by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Send in your suggested quote. Here’s ours: “I too have a blind eye I’d like you to see…”

Starting Five

Out Of Sessions

You have two choices once you accept Donald Trump as your lord and savior: You either do everything he wants you to do, i.e. express complete fealty, or you eventually end up in the gutter. Beside your career.

Former Trump sycophant and U.S. Senator from the great state of Alabama discovered that the hard way when, as newly installed Attorney General, he recused himself from the Mueller investigation. For 20 odd months since, the guillotine has been hovering over the back of Sessions’ neck.

Today it came down faster than you can say, “You’re a rude and terrible person.” Trump will install Matt Whitaker, a former tight end on the Iowa Hawkeyes who the president hopes will serve as a lead blocker agains Robert Mueller.

Whitaker got here by being an outspoken critic of the Robert Mueller investigation and offering a solution: bleeding it dry by withholding funding.

Kind of funny how less than 24 hours after the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, Trump fires the dude who was the firewall against Trump firing Mueller. In the immortal words of George Costanza, “WE’RE TAKING IT UP A NOTCH!”

2. Acosta Accosted

Here’s CNN’s Jim Acosta versus President Donald Trump, the high—or low- —light of yesterday’s 86-minute White House press briefing. In our opinion, there are no winners here.

Trump is being Trump, of course (“Oh, here we go…”) but Acosta isn’t exactly being respectful when he lectures the president on the difference between an “invasion” and “immigrants.” No one likes a pedant (trust us, we’re as pedantic as anyone we know).

We don’t agree with the the fear-mongering the White House is engaged in (and you’d be wise to note that yesterday, for the first time in more than a week, Fox News had no footage of the caravan; hmm, wonder why not?), but we think Acosta had more than enough Q&A time by the time the president cut him off. There were dozens of other reports in the room who likely wanted to ask a question, too. It’s one thing to request a follow-up, it’s another to clutch the mic so long that the home viewer wonders if you’re about to announce that “Now we’d like to do a deep track from our first album.”

(The Magic Loogie video: Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Baaaaaaaack and to the left.)

Acosta simply refused to surrender the microphone. He’d already asked a question or three and maybe if he wasn’t satisfied with the answers, that’s too bad. I’m not in the habit of defending Donald Trump, as you know, but what was the president supposed to do? If Trump had simply refused to answer any question by Acosta, I’d take his side. But Acosta actually got the president to react to three different questions, or at least questions interrupted. This wasn’t a one-on-one.

At a certain point the president is allowed to move on. And it is the president, not Jim Acosta, who sets those parameters. By refusing to relinquish the mic, Acosta was hijacking the presser. And from what I’ve seen, he’s not about to apologize for that. That’s why CNN loves him. He’s a bulldog, albeit a polite and respectful bulldog.

But he often treats pressers as an extended debate between himself and Trump (or Sarah Sanders). From our vantage point, there’s a wide spectrum between being the president’s lap dog and refusing to play by the rules, as he was.

Acosta left the president little choice but to step away from his own mic, as that poor White House intern tried to intervene. And my Twitter timeline, which is full of journalists, are all taking Acosta’s side. But I’m not. He asked his questions, and Trump rudely and condescendingly, as is his nature, gave his answers. At some point Trump gets to move on. And Acosta doesn’t get to say when.

As for Sarah Sanders later justifying the revocation of Acosta’s pass because he put his hands on the female staffer (and Corey Lewandowski, of all people, tweeting out his support of this censure) we’ll roll the tape and send it over to Dean Blandino in the replay booth. Still, if you peruse both videos, you’ll notice the White House version is chop-shopped. Wonder why…

Let’s be clear, because I can already see the sparks shooting up from Susie B.’s keyboard. I don’t think the White House has any justification to suspend Acosta’s hard pass (but then I don’t think they have any justification to fire Sessions, or to do most of the things they do every day), but I don’t think Acosta adhered to decorum, either. He was going to continue asking questions until someone forced him to stop. He, too, was out of control.

3. Borderline Insanity

Here’s the drill that we’ve all become accustomed to…

Where? Thousand Oaks, Calif., a nightclub called Borderline.

How Many?  12 dead

Who? Not Honduran immigrants, so that’s a relief.

What Next? Thoughts and Prayers; President Trump praises law enforcement in a tweet and since the gunman was Caucasian, makes no mention of him; “It’s Too Soon To Talk About Guns” timer is automatically reset.

4. Overdue Book

Saturday night’s sub-freezing Florida State-Notre Dame data point just got a little more interesting. Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book, the nation’s completion percentage leader at 74.5%, will apparently miss the data point with, as Al Michaels would put it, “a rib.”

How seriously injured is Book? Will he also miss the Syracuse data point, or is the coaching staff holding him out of FSU (a very winnable game) so that he’ll be ready for Syracuse, a more daunting foe, at Yankee Stadium on November 17? And will it be all Brandon Wimbush come Saturday, or will Brian Kelly sprinkle in a little of freshman Phil Jurkovec?

