Author Archives: Michael Winship

Trump’s witch hunt

Remembering two politicians of conscience as the president dismantles democracy.

What a petty, venal, corrupt and foul thing it is. More media-generated homunculus than man, every day, Donald Trump behaves more and more like the cornered animal desperately trying to save itself by viciously biting in every direction, pulling out every nasty trick that has worked for him before. But now he gnashes his teeth on a global stage so vast that the pettiness of his vindictiveness is unconcealed, cast in a spotlight that diminishes every American. Continue reading

The ‘pure madness’ of our vigilante president

Trying to write about the current resident of the White House and his odious pals is like being trapped in a warehouse, condemned to assemble endless Ikea products without instructions or that little hexagon key doohickey. The work never ends, you have no idea what goes where, illogic reigns and there always are extra parts left over. A screw loose, for example . . . Continue reading

Our new St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

On Wednesday, St. Valentine’s Day, I had just printed out an article from the CNN website headlined, “Exclusive: Gun lobbyist helped write ATF official’s proposal to deregulate.” Minutes later came news of gunfire at a high school in Parkland, Florida. By nightfall, 17 were dead. Continue reading

Take a memo, Devin Nunes

Watching the saga of the Nunes Memo and the constant Republican attempts to protect and cover for Donald Trump and his minions, no matter how great the purported crime, I keep thinking back to a 2004 movie that didn’t get the attention it deserved. Continue reading

Nevertheless, she persisted—by the millions

Back in 2007, just a month and a half after I was first elected president of the Writers Guild of America East, we and our friends and colleagues at the Writers Guild West were plunged into a strike against the networks and studios. For me, it was one hell of an initiation. Continue reading

There’s a White House—and GOP—fungus among us

Cruelty and recklessness—those are the two sins of which attorney Joseph Welch accused Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954 when, having had enough of the Republican’s redbaiting smears, Welsh famously asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” Continue reading

The tax bill is the Grinchiest Christmas gift yet

In 1814, First Lady Dolley Madison helped hide the White House’s famous portrait of George Washington from the British when they burned and sacked the capital. But if the current pack of brigands raiding DC has its way, by the time they’re done, that painting and every other piece of government property that isn’t nailed down will be stolen and put up for sale on eBay. Continue reading

Trump’s FCC wants to kill a free and open Internet

To understand why the Internet’s in big trouble again, first know this about how Washington works these days. Continue reading

Moore is less: Alabama, the Senate and the nation will suffer

Amid all the craziness surrounding Roy Moore’s race for the US Senate and the seeming willingness of Alabama’s likely voters to send a man of such dubious merit and morality to Capitol Hill (where, admittedly, the bar already is pretty damned low), I keep thinking of a line from the Randy Newman song “Rednecks.” Continue reading

Revenge is a rotten way to run a country

Looking back at the last tumultuous year, to me, one of the saddest aspects of the Trump candidacy and presidency is that both in part were built from one of the basest of human impulses: revenge. Continue reading

For Trump, words are stupid things

In Britain late last week, Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, described Donald Trump as a “daft twerp.” Continue reading

One nation, in sickness and in health

Time and again, "repeal and replace" has proven to be a farce. Let's focus on the hard work of true reform and get health care for all.

A couple of things observed after successful surgery and a week in the hospital: For reasons seemingly unrelated to your operation, you will find bits of surgical tape attached to odd parts of your body for days after your return home. Continue reading

The evil that guns do

The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by . . . more guns.

In the United States, you will hear madmen insist that: 59 dead and 500 injured in Las Vegas are the price of freedom; 49 dead and 58 wounded in Orlando, Florida, are the price of freedom; 27 dead and 2 injured in Newtown, Connecticut, are the price of freedom. Continue reading

Calling foul on Donald Trump

The president's attacks on football players and the mayor of San Juan are a poisonous mixture of past resentments and racial hate.

A post-surgical convalescence has held me captive to the 24/7 news cycle more than usual so I’ve been far too immersed than is healthy in the concurrent sagas of Donald Trump versus the National Football League and the United States Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Hence a couple of thoughts about aspects of Trump’s life and worldview that may help connect some dots. Continue reading

This Sinclair-Tribune merger is a rotten deal for America

What’s to be done about ‘the most dangerous company most Americans haven’t heard of?’

