During the relatively dead news cycle between Christmas and New Years, most media outlets choose to burn up some space with retrospectives on the year that’s ending. Politico is no exception, and one of their features this week was dedicated to people who had found themselves engaged in Twitter feuds with the President, with an eye toward how well they had “survived” the encounter. They chose to highlight Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, Kathy Griffin, Alan Dershowitz, John Podesta and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Rather than a series of survivor stories, most of these (with one notable exception) seem to be people who didn’t really come away as badly as the media might have liked to portray them. Take, for example, Mika Brzezinski. After the countless times when she has blatantly questioned the President’s sanity, fitness for office and moral character, it can’t have come as a surprise that the Donald Trump Twitter account would set its sights on her. You probably recall the inflammatory tweet about her having plastic surgery before she and Joe Scarborough visited Trump once in Florida. Turns out that she wasn’t all that put off.
But Brzezinski, at the center of the entire controversy, says she wasn’t deeply offended at the time. “The ones about the facelift were humorous,” she said. “I wasn’t on the same page as everyone else. I feel embarrassed if people think I was embarrassed. I got Botox. I’m very open about that stuff. It didn’t hurt me.”
She responded with a photograph of a Cheerios box with the cereal’s slogan, “Made for little hands,” hoping to get under the president’s thin skin with a joke aimed at one of his well-known physical insecurities.
Brzezinski does go on to say that she gets “more hate” now than she’s ever had in her life and makes sure to take time off to decompress. But the article also notes that Morning Joe’s ratings saw a positive spike after that exchange, so I suppose it all balances out in the end.
Podesta found Trump’s Twitter assaults to be “really undermining and demeaning to our democracy,” but also noted that he’s got a lot of “scar tissue” by now so he’s used to it. Alan Dershowitz had a very different experience. The liberal commentator apparently lost a lot of friends for daring to say that maybe the President didn’t really need to be impeached and nothing exposed thus far amounts to offenses worthy of an obstruction of justice charge. Some of his closest allies supposedly agreed with him, but also wished he would “just shut the **** up” about it.
“My really, really close friends say, ‘You’re 100 percent right in your analysis, but can’t you just shut the f–k up and not talk at all,’” he said. “They tell me, ‘This is a time for selective silence.’ My nephew thinks I’m helping keep in office one of the greatest dangers in American history. I tell him I’m just standing up for principle. He tells me that I don’t have to stand up so loud.”
So his friends are arguing for “selective silence” instead of saying something positive (or at least not blatantly negative) about Trump. That’s an interesting little vignette which offers a glimpse into the liberal hive mind for you.
One of the worst examples offered is that of Kirsten Gillibrand. After she demanded that Trump step down from office earlier this month he, of course, fired back. She claims that this led to problems in explaining to her children what was happening, but it also gave her the opportunity to fire off a response about how women will not be silenced. As I opined at the time, that was probably one of the greatest political moments of the year for her, building up her credentials with the #Resist movement as she obviously ponders a 2020 presidential run.(Even if she’s still denying it today.)
Out of the entire list, the only “victim” who really seemed to have taken any damage was Kathy Griffin. Following her photo shoot where she was pictured holding a representation of the President’s decapitated, bloody head, she still blames Trump’s tweets for the total collapse of her career in the United States. She’s contrasted with Brzezinski, who was, “backed up by Democrats and Republicans alike.” Griffin was dumped by everyone in the country and, according to her, she still can’t book a gig anywhere in America. But don’t feel too badly for her. She just completed a European tour where, she says, the audiences, “were thrilled to have someone come over and make fun of Trump.”
Isn’t that nice? Who knows… at this rate she might be able to book a tour of North Korea over the winter.