Author Archives: Michael Winship

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

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