Friday, May 6, 2011

FRIDAY FOLLIES: Big News about Osama, Bad News for Trump, Wacky news from Bloomberg

Well, okay, I guess you've heard the big news of the week--the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden.  Most of us thought the whole operation was pretty impressive--the stealth helicopters, the brave Navy Seals, the efficient execution of the world's worst enemy--it was all good.  But for ex-presidential candidate Donald Trump it was the worst news possible after a really, really horrible weekend.  First, on Saturday night he arrived at the White House Correspondents Dinner thinking he was there as an honored guest of the Washington Post.  He wasn't even suspicious when he was booed in the lobby outside the banquet room. No, he told a reporter, the president wouldn't be mentioning his name.

Once inside and seated he looked around and was pleased to see how much closer to the podium he was than the people behind him.  He ignored the fact that there were people in front of him who were much closer as he observed with dismay that the cameras weren't in a position to be trained on him at all times. But then he perked up when the president did, in fact, mention his name!  And, as is so often the case with Trump, it all went down hill from there.  The president spent many minutes making fun of him, and when Obama sat down, some creep from SNL took over and gave it to him even worse.  The camera finally swung to Trump and caught his scowl, his pout, his utter inability to laugh at the worldview of himself.


On Sunday it was all anyone was talking about.  The embarrassing videos were replayed over and over again and the jokes just kept on coming.  But at least "Celebrity Apprentice" would be airing that night and Trump, in his own mind, saw a vindication in the expected huge numbers of watchers.  Ha!

But alas, it was not to be.  Shortly after 10 PM came an announcement from the White House that the president would be addressing the nation soon on matters of National Security.  Osama Bin Laden was dead.  Immediately the networks cut into regularly scheduled programming and went to their newsrooms.  "You're fired" would not be the highlight of this Sunday night.  Gaahhh!  (The comments on that linked site are hilarious.)




CNN hides video of Star Anchor Wolf Blitzer talking about having to apply his own makeup the night Obama announced bin Laden's death.  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it myself.  It was at almost precisely 11:40 AM on Monday, May 2 on CNN Newsroom. Drew Griffin asked Wolf to comment on where he was when he heard the news that Obama was going to announce something big at 10:30 PM on Sunday night.  Wolf begins to sputter--apparently he was caught totally off guard by the question, as well as the announcement.  He launches into a play-by-play about getting dressed and rushing to the studio, where he finds--to his utter shock--that there are no makeup people there yet!   He looks around, and grabs the first powder puff he sees and. . .powders his own forehead before going in front of the camera.  (As icing on the cake for this Blitzer watcher, I'm watching in shuddery fascination as a gasping, wide-eyed Wolf pantomimes the patting of the puff on his brow.)

I've looked in vain for the video of this conversation, but it's probably to CNN's credit that they've relegated it to Nowhereland.  (If anybody happens to find it, my gratitude will know no bounds if you pass it along.)  The mystery of the ages is why Blitzer is still on television.  This bizarre exchange on the morning after Osama bin Laden's death deepens the mystery.  He either knows too many secrets or he's somebody's nephew.  Watching him one can drift off and forget that this is real and not SNL.  Who could parody Wolf Blitzer as well as he parodies himself?  As an interviewer he's worse than any sappy local newscaster in the deepest, dustiest hinterlands.  His idea of a brilliant question is either "What were you thinking, as. . .?" or "How horrible was it?"  As he might put it, "Dreadful".

 As if to prove that New York City is the center of all the entire universe, their Mayor Bloomberg has decided it's his job to decree that immigrants wanting to come to the U.S should only be allowed in if they promise to detour around NYC and head to Detroit.  (No, I mean it--this isn't a SNL skit or one of those crazy nightmares we Michiganders are so prone to sweat through.)

This is what he said on "Meet the Press" via the AP: 

“Take a look at the big, old, industrial cities, Detroit, for example,” he said. “They’ve got a great mayor, Mayor (Dave) Bing, but the population has left. You’ve got to do something about that. And if I were the federal government, assuming you could wave a magic wand and pull everybody together, you pass a law letting immigrants come in as long as they agreed to go to Detroit and live there for five or ten years. Start businesses, take jobs, whatever.”
Detroit has seen its population fall from 1.8 million in the 1950 U.S. Census to 714,000 in 2010. The population dropped 26 percent in the last decade alone.

“You would populate Detroit overnight because half the world wants to come here,” Bloomberg said. “We still are the world’s greatest democracy. We still have hope that if you want to have a better life for yourself and your kids, this is where you want to come.”

Is that nuts, or what?  Where are these jobs that Bloomberg wants these people to take?  If they were in Detroit what makes him think Detroiters wouldn't be taking them?  Start businesses?  Couldn't Americans who are already here do that if it were that simple?  Nothing at all against immigrants--we've had a few in my family, too--but Bloomberg isn't talking about inviting them to Detroit.  He's talking about forcing them to settle here.  Making a law.  And he said it out loud.  On national television.  Does anybody else think that's weird?

Interesting, too,  that he wants to put immigrants on a fast train to Motown when his own state is losing two congressional seats after the last census count showed a significant drop in population in all but the area in and around New York City.  Has he looked outside lately?

Moment of Sublime:  This morning  at dagblog, William K. Wolfrum posted a link to a self-obituary by Derek Miller, a Canadian blogger who died Tuesday of colorectal cancer.  He asked his family to post his last blog, about his own death, on the day he died.

Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive.

If you knew me at all in real life, you probably heard the news already from another source, but however you found out, consider this a confirmation: I was born on June 30, 1969 in Vancouver, Canada, and I died in Burnaby on May 3, 2011, age 41, of complications from stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer. We all knew this was coming.


Photo:  Vancouver Sun
 
You might wonder why I chose this particular story for my Moment of Sublime, but when you read his last blog, you'll understand.  It is about as life-affirming as anything you're ever again going to read.  My heart goes out to his family, but how lucky they were to have him in their lives.  RIP, Derek Miller.


Cartoon of the Week:

A Mike Luckovich cartoon
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