Author Archives: Michael Winship

Mayhem is our president

I know that some find it odious to compare Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler, that doing so violates what’s known as Godwin’s Law. That’s the idea first put forward in 1990 by author Mike Godwin that morphed into the notion that in an argument, whoever first compares someone or something to Hitler, loses. Continue reading

The sound of the world’s smallest violin

I yearn for a society in which civility rules, but these are not civil times.

A number of years ago, at the height of the whole Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky insanity, a certain someone figuring prominently in the right’s exploitation of the scandal occasionally lunched with friends of theirs at a restaurant where I hung out on a near daily basis. Continue reading

Trump’s mean boy nation

Our “I alone can fix it” president has gotten us in another fix, all right. Continue reading

When it comes to the economy, Trump keeps two sets of books

The May jobs numbers were good last week—so swell, in fact, that our putative president couldn’t resist hinting about them in an early morning tweet last Friday morning, a major breach of confidentiality and protocol that instantly affected Treasury yields—basically, the interest rate at which the government borrows money. Continue reading

Point the trigger finger at everyone else

Friday afternoon, May 18, I was walking across my West Village neighborhood running some errands. Here and there my path crossed with college students in graduation gowns from NYU, Columbia and The New School. Continue reading

Mob rule at the White House

I blame Tony Soprano. Continue reading

Lest we ever forget, three lists for Donald Trump

You may know this famous old political joke, but please indulge my current fantasy. Continue reading

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