Stay tuned.

5. Two Generations Of Dickersons

You never hear them mention it on CBS This Morning, but host John Dickerson is the scion of a White House reporter (Hooray, Nepotism! Part 674) who had plenty of experience covering a president who would ultimately resign due to a scandal. Dickerson, who formerly hosted Face The Nation on CBS on Sunday mornings, is the son of Nancy Dickerson, a pioneer among women in on-air political coverage.

Nancy with John Chancellor, Harry Reasoner, and I don’t know who that dude on the left is…

Nancy Dickerson, who died in 1997 at the age of 70, is truly worthy of one of those slow-paced, historical CBS Sunday Morning profiles. A school teacher in Milwaukee, Nancy Hanschmann set off on her own to Washington, D.C.. with the dream of becoming a broadcaster. A single lady, she landed an associate producer’s gig at…Face The Nation.

In 1960 she became CBS’ first female correspondent (she covered Kennedy’s corpse being returned to Andrews Air Force base) and then from 1963-1970 worked for NBC. In 1962 she married a wealthy industrialist, C. Wyatt Dickerson, and they had two sons. They lived on a 46-acre estate in McLean, Va., called Merry wood, that overlooked the Potomac.

Dickerson then went on to work for PBS and produce independent pieces. She is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. We can understand why her son doesn’t want to bring up his mom’s name too much, but she is sort of a legend in the biz, particularly when it comes to women who cover the White House.

Music 101


Sometimes it’s best to cleanse your musical palate with a simple garage rock classic. Here’s Green Day with a simple four-chord ditty (A, D, B minor, E, repeat) from the year 2000.

Remote Patrol

Bucks at Warriors

10:30 p.m. TNT

Get me to the Greek….Freak

Okay, even I’m interested in this one. Giannis and Dante take on the Splash Brothers. A moment of silence, please, for Milwaukee beat writers who have to type Antetokounmpo and DiVincenzo in all their gamers. These two squads are a combined 18-3 and the Bucks are the most exciting new super team in the league (I’m far more intrigued by them than the LeLakers).

9 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. a few data points

    1. The women in Tweet Me Right said that it was her father talking to her.
    2. Someone pointed out that Sessions letter wasn’t dated as if it was just sitting on a desk waiting to be released.
    3. I agree with you on Acosta. He had his time and he made a scene. Let the mic be passed around and then ask another questions (Granted, he’s probably not getting another chance).

  2. Also, barring Acosta from the White House is an offense that FAR outweighs him being an argumentative mike-hog, so I don’t think equating the events as “they both were in the wrong” is accurate.

    • Wally, if you read my last graf, I specifically wrote that I don’t agree with the White House barring him. They were both in the wrong referred to their behavior in the moment. I’m not a fan of having to re-explain what I already wrote, and I know that sounds boorish and mean of me to write, but put yourself in my place. I already anticipated this argument, answered it in the column, and am now re-answering it. Appreciate your comments, always. Just think on this one I already accounted for what you are saying.


      • Thanks. I disagree with your own assessment of what you wrote. You were in fact critical of the WH’s decision, but the bulk of what you wrote is about Acosta, and read as a whole, the item reads as a “both in the wrong” judgment. My personal opinion is that the WH’s actions were significantly worse; if that is also your opinion, the item doesn’t read that way. But I appreciate the back-and-forth.

  3. OK sure, Acosta was being a bit aggressive/rude but my god, the man DESERVES THE G’DAMN PURPLE HEART for that duty the past 2 years! Can you IMAGINE subjecting your psyche to that INSANE ASYLUM day after day? Being LIED TO DAY AFTER DAY IN THE FACE by that worthless female mouthpiece? To hear/read how you & your profession is the “enemy of the people” DAY AFTER DAY? No wonder he acts like that!

    Plus, that we are talking about a reporter when the REAL story is the god damn EMBARASSMENT of that office & the country by the sunbed-overbaked, raccoon-eyed CRAZY MAN? WTF?! My god, even one minute of that rambling, nonsensical, pathetic dribble from a buffoon is making THE REST OF THE WORLD LAUGH THEIR ASSES OFF! We should check – I bet the world is half-assless today!

  4. I meant to tell you yesterday that I giggled over your “Hep Alien” reference. I’m watching some GG again these days & earlier this week Lorelai & Rory got ‘back together’ ( I HATED when they were apart!) & Rory’s back in Yale- whoo-hoo! 🙂 Of course, Luke & Lorelai’s break-up is coming soon (sniff, sniff) & then that horrible marriage to “Christopher”! I may skip that episode.

    One more thing – I hear that one Duke player is a “mini-LeBron”! I just may have to watch some Duke games this year since I’m not watching the original (at least not till the All-Star game). 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • How wonderful you discovered MH, John. Thanks. Like you, we’re here every weekday morning, our name is John, our mom is our hero, and we live in Manhattan. Keep up the good work!

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