Gather around, everyone, and let me tell you a story about rules. And greed and hypocrisy. Continue reading

Trump hides behind the storm

On 9/11, as the World Trade Center collapsed and the Pentagon was in flames, Jo Moore, an adviser to one of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Cabinet members, sent a short email to her boss’ press office: “It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors expenses?” Continue reading

Waiting for a grown-up in the White House

Donald Trump is turning the presidency into a day care center for his troubled inner child.

This presidency is unconstitutional. The Constitution says you have to be at least 35 to serve in our highest office and our incumbent tantrum-in-a-suit is emotionally 6 years old. Continue reading

We saw into your soul, Donald Trump, and there was nothing there

Enough. Continue reading

The Grand Old Party’s over. Make way for the Trump Party.

You’ve probably heard the story. It’s said that in ancient Rome, the emperor had a member of the Praetorian Guard who, amid all the pomp and all the accolades, would stand behind him and murmur: “Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.” Continue reading

Three Trump speeches and the death of a nation

Donald Trump is not a president but he plays one on TV. And a terrible one at that. Continue reading

The wayward ways of John McCain

John McCain, we sincerely are sorry for your illness and wish you solace and peace. We value and honor your distinguished career in public service, both as heroic Navy pilot and a member of Congress. Continue reading

Hail to our flounder-in-chief

Only half a year into the Trump administration and the narcissism, prevarication and corruption have our democracy in crisis.

Fish stinks from the head, as the ancient Greeks first said, and right now there’s a 250-pound flounder stinking up the White House and all those around the place. Continue reading

That night the lights went out

Forty years after the torrid summer of 1977 brought a massive blackout, New Yorkers confront a different kind of powerlessness.

Forty years ago this summer, the lights went out. Continue reading

Today, July 12, everyone can stand up for net neutrality

Imagine a world without Internet freedom. This week, a major protest on the web will show what it would be like.

Just over two years after the Federal Communications Commission, under President Obama, approved rules protecting a free and open Internet accessible to all, net neutrality is once again under fire. And once again, the public is being called upon to stand up and fight for freedom of speech. Continue reading

President Trump, this way to the egress

Less than six months into his presidency, it's clear that our chief executive is unfit for office.

A tune was running through my head all this past Fourth of July weekend, and it wasn’t “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” No, the earworm that afflicted me was the opening number from the 1980 musical Barnum, a Broadway extravaganza that glorified the master showman and consummate humbug P.T. Barnum, born July 5, 1810. Continue reading

Of Caesar, guns and trolls: The evil that men do

Over in New York’s Central Park, just a short distance from our offices, the curtain came down last week on The Public Theater’s controversial production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Controversial because the actor playing the assassinated Caesar looked and sounded like Donald Trump, right down to the overlong red necktie and clownish orange-blond nimbus of hair. Continue reading

Former Commish Michael Copps: ‘Maybe the worst FCC I’ve ever seen’

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” Continue reading

‘Stonewall’ Sessions leads the charge of the Trump Brigade

US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions spent Tuesday afternoon up on Capitol Hill trying out his new one-man show based on Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Continue reading

Comey got in the face of Trump’s ‘Godfather’ fantasy

If for some reason it wasn’t before, it’s become clear in the weeks since FBI director James Comey’s firing by the president and Comey’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to fancy himself the next George Washington, Abe Lincoln or even James Buchanan. No, Trump looks in the mirror in the morning and mistakenly sees Michael Corleone. You know, the version of Michael played by Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II—suave, smart and ruthless Mafia don. Continue reading

Be warned, Donald Trump: Ghosts are everywhere

Harry Truman understood the importance of allies in Europe. President Trump does not.

“The damned place is haunted, sure as shootin.’’ Continue reading

Kick Donald Trump’s circus out of town

I’m increasingly convinced that the real reason Ringling Bros. has gone out of business is that when it comes to circuses, the Trump White House was just too much competition. Continue reading

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