Demise of TV Satire?

DATELINE:  Trump’s Attack on Humor

trumpet the New Archie Bunker?

President Trump wants to shut down Saturday Night Live because it is an “Enemy of the People.”

In his view, no views should be expressed on TV unless they are kind, balanced, and fair to him.

Of course, television has a long history of unpopular, brutal satire. The shows include That Was the Week That Was. TWTWTW, as it was known, or TW3 in some circles, was half-an hour of unremitting political jokes that skewed Republican Barry Goldwater during 1964. It was on in prime-time and was pre-empted every week, almost, by paid TV commercials from the GOP. They eventually saw it canceled.

The other shocker was The Smothers Brothers Hour, on Sunday nights that was sixty minutes of unremitting anti-Nixon, anti-Watergate cronies in the Roger Stone archetype.

It was so virulently anti-Nixon and his dirty-tricks-team that Nixon put it on the Enemies List and had his influential friends at the network cancel the show.

All in the Family started out as a brutal satire of crypto-Nazi bigotry in the Queens suburbs of New York. It was enormously popular during the 1970s, but its satiric bite was lessened sharply when Archie Bunker, the bigot, became a lovable American hero. Embraced as a delightful example of American parochialism, he flourished, a fan favorite of conservative America.

During the same years came SNL.  It was out of prime time, even reveling in the idea with the Not Ready for Prime Time players, a group of future movie stars who did satiric barbs.

SNL still lives, over forty years later, and has become nastier in its attacks on Trump, which incenses the President. He wants it investigated and stopped.

If there had been a radio show in Germany in the 1930s, Hitler would have had it raided and had its comedians sent to a concentration camp. Indeed, Jack Benny made a comedy movie about such an idea in his greatest film called To Be or Not To Be. ICE may yet raid SNL.

So Trump is in fine company as he awaits impeachment and prison for his dubious unconstitutional, uneducated, and anti-satire demands to close down freedom of speech.

Dark Legacy: CIA & Bush Take Their Lumps

DATELINE:  Who Dunnit?

Bush:Kennedy

In the week that Donald Trump released the long-hidden Kennedy Assassination documents from the National Archives, we decided that revelations never quite meet the theories spawned. The hidden truth was never put into a government memo.

So, we took in one of the most outlandish and yet frightening of all Kennedy murder conspiracy films: Dark Legacy.  This is a three-Hankey movie: John Hankey wrote, directed, and produced this disturbing documentary and conspiracy theory.

This time it is CIA-centered George Bush, the 1st one to be president, who in the 1960s worked for and led (as J. Edgar Hoover called it) ‘some misguided anti-Castro people.’ Bush later was director of the CIA, but his family had dark ties to CIA director Allen Dulles (fired by John Kennedy months before the assassination). Dulles was the fox in the chicken coop when he was appointed to the Warren Commission.

The coincidences pile up about who knew whom. We waited breathlessly to find out that Oswald took in a monthly allotment from the FBI, and that Jack Ruby was on Richard Nixon’s congressional staff in 1947.

The film borders on accusing the CIA of trying to embarrass J. Edgar by putting one of his operatives into the center of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

We think it unlikely the recent papers released under Trump’s order will embarrass the Bush family—or even Ted Cruz’s father (allegedly an associate of Oswald). However, the dots connecting so many famous names will rattle you.

This little conspiracy documentary borders on overkill, but however improbable the conclusions, the facts hint at possibility.

Deflatable or Indefatigable? Tom Brady Undone

DATELINE: Coming UndoneFeatured image

Tom Brady only looks like the 40-year old virgin.

In truth, he seems to be as corrupt as some of the notorious cases of recent years. Oh, he has not murdered anyone like a former teammate. He has not abused his children with a hickory stick, like one infamous imbecile. He has not knocked his wife out with a haymaker, like an elevator going down. Instead, he has betrayed a generation.

Not good for a cultural icon.

No, Brady refused to share his emails or to cooperate with the investigation. After all, it was not a Congressional subpoena. It was not even like the D.A. of Fall River sending detectives to his fancy mansion with a search warrant.

Brady seems to share a great deal with Richard Nixon, the Watergate President. Brady is the Deflategate Quarterback. There has been a white wash at the Patriot stadium.

If Brady had any political aspirations, they went up in smoke today, like a missed visit to the White House.

Besmirched, bewildered, befuddled, and now tainted with the hot air of a pigskin under the needle, Tom Brady begins to look like every other two-bit, egomaniacal superstar athlete. He is above the law, above the fray, and above recrimination. Well, at least in his own little mind.

We have always loved Tom Brady, but perfection seemed to irk us. Now we have a hero with feats of clay.

Alas, the Hall of Fame within his reach may be limited to Patriot Place after this mess.

Tom, say it ain’t so. Well, he can, but who’d believe him?