January 9, 2017

As expected, last night’s Golden Globe Awards gave Hollywood stars a chance to cry over the end of the Obama era and posture self-righteously about Donald Trump. But the one who’s getting the most press is Meryl Streep, for turning her acceptance speech into a combination attack on Trump for allegedly mocking a disabled reporter and a rallying cry for Hollywood stars to act as a sort-of truth squad defending the media. Here’s a quote:

“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists. Because we're going to need them going forward. And they'll need us to safeguard the truth.”

Meryl Streep is a gifted actress, possibly the best of her generation, but let’s get real: a guardian of the truth she is not. The last time she waded into public policy, it was to attack the use of Alar on apples, an overblown scare that bankrupted a lot of mom-and-pop apple farmers. She helped stir up a hysterical fear of cancer caused by Alar, even though, as the American Council on Science and Health reported, to get a dose of Alar equivalent to what was fed the mice in the study, a human would have to drink 19,000 quarts of apple juice every day for life. Cancer would be the least of your worries, since you’d drown in apple juice on day one.

Likewise, she couldn’t even get through her speech last night without repeating “fake news.” Here’s a link to a video showing that Donald Trump was not mocking the reporter’s disability but just using a gesture he uses all the time to indicate anyone who’s flummoxed about something. The idea that he was targeting the reporter’s disability came from a concocted Internet meme that juxtaposed two still photos.

Read more.

But I will say this on Ms Streep’s behalf: I agree with her that we need a press that will safeguard the truth and call the powerful on the carpet for every outrage. For the past eight years, I’ve wondered what happened to that press, as they ignored outrageous lies (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” “ISIS is the JV team,” “Bengazi was caused by a YouTube video,” etc., etc.), looked the other way at blatant corruption and malfeasance, and ignored attempts to unfairly interfere in the American presidential election (I refer to the DNC undermining Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton getting debate questions in advance, letting her campaign suggest questions for her opponent, etc.) We now know, thanks to WikiLeaks – and let’s face it, their own admission – that the media were not acting as a watchdog but as a willing lapdog, shilling for and colluding with one candidate while relentlessly attacking the other. Of course, NOW they’re ready to be fierce watchdogs again.

That’s the type of outrageous corruption and hypocrisy at the highest levels of power that cries out for a Hollywood movie exposing it all, a la “All The President’s Men.” I look forward to seeing that movie, although I won’t hold my breath.

Say, you know who would be great as Hillary Clinton? Meryl Streep! Read more.

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