Writing these columns is like exercise. It feels good but only after I’m done. My deadline is Thursday and usually by Sunday an idea has begun to form in my brain. But, if by Monday, I’ve got nothing, I can start to press.
This Monday, I received an email from Lee, a loyal reader who’s retired and has generously shared colorful stories of her life working in Hollywood. I confessed that I probably would write about Trump, just because, with a nuclear U.S. armada steaming toward N. Korea and now the dropping of the “MOAB” (mother of all non-nuclear bombs) on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan, other subjects suddenly seem trivial.
My comment reminded Lee of a Doonesbury comic strip in the Sunday L.A. Times. Apparently, one character says to the other, “Is there any way we can avoid talking about Trump?”
I immediately called my neighbor, Colleen, who gets the Times. She handed me the comic section and an 800 number, insisted I vote for Nancy Kerrigan on “Dancing with the Stars. Very reluctantly, I agreed.
As I dialed, and no closer to a subject for my column, I wondered if NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd ever voted for “Dancing with the Stars.” Thankfully (or not?) more meaningful news stories broke.
Among them was the United Airlines fiasco. The video has played on TV endlessly, of a Asian doctor being dragged on his back, causing him to bleed profusely and suffer other injuries. (Giving new meaning to “We’ve got your back.”)
United Airline’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, sent an email to employees assuring them that the “passenger relocation” was done “by the book.” Can you say “tone dear?” Ultimately, Munoz issued an apology but the doctor already hired an attorney and will likely get a huge settlement. Munoz vowed, “This will never happen again at United,” but, speaking of bundles, the stock dropped nearly a billion dollars.
It seems United overbooked and needed four seats on a flight from Chicago to Lexington, Kentucky. They offered passengers $800 in vouchers to give up their seat. With no takers, at random, passengers were forcibly removed. (Going from “vouchers to ouchers.”)
Reportedly on another United flight, a scorpion fell from an overhead bin onto a passenger’s head. Put it this way, it’s definitely been a tough week for United.
Story #2 is Bill O’Reilly’s issues with women in the work place. According to a recent NY Times article, Billo and Fox News, has shelled out $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims of five women. (And may have hidden it from stockholders!)
Since the Times article, eighty-two “O’Reilly Factor” advertisers have withdrawn their commercials. This awkwardly left the “Factor” with lots of promos for other Fox broadcasting. Then, on Tuesday, O’Reilly abruptly announced he was leaving on a spring vacation, but mysteriously wouldn’t specify where.
In fact, Billo invited viewers to guess where he was going. Bloggers immediately joked “Hell,” “the unemployment line” and “sexual predator rehab.” Many are speculating O’Reilly has worked his last day Fox.
Last July, Roger Ailes, founder and former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, and former adviser to Trump, resigned for alleged sexual harassment. (If Bill Cosby isn’t convicted of rape in June, he’d fit right in at Fox.)
Despite his own lengthy history of alleged sexual harassment, Trump inexplicably defended O’Reilly. Then again, during the campaign O’Reilly described Trump’s vile comments on the Billy Bush tape as “just locker room talk.”
It’s 85 days into the Trump presidency and, at enormous taxpayer expense, he’s played golf 13 times. (At this point, Obama had zero.) And get this, Trump’s lavish dinner with China’s Xi Jinping wasn’t at the White House but rather at a Trump owned restaurant. (How isn’t that illegal?)
Speaking of possibly illegal, the Trump presidential campaign is under investigation by the FBI. Add to that, General Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser fired for lying, has requested immunity in exchange for his testimony.
And Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, is retroactively filing as a foreign agent. (Illegal?) He now admits accepting $1.2 million by a pro-Russia group and may have received $12 million. And Trump adviser Carter Page was the subject of a FISA warrant for possible collusion with Russian intelligence.
Trump ordered 59 missiles fired on a Syrian airfield. (Flights took off the following day!) That day, on Passover no less, Trump’s Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said that “Hitler didn’t gas his own people,” and referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust Centers,” making them sound like spas.
Shamelessly, Trump claims in his first 100 days he’s accomplished more than any president in history. Meanwhile, in DWTS, apparently Nancy Kerrigan advanced to the next round but Charo and Mr. T were voted off. I only wish there was an 800 number to vote Trump off.
Jack can be reached at Jackneworth@yahoo.com.