Was Meryl Streep right?

And here we are talking about Meryl Streep’s acceptance (of an award) speech at the Golden Globe Award that voiced her disapproval at the bullying way a disabled reporter, who had earlier criticized Donald Trump, had been put down. According to the Washington Post, not a journal deemed as being friendly toward Trump, in its piece: “Meryl Streep was right. Donald Trump did mock a disabled reporter”, it begun by stating “President-elect Donald Trump fired back at Meryl Streep Monday morning after the actress denounced his campaign rhetoric during a speech at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night. Streep ripped Trump for his obvious mockery of a journalist’s physical disability in late 2015, and Trump responded by once again denying that he meant to make fun of the reporter’s condition”.

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Let me make a couple of things clear, Meryl Street is a great actress and no doubt had deserved her award. In most of my more modest award ceremonies I have attended, award winners don’t get the opportunity to speak let alone voice their political opinion, so fair game for doing this before a vast audience that no doubt she would be expected to influence and on a matter she obviously feels strongly about. As for Mr. Trump, as with many of his ad hoc comments, they are not in my view appropriate and while I accept his explanation, he would have done better, in my view, to say something more conciliatory and penitential, and less “sour grapes”.

Like much reporting, there is an alternative narrative. One is titled: “Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things”. It begun by stating: “(ANTIMEDIA) Los Angeles, CA — World-famous Hollywood actress Meryl Streep recently made an earth-shattering discovery — one she shared with the rest of the world during her speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony Sunday evening: the government is capable of doing terrible things. Since Streep delivered her anti-Trump speech, she has received heaping praise from the media and the internet at large. She is being lauded for speaking out against injustice and Trump’s intolerable, exclusionary ideology. Like much of Hollywood and the left-wing branch of the corporate media, Meryl Streep has embraced a newfound sense of righteousness and political activism in the era of President Donald Trump. As she informed viewers on Sunday after condemning Trump’s infamous decision to mock a disabled reporter: “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” She is painfully correct and is right to be concerned about Trump’s impending reign. But missing from her opinion Sunday evening (and over the last eight years) was her indignation at outgoing President Obama’s own disrespect, violence, and bullying. Though the media establishment has been content to downplay the Nobel peace prize-winning president’s innumerable acts of violence — including the deaths of hundreds of children via U.S. drone strikes, the arming of radical terror groups in Syria for the purposes of geopolitical posturing, and his support for Saudi Arabia’s bloody, human rights-violating assault on Yemen — speaking out against violence and disrespect has once again become trendy in the face of Donald Trump.

It is apparent that along with many Hollywood celebrities, Meryl Streep does not like Donald Trump. The incident referred to in her speech is a solid example of why. She is entitled to her opinion, as are we all. But I can’t help feeling that she has taken one set of concerns and ignore another set, as do we all. Just before writing this, a friend posted on her Facebook page about an event taking place across the country with the theme “Build bridges and not walls”, which incidentally is at the centre of my community activist mantra. What is significant is it will be held on January 20th (the day Trump is inaugurated) and while it is not publicized as being “political” it is a protest with banners and there is an anti-Trump narrative. Any notion like making America great again, and the case for building walls in the first place, is unsurprisingly missing.

This brings me to the question of Fake News and my New Year Resolution. While Fake News is more about peddling misinformation in order to gain in some way or another, it bothers me that possibly much of the news we receive has an element of fakeness. Selection of material is an example. While Streep is keen to cite one item of news that shows Trump us for being a bully, there are many other items that arguably show Obama as being a bully as my second reference argues. What is painfully, all too often missing, is balance and perspective. When someone close to me suggested I cite reports that back up my prejudices and sometimes can’t be backed up, I had to concur. While for 2017, I will still be putting forward my views by way of a “corrective” as I have here, my undertaking is not to misuse my position by citing references that can’t be satisfactorily backed up or does not meet the “true, necessary and kind” criteria which back in my early blogger days I held up as a principle I wanted to hold on to.

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2 thoughts on “Was Meryl Streep right?

  1. Glen Hague says:

    What is annoying about the Trump mockery of a disabled reporter is that he refuses to admit what he did or to apologise. To say it wasn’t his intention when the whole demeaning performance is on camera just doesn’t wash.He is like a sulky teenager in the way that he can’t bring himself to say sorry. This is not the only exhibition of immature behaviour on his part. When he talks about how ‘great’ he is at everything, how he ‘knows’ more than everyone else, how ‘great’ everything is going to be, all without ever going into any detail, it’s like a comedy sketch except that it’s for real. When he reacts on twitter like an over-sensitive adolescent at every criticism of him, you cannot but worry how someone this childish, this sensitive and this dishonest is going to behave, once he has the reins of power in his hands!

  2. I have to concur; I agree with most of this Glen. In my lifetime, I have found the number of those who can and do admit when they are in the wrong and say sorry to be the minority. My dad was one such person and for that I will always be grateful. Mr Trump, on the other hand, isn’t of that ilk. While I stand by my comments and feel the liberals are often barking up the wrong tree and not barking up bigger righter ones, it is still more than regrettable and not a little bit worrying that Trump has taken the stance he has.

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