Apparently Thursday is now bomb-blast day on the busy calendar of amateur President Donald Trump.
Neither violent action interfered with Trump’s weekend golf holidays—at taxpayer expense—at his private and exclusive millionaires’ club in Florida.
But both attacks left so many questions. Will the second aggression in eight days boost Trump’s puny poll numbers? Does he have a comprehensive Middle East plan?
And what, pray tell, do the cable news pundits say?
“The most praise he’s gotten is for the . . . strikes on Syria,” Margaret Carlson told Chris Matthews on Hardball on MSNBC Thursday evening.
Thursday’s big blast in Afghanistan, she said, “is a chest-thumping moment.”
Matthews agreed, with a caveat.
“He’s on a tear right now,” Matthews said of Trump. “It’s a little scary.”
On CNN’s AC-360, David Gergen said Trump is dropping hints along with his bombs.
“A new sheriff is in town, for better or for worse,” Gergen told host Anderson Cooper. “He’s tougher. He’s going to be more muscular . . . People are going to start asking ‘Is this what happens when you have a lot of generals in the government?’”
Those signals are also for nations not yet attacked, according to Charles Krauthammer on Fox News Channel.
“We’re trying to send a message particularly to the North Koreans, perhaps also the Iranians,” Krauthammer said Thursday on Special Report.
On CNN, retired Major General James (Spider) Marks told Erin Burnett on OutFront about the force of the explosion which, the U.S. government said, was aimed at caves and tunnels in a lightly-populated region used by ISIS terrorists.
“It’s a concussive blast,” Marks said, “so everybody underneath that thing is either obliterated, ears are bleeding, or they’re completely destroyed.”
No report was broadcast Thursday night about a death toll or other effects of the bomb, which includes nine tons of explosives and is the most powerful explosive short of nuclear weapons ever used by the United States.
Such acts usually gain praise for a leader, at least at the beginning of hostilities. That seemed to occur to Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, a guest of Joy Reid on All In on MSNBC.
“Donald Trump has remarkable intuition,” Schmidt said, “native intelligence, almost, on how to please the crowd and how to get applause.”
Fox and MSNBC Agree on Lousy Airline Service
The liberal MSNBC and the conservative Fox News Channel rarely agree on much. But one such subject of accord is the rotten way airlines treat their customers.
This was clear Thursday morning after attorney Thomas Demetrio held a news conference in Chicago on behalf of Dr. David Dao, who was dragged off a Louisville-bound United Airlines flight on Sunday at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
When United didn’t get enough volunteers to leave the flight so its employees could take over four sold seats, security police pulled Dao out. He suffered a broken nose, two lost teeth and a concussion, said the lawyer, who also said Dao plans to sue after recovering from surgery.
Viewers were troubled this week by cellphone videos of the incident. They recorded the man’s cries and his bleeding face and the clear objections from his horrified fellow passengers.
Thursday’s news conference took up most of the 11 a.m. hour on all three cable news stations, without commercials.
After they cut away, the hosts and guests had much to say.
“This is just absolutely horrendous behavior,” said Tom Costello on MSNBC. “What we have seen here may be a turning point . . . in the way that airlines treat their customers . . . This is truly such an egregious case. Airline customer service these days is very often atrocious.”
On Fox, anchor Jon Scott on Happening Now seemed to agree.
“It is almost never pleasant flying these days,” he said. “The planes are jammed. The counters are jammed. This could have happened to anybody.”
United offered only $800 worth of travel vouchers to tempt volunteers to be bumped. Had it offered more money, Scott said, more volunteers would have peacefully left the plane.
If Tucker Carlson of Fox ever wants to raise money for charity, here’s an idea.
He can sell or auction off opportunities for viewers to hit him in the face with a whipped-cream pie on live television.
Carlson showed again why he deserves this on Monday with his hostile and disrespectful interview of Rep. Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Carlson began by postulating that Trump’s missile attack on Russian ally Syria proves without a doubt that Moulton and others are wrong for accusing Trump of favoring Russia, which hacked the American election and worked to get Trump elected over Hillary Clinton last November.
“Your view of this doesn’t square with reality,” Carlson told Moulton. “Aren’t you a little embarrassed now that that’s obvious?”
When Moulton tried to answer on the split screen, Carlson went into his already tired routine of making faces—mostly frowns and smarmy smirks and the crinkling of his eyes in disbelief. It’s easy to do this when your guest is at a remote location and can’t see you. Carlson should try sticking out his tongue and twirling his fingers around his ears.
When Moulton suggested Trump might have attacked Syria to divert attention from the scandal involving Russia and the Trump campaign, Carlson began to giggle and speak in a shrill, incomprehensible voice like that of a silly little girl or of a man who just inhaled helium.
Then Moulton dared to suggest that the Trump administration fill empty jobs in the State Department as a way to better understand Russia.
Carlson interrupted him again.
“I’m sorry, I think this is getting crazy,” Carlson muttered, under his breath, loud enough for viewers to hear but not for Moulton to respond. Carlson’s goal, as usual, was not only to show his guest “I disagree with you” but to add “and I disrespect you.”
It’s a shame Carlson doesn’t invite more of his guests into his studio to be insulted by his cheap shots face to face. Perhaps one of them would speak to him across the table in a way that is more up close and personal.
Or maybe they could just smack him in his pretentious, preppy mug with a whipped-cream pie.