages. Some we’re-all-in-this-together-rah-rah-rah stuff.
Clearly the president and his crisis team are working overtime to deliver such. Despite his limited vocabulary, they provide a lot of information blended with hope. They are hardly perfect. But they do their best to help the country deal with and slow down the virus.
In the opposite corner we have a mob of celebrities. Hollywood types. Politicians. Movers and shakers. Stars who have followings. Many of those worried folks listen to and look up to them.
These celebs have a perfect opportunity to calm those who are near panic. Because their followers do listen to them. Celebs could offer those followers solace. Could. They could suggest we all give thought to others. Maybe to neighbors who may need our help. In countless ways, they could make positive contributions to this troubling mess.
Unfortunately dozens of our best known do just the opposite. Like Turk, they use their popularity to dump cold water and vinegar on hopes. Or gasoline on the fires.
Here are a few of their contributions: Michael Moore declares the president is more dangerous than the virus. Alec Baldwin tosses in a few poisonous insults of the president. Rob Reiner accuses the president of causing people to die in New York. He demands the president be removed from office.
Hillary mocks the president’s “science credentials”. She says he uses racist rhetoric to distract from his failures. She accuses him of name-calling and blame-playing instead of combating the virus.
Actor John Cusack suggests the president “rot in hell”. Actor Josh Gad distorts the president’s exchange with a reporter. Then calls the president “a pig rolling in shit”. Actress Debra Messing says MAGA supporters will die. Because of the “Liar-in-Chief’s” lies and inaction.
Author Stephen King declares the president an idiot. Actor Zach Braff said the president had suggested some prices would fall because of the crisis. Whoa! He couldn’t allow such an optimistic note. He snarked “Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, brimming with Christian charity, calls the president “a shameless con man”. This, after the president phoned him to discuss the effect of the virus on the poor. Cher calls the president mentally unstable, a liar and murderer.
Like Turk, these stars not only see the glass as half-empty. They reckon its contents are poisonous. If there is anything positive in the air they shoot it down.
Big Media chooses, chooses to blare these insults across the land. They eagerly cover any celeb who wants to denigrate the president. CNN and other networks allow their own celebrities to machine-gun the president’s efforts.
The New York Times and some networks want to end coverage of the crisis team’s daily press conferences. Although millions find hope and reassuring current info in them. Other networks want to edit out material their poohbahs feel is untrue or mis-leading. (Hey, if some viewers don’t like these updates, nobody forces them to watch.)
We all know the real reason networks want to pull the coverage. They fear it may help the president pick up votes come November. And they pretend they are news organizations?
Meanwhile: President Obama has pulled out all the stops. He has bombarded social media. With helpful information and encouragement. Helpful. He refrains from criticizing our president. He promotes safety measures. He explains why some measures are necessary.
President Obama shares stories he finds inspiring – of people and organizations that use their imaginations to help fellow Americans. He offers summaries of what our public health officials are thinking.
Bill Clinton expressed thanks to a celebrity chef. The chef teamed up with the Clinton Foundation to feed kids in Arkansas. Kids who were normally fed by their schools, now closed.
Jimmy Carter begs his fans to donate to his Carter Center. The money to be distributed to those fighting the virus.
John Elway contributes $50,000 to the cause. Presidential enemy Robert DeNiro, teams with Danny DeVito. He sets aside his hatred of the president. He sends out videos. In which he and Danny encourage folks to stay safe by staying home.
President Bush expresses “absolute confidence” in the experts working on the presidential task force.
I have a question for Big Media. You are thorough when you condemn the president. You love to spotlight celebs who bash the president’s efforts. Why do you not publicize the good work of celebrities who do the opposite?
I have further questions. For the foul-mouthed critics. The members of the Turk Squad. What possible good will come from your rants and insults? Do you believe your comments comfort a single person? Does it occur to you that they might alarm some people?
Fame comes with certain responsibilities attached. Some of our famous people fail to understand that. Fortunately, some do. They are the good souls who prefer to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.