The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The pitfalls of feminist journalism, sage hiring wisdom of Donald Trump, and the deviant sexual practices of Hillary Clinton. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Bill O’Reilly

The Fox pundit and master of ceremonies in the No Spin Zone stepped down from on high to declare what sorts of people should and should not be allowed to report on Donald Trump.

If, for instance, you are a woman (or man, for that matter) who believes in equal rights for women, you should be recused and restricted from publishing any piece of journalism on The Donald.

“She is a feminist,” O’Reilly said, referring to a New York Times reporter who co-wrote the piece examining Trump’s record of uncouth remarks and behavior around women. “Trump is a beauty contestant purveyor. Do you let a feminist report on a beauty contestant person who is now turned politician?”

He continued: “If I’m an editor and I know there is a feminist woman in my newsroom, who is brilliant because I think this woman is an excellent reporter, I don’t let her report on a guy like Trump because Trump is the antithesis of that. And so I don’t want any margin of error here, there are plenty of reporters who can do the story, do you not see that?” he asked Bob Woodward, who did not see that, in fact.

Hat tip and video courtesy Media Matters

Next: Anne Graham Lotz

4. Anne Graham Lotz

The daughter of Billy Graham, that titan of American evangelism and Godfather of the Religious Right (emphasis on the God), is keeping the family name proud.

Anna Graham Lotz spoke to Iowa talk radio host to let him know on-air that perennial conservative Christian line about how 9/11 was a warning that we shouldn’t have taken prayer out of public schools… or something.

Right Wing Watch‘s Miranda Blue writes:

If Americans repent, she said, then “there will be peace on our streets” and God will begin to “reveal the plots of our enemies and terrorists before they are carried out” and “control the weather patterns and protect us from these violent storms that are taking human life.”

She added that “God allows bad things to happen” like the September 11 attacks and the mass shooting in San Bernardino “to show us that we need Him, you know, we’re desperate without him.”

At a later point in the interview, Lotz argued that opposition to anti-LGBT legislation, like the recent law in North Carolina, which the Justice Department is fighting, was an example of “evidence that God has backed away and he’s removed His hand of blessing, favor, protection, and he’s just turning us over to ourselves.”

Next: Pamela Geller

3. Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller, enthusiast of Mohammad cartoons and incendiary anti-Muslim subway ads, recently used her tack of vile Islamophobic trolling as a springboard to bash Hillary Clinton and her “lesbian” stooge Huma Abedin.

Geller was, naturally, an early and vocal supporter of Trump’s proposals to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and his suggestion that he would create a database to track them. Speaking on The Sid and Bernie Show, Geller weighed in on Trump’s likely opponent in the November election, accusing her of having a lesbian affair with her longtime confidant (who happens to be Muslim) Huma Abedin.

“The connection to Huma Abedin cannot be understated,” Geller said. “Her parents are Muslim Brotherhood … come on, we know all about that. For years and years I wrote about that relationship…”

“Are you implying she’s a lesbian?” one of the hosts interjected.

“…a long-rumored affair, for eight or nine years, way even before the Obama presidency!” she concluded.

Geller once likened herself to Rosa Parks because she wasn’t afraid to stick it to “savage” Muslims, so we can describe her affinity to reality as tenuous at best. And she isn’t even the only one this week to follow this line of unreasoning…

Next: Sandy Rios

2. Sandy Rios

American Family Association’s Sandy Rios and Geller must both be getting their talking points from the same listserv.

Right Wing Watch describes Rios’ own descent in to the mire of lesbian-Clinton tin-foil fantasias:

“Hillary Clinton embraces every sexual deviancy you can imagine,” she said, before once again suggesting that the former secretary of state is a lesbian because “there have been more than rumors swirling about her own sexual proclivities since before she became first lady.”

“She’s an advocate of gay marriage, and I mean a strong advocate,” she said. “She’s been endorsed by every radical homosexual activist group in the country, all the major ones, Human Rights Campaign and others, especially in New York. She gets that endorsement for a reason, you know, she gets it for a reason.”

Fittingly for an operative of the American Family Association, one of the most dogmatic and hateful anti-LGBT advocacy groups in the country, Rios has a persistent habit of reducing just about any political situation or national news story into an occasion for some gay-bashing. Hell, she even blamed an AmTrak derailment on the notion that the conductor might have been gay. And last year she told Christians to “prepare for martyrdom” in order to fight gay marriage. Needless to say, she did not take her own advice.

Next: Healy Baumgardner 

1. Healy Baumgardner

Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson is a rare talent: she exhibits adamantine poise even while defending and articulating her boss’ most vile, outlandish, and ignorant claims.

The Trump surrogate who showed up on CNN Wednesday, campaign senior press representative Healy Baumgardner, is no Katrina Pierson.

“Well, I think top line, Mr. Trump’s point is that he wants to keep an open dialogue and repair relationships with world leaders,” she said, by way of not explaining at all why her boss had been singing the praises of North Korea’s dictator.

“Healy, you can’t give us any more guidance on this?” asked a pained Carol Costello. “You are the senior press representative for Mr. Trump.”

“I am. Exactly,” she said, unfazed. “And what I’m telling you is that top line, you know, one of his biggest goals is to repair relationships with leaders throughout the world.”

That’s not a typo. Healy, like a malfunctioning Rubio, sputtered and repeated the same bromidic buzz phrase twice in a row. (“Top line” sells Trump Steaks maybe, but I’m not sure it applies to one of the most universally condemned dictators on the global stage right now.)

Later in the segment Costello pressed Baumgardner on Trump’s decision to meet with Henry Kissinger: “So Healy, I want to ask you about something else. Mr. Trump is expected to meet with Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state. […] Why Henry Kissinger and not another secretary of state?”

Costello waited. And waited. And waited. For one precious, sparkling moment, there was silence on CNN, as the three talking heads all blinked at each other across the void in quiet anticipation of a talking point that never arrived.

“Healy?” Costello asked.

“I’m sorry, was that question to me? Oh. Yes. Sorry about that. I had a little feedback,” she replied, having apparently borrowed the old “failed earpiece” gambit that served her boss so well when he initially refused to denounce David Duke. “Mr Trump regularly meets with experts and highly respected individuals. And, you know, he values their input and their feedback.” After somehow managing to work in some accidental wordplay on the word “feedback,” she returned to safety net of silence.

“And what do you suppose they’ll talk about?” Costello asked. “Do you know, Healy?”

Baumgardner sputtered for a moment before saying that she “can’t confirm or deny the meeting,” forgetting perhaps for a moment that the fact of the meeting occurring was never in question. “I do know that Mr. Trump values feedback from highly respected individuals and experts. And he will have those conversations as he deems fit.”

It was as if a hungover algorithm had been tasked with creating the most content-free sentences a human could possibly speak in the English language.

As mortifying as the CNN segment was, the real threshing came later on social media, as most everyone lined up to ridicule Baumgardner. (A video of the segment is viewable here.)

Trump loves to talk about how he will surround himself with the “best people.” What a rotten irony that a CNN segment about Trump’s poor judgment, namely, his avid support of Kim Jong-un, should become such a glaring demonstration of that very shortcoming, in his senior press representative.

Illustration: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments! Get This Week In Crazy delivered to your inbox every Friday, by signing up for our daily email newsletter.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Photo by The White House

A Maryland anti-vaxxer is facing charges for threatening National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci over email-- going as far as to warn the face of America's COVID-19 response that he would be "hunted, captured, tortured and killed," among other things-- according to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. committed two violations-- threatening a federal official and sending interstate communication containing a threat to harm, both of which are felonies.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close