Author Archives: Michael Winship

The Internet won’t let Armenia go away

Controversy over two recent motion pictures sheds light on the Armenian genocide. Turkey is using cyberspace to try to kill the story.

Here’s a different kind of story about media and politics. Continue reading

In a time of madness, Sally Yates is a profile in courage

Let us now praise a class act. Continue reading

America’s health is in the hands of GOP frat boys

This just in: Health care is not a game. It’s a matter life or death for millions and millions of Americans. But you sure wouldn’t know it from watching Donald Trump and House Republicans celebrate their narrow victory on Thursday. Continue reading

Don’t know much about history

Gene Tunney, the champion prizefighter of the 1920s, wanted to promote an image of himself as a great intellectual. Trying to prove it, he always carried in his pocket a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Continue reading

At sea with Captain ‘Wrong Way’ Trump

Baby boomers like me fondly remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of childhood (and adulthood, for that matter—in their grown-up jokes and cultural references they presaged The Simpsons by a good 25 years and are still pretty hilarious). Continue reading

The waters of Trump’s Washington are dark and deep

Years ago, I worked for a wealthy television executive in Washington, DC, who had a posh Georgetown townhouse with a courtyard. Continue reading

The rich line up at the White House ATM

Some of the latest hooey uttered by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer—the man from whom a seemingly bottomless wellspring of hooey flows—was his pronouncement the other day that having so many fabulously wealthy men and women working in the White House is a good and wondrous thing. Continue reading

Trump builds a Watergate all his own

It’s déjà vu all over again. Continue reading

A couple of things about Jimmy Breslin

Last Wednesday, I sat down to write a piece about the late Jimmy Breslin, the newspaper columnist whose blunt yet eloquent and crafted prose captured New York and its environs as no one has since Damon Runyon. Continue reading

‘There’s a smell of treason in the air’

Last Monday’s hearing of the House Intelligence Committee was proof positive of the absolute need for both a special prosecutor and an independent, bipartisan commission with subpoena power to conduct a full investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian intelligence—as well as Russia’s multipronged attack on our elections and Trump’s business connections with that country’s oligarchs. Continue reading

Where free speech ends, ignorance begins

At the risk of sounding like a geezer complaining about “these kids today,” back in my college days, when it came to points of view we were unhesitatingly exposed to literature, teachers and on-campus speakers covering the ideological waterfront. Continue reading

From the mixed-up files of Mr. Donald J. Trump

Assume for a moment, as many have suggested, that the whole Trump/Putin/Russia calamity is a deliberate distraction, a deflection to shift our gaze from the destruction of government and democratic principles that Trump, Bannon and their cohorts—aided and abetted by a compliant Congress—seem intent on implementing. Continue reading

If Sessions had nothing to hide, why did he try to hide it?

People in power don't investigate themselves. Let's have a special prosecutor to connect the dots of the Russian connection.

There’s something out there that has a lot of people scared, but no one’s telling the full story. Yet. Continue reading

A Fish Called Bannon

Whenever I read or hear something White House chief strategist Steve Bannon says or thinks, I’m reminded of Otto, the character Kevin Kline plays in A Fish Called Wanda. You know, the self-proclaimed ex-CIA hitman who believes he’s super-intelligent but really, really isn’t. Continue reading

For America’s sake, we need answers about Russia now

These first weeks of the Trump White House have felt like one of those tennis ball machines run amok, volley after volley shooting at us in such rapid fire that often the only reaction is to grimace and duck. Outrage after outrage, imperial pronouncement after pronouncement, lie after lie; it’s just one damned, fast and furious, flawed thing after another. Continue reading

A great and joyful march, but it’s not enough

Saturday's protests were inspiring but just the first step in fighting back against those who would end democracy.

“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.” Continue reading

Yertle, the Commander-in-Chief

Dr. Seuss taught me to read. My older brother brought Seuss books home to me from the local public library because I was too young to have a library card of my own. Continue reading

None of this is normal; all of it is un-American

Hate crimes after Donald Trump's election and his appointment of Steve Bannon to the White House aren't the way to bring America back together.

