Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
27 February 2017, 13:05
The real news about the Oscars wasn’t that two old actors, let out for the night without their carers, screwed up the announcement of Best Picture.
That merely obscured a disastrous night for Trump. At the Golden Globes, only Meryl Streep had a go at Trump. At the Oscars, everybody did.
Some quite cleverly. Like host Jimmy Kimmel, who said; “This broadcast is being watched live around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us”.
This is the answer to those who say, what does it matter what a few pampered movie stars think about our President? When it’s just a few radical ones, that’s normal. But, for everybody to jump on the bandwagon isn’t normal. And of course Trump’s constituency, rightly or wrongly, idolise a lot of these people. The idea that what all Hollywood thinks of Trump won’t impact over time on what his voters think of him is nuts.
And already Trump’s ratings are falling. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which normally finds new Presidents have a positive rating of plus thirty, found Trump this weekend in the doldrums at minus four. Are you surprised, after a few weeks when he’s got absolutely nothing right?
This weekend was defined by further attacks by Trump on the media. Denunciations of “fake news” grow increasingly hysterical, while at the CPAC Conference, full of loonie tunes before whom Trump obviously felt totally confident, he called the press “enemies of the people”.
And in related briefings, he suggested newspapers should be banned from quoting anonymous sources. What is the guy on? That’s the end of a free press. Of course, he could never get it through, but the fact he even thinks that way is deeply troubling.
But there may be a reason for it, which I shall come to.
But first, let me say en passant, it’s weird that Trump of all people should denounce “fake news”, because that’s how Trump came to fame as a businessman.
He leaked exaggerated OTT details of his plans, which the press happily headlined, and created an image of himself as the guy who had it all - looks, broads, money, living the American dream in a way others could only envy.
The reality was much more complicated, but that didn’t bother Trump, or the people who wrote this rubbish, because it sold papers. So why is the devil denouncing sin now?
I think I know. What he’s trying to do is put people off believing what they read, in anticipation of a lot of bad stuff that’s going to come out about him, his guys, and Putin.
The Director of the CIA took to the airwaves this weekend to warn off the White House from interfering with the FBIs criminal investigations into the Trump’s campaign’s links with the Russians.
Nothing like that has happened since Watergate.
And a Republican congressman (note Republican) has denounced Trump’s Attorney General, demanding that he plays no part in the investigation of these Russian allegations, because he was a member of the Trump campaign, and therefore potentially implicated. He has called instead for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. Again, not since Watergate has that happened.
Make no mistake, the sound of a distant tumbril grew louder this weekend. And no amount of noisy Trump BS can drown out the noise of its wheels.