In the 1976 movie NETWORK, TV personality Howard Beale has an on-air meltdown, ranting on camera to an audience of millions about the dissolution of society and telling everyone to get up, go to their windows and yell, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” Many do so. He repeats his antics over and over on camera with enthusiastic support from his network, which mercilessly exploits this train wreck of a human being and milks his show for all it’s worth –- as long as his ratings hold. The story doesn’t end well for this pitiful man, but the media live on.
It’s 2018, and former (as in fired) Trump advisor Sam Nunberg is the Howard Beale of the moment. After being served a subpoena by special counsel Robert Mueller, he apparently went off his nut and started thinking he didn’t have to comply. When he began criticizing members of the Trump campaign and people in his administration, networks lined up to put him on the air. They didn’t care one bit how disturbed and incoherent (and likely drunk and medicated) he was, as long as he had negative things to say about people they don’t like. And, hey, it was great TV, with as much potential for ratings as Howard Beale experiencing a nervous breakdown in prime time.
Nunberg thought –- for a while –- that he just wouldn’t produce his emails for Mueller, and said that anybody who criticized him, including press secretary Sarah Sanders, should “shut up.” In fact, he WARNED her to shut her mouth. (Full disclosure: that’s my daughter he was threatening.) He said that if Mueller wanted to send him to jail, he should do it. “And then I’ll laugh about it,” he said. “It would be funny if they arrested me.” Nobody’s laughing; this situation is too pathetic.
At CNN, he was accused of having alcohol on his breath (which he denied), but only after they got him on the air. Couldn’t they have smelled it in the green room, or at some point before he went on camera? Of course they could have, but if they’d said anything then, they might have missed out on some great TV! Another bonus: he contradicted himself so often that they knew they could pull just the quotes they wanted for future use.
Speaking of CNN, remember when Dan Rather was caught using faked documents to “prove” George W. Bush got special treatment during the Vietnam War to get a slot in the National Guard? CNN is trying just as desperately now to find something on President Trump, to the point where they actually sent a reporter to Thailand to interview a jailed prostitute spouting tales about Trump meeting with a Russian billionaire and at least three Americans (unnamed) during the 2016 campaign. She offered no details –- because she was afraid she’d be deported back to Russia, she said. This makes no sense; if she were really afraid of being deported, she wouldn’t have sought attention from journalists with no evidence whatsoever to back up her huge claim of having “all the missing puzzle pieces.”
I guess CNN thinks it’s good TV to have their reporters chasing halfway around the world talking to “sex coaches” in Bangkok and even going through the dumpsters outside that building where Russian “trolls” bought a very limited number of Facebook ads. Yes, CNN really did go dumpster diving in Russia, and turned up nothing. They’ll go literally to the ends of the earth to find evidence of a crime, but they won’t find any because there WAS no crime, except right here in America where we have actual evidence that Hillary Clinton and the DNC were colluding with Russians –- through a law firm, an “oppo research” firm and a British ex-spy who couldn’t stand Trump –- to buy an “insurance policy” to keep Trump out of power.
And this is why Sam Nunberg got to be our “Howard Beale For A Day.” His moment ended quickly, only because a guy who implodes on national TV is hardly going to be the vehicle with which to take down Trump. But the fact that they tried to use him shows how ruthless they are, and how desperate to keep their narrative going. It’s sickening.
I feel like getting up...going to my window...and yelling, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!”
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