A friend of mine who has dual Israeli-American citizenship tells the story of entering an elevator in Jerusalem shortly after a bullying right-wing government had taken over the country. Continue reading

If Trump had been at Gettysburg in 1863

Unbelievable. On Saturday, there was Donald Trump desperately trying to jump on the coattails of Abraham Lincoln by delivering a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the sixteenth president’s memorable address, one of the finest, most concise and genuine pieces of rhetoric in American history. Continue reading

Watching a dark debate from the City of Light

PARIS—If I believed there ever was any chance of escaping the US election by running away to France for a week of business meetings and a little off time, all hope was dashed the moment we stepped into a cab at Charles de Gaulle Airport and the driver immediately started grilling us about Donald Trump. Continue reading

At second debate, a monster calls

If there was the tiniest doubt left in your mind that Donald Trump holds no regard for the principles and ideals of a representative democracy—or that he views this country as anything more than a podium for his grandstanding ego, base dictatorial instincts and gutter mentality—Sunday night’s debate should have shot that shred of doubt straight to hell. Continue reading

You call that a debate?

Well, that was depressing. Continue reading

La Guardia’s the name and boy, could we use him now

Like Donald Trump, Fiorello La Guardia was supremely self-confident and brash, and loved publicity. But unlike Trump, this Republican backed up his big talk with action and genuine concern for his constituents.

One of the most awkward interviews I ever conducted in my life was with Marie La Guardia, widow of the late three-term mayor of New York City, the legendary Fiorello H. La Guardia. Continue reading

The tracks of John Boehner’s tears

There are a few certainties in this world: fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, John Boehner’s gotta cry. Remember how a year ago—just a year ago—the former speaker of the House wept when Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress? And then only a couple of days later announced he was stepping down as speaker? Continue reading

A good night for Hillary Clinton

Worries that Trump would bulldoze his opponent into submission were unfounded.

And so, after all the anticipation, the rampant sports metaphors and the breathless, sensationalized buildup (MSNBC’s headline in the minutes before the event was “Clinton/Trump Showdown”), the first debate is over. Continue reading

Greasing the outstretched palms of the candidates

The recipe could not be simpler. Mix cynicism with greed, quickly stir and voila! American politics and government served up on a platter to the highest bidder. Continue reading

Drugs and privilege: Big business, Congress and the EpiPen

Cash and carry has become nothing more than standard operating procedure in politics and government, and it’s wrecking the republic. The whole system is rotten to the core, corrupted by big business and special interests from the seventh son to the seventh son. Continue reading

Donald Trump has some explaining to do

First things first, Donald Trump: Release. Your. Tax. Returns. Continue reading

The Get-Off-My-Lawn Party meets in Cleveland

Oh dear. Watching C-SPAN and waiting for Tuesday’s roll call confirming Donald Trump’s nomination to begin, the house band there in the hall, led by GE Smith, formerly of Saturday Night Live, played covers of The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next To You” and other golden oldies. Many rhythm-impaired white people were dancing in the aisles and stands, a lot of them badly. And they kept doing it every time there was a lull in the action and the music started up again, like a high school 50th reunion run amok. Continue reading

I don’t know much but I know why black lives matter

Philando Castile and I share birthdays in July. This year, I celebrated mine with friends and family. But Castile’s friends and family are mourning his death, killed by a police officer in the St. Paul, Minnesota, suburbs after he was pulled over for a broken taillight. Continue reading

The Democrats ignore the 500-pound lobbyist in the room

In all of the 35 single-spaced pages of the Democratic Party’s platform draft, there is just one mention of lobbying. Continue reading

The GOP’s love affair with its ‘earthquake in a box’

Breaking up is hard to do and Republicans just can't seem to quit their presumptive presidential candidate.

Republicans, we know what you’re going through. Continue reading