The Upside of Trump

First question: What’s the point of airing coverage of the Alex Murdaugh murder trial? Other than scintillating scandal. Those of us who don’t live in the “low country” of South Carolina really have no interest … well let me rephrase that: No dog in this fight. And, before sentencing the former attorney to two life terms, the judge — a black man — noted (with a slight vernier of disgust) other defendants that are unable to afford the high priced lawyers Murdaugh has, got the death sentence for far less — another example of white privilege.

Then there is the fact that people are murdered every day and the cases that go to trial don’t get any coverage, outside of their local areas. In 2021, the year the Murdaughs were murdered, there were approximately 22,900 homicides in the U.S. What makes the Murdaughs so special?

Nothing really. They just made for a popular (I think) Netflix documentary series. If you’re tuning into Netflix and you don’t know what to watch, try Fauda or Capitani, the latter coming to us from Luxemburg and the former from Israel. There are others like Peaky Blinders — and if you’ve never binged on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, back-to-back like one continuous show … take two weeks’ vacation and do it.

Netflix has so many other broadcast network TV series, like Stranger Things and Madam Secretary, not to mention all the movies — very good movies like The Sting, Road to Perdition, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Don’t look Up — there is so much on Netflix that is far better than something about a rich asshole getting his comeuppance.

Anyway … if you’re looking for palace intrigue, dirty double dealing, back-stabbing two-faced grifters — divas — plus a few who have repugnant policy ideas, but have at least enough integrity to oppose the evil-doers, the best reality series can be had watching CNN or MSNBC, or both: the $1.5 billion dollar lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems versus Fox News.

The head of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch admitted he knew the “stolen election” conspiracy theory was a lie, but they promoted it anyway because that’s what their viewers want to see and hear and therefore good for business.

It’s always been about the bottom line with Rupert Murdoch, and we can assume that can be said about his son, the chairman and CEO of Fox News, Lachlan Murdoch.

One of the best quotes though belongs to the top host on Fox News, Tucker Carlson. The most elitist among the elites, Carlson wrote in an email, about Donald J. Trump, “I hate him passionately.” And about the entire Trump presidency, “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”

Little Mister Carlson isn’t the only Fox News host that knowingly lied to the Fox News audience. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, although some people suggest she isn’t very bright and believed what she was told by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell … seriously? Powell said her source for all the false claims about the stolen election and the alleged malfeasance by Dominion Voting Systems came from a woman who got the information from something, “… like time travel in a semi-conscious state.” The source also said the wind told her she was a ghost, but the source doesn’t believe it. She also claims she has been “internally decapitated,” whatever the hell that means.

If you saw the final (we hope) installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, you saw a chicken-like dinosaur get its head bitten off and the body runs around — headless — to everyone’s delight. So we can imagine this unnamed source running around in her fevered dreams as a character in a Washington Irving story or a Warren Zevon song …

I like that song, “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” and I’m proud to say I saw Zevon perform it live  — twice. Once with the rhythm section from Little Feat, Kenny Gradney (bass) and Richie Hayward (Drums). Some concerts are more perfect than others.

Back to the current reality …

You can find on YouTube any number of videos showing just how out of touch with reality MAGA Cult members are, starting with a series of them by Jordan Klepper of the Daily Show, “Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse.”

Leading us back to Tucker Carlson’s once hidden email, “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”

Well I beg to differ. We got a lot of great segments from Jordan Klepper (like the one below), not to mention that of SNL.

This is somewhat connected: We’ve been hearing a lot about the investigations into Trump by the Department of Justice, the Manhattan district attorney and the Fulton County, Georgia Grand Jury, which recommended charges be brought against a number of people, in the investigation Fulton County DA, Fani Willis … To hear all of these latest reports one would think Trump’s goose is cooked.

In the two state probes they have many documents that implicate Trump or, more directly prove Trump is guilty and the federal probe — make that two probes — the DOJ investigators and attorneys have plenty of documents.

Trump has been out of office for over two years now and not a single felony charge has been leveled against him, not one. So, as an increasingly pessimistic and cynical skeptic, all I can say is, I’ll believe it when I see it.

We’ve been told that no one is above the law and that we should all be treated equally, but already we’re seeing the ex-president getting much more leniency than an average person who is under suspicion of multiple felonies.

Show me he is indicted on any charges he faces, then I will cheer.