Friday, October 07, 2016

Of Stern And Trump

The history of Donald Trump and Howard Stern, of appearances by the real estate mogul on the radio program of the perpetually overrated shock jock, is one of using and being used.  And in at least one instance, it is a case of cowardice on the part of Stern himself.

You can't fully blame Stern for wanting to set the record crooked about a controversial conversation he had with a man who may become the next president, whose vindictiveness and authoritarian tendencies have been on full display.

"Nothing! I said nothing new," protested Stern on his program on October 3.  "And so I emailed Trump and I wanted to explain to hin, uh, that is not what I said.

But it, uh, was what he said.  Stern was exorcised by the CNN headline reading "Howard Stern says Trump backed Iraq War in 2002."  Unfortunately for Stern and Trump, the day after the presidential debate, the radio host had in fact stated on his program

I was up late watching the debate.   I hung in until about 10:30 almost, heard my name mentioned, and I went to sleep. It was kinda thrilling. Yeah, oh yeah. Well, it always comes up because, you know, Trump was on our show years ago and said yeah, you know, he was kind of for the Iraq war, us going into Iraq. He was saying he really wasn’t for it, and so they were forced to mention my name. Yeah. It was cool. Good promotion.

The Hill's Joe Concha, spinning the story in Trump's favor, wrote "later interviews before the war and as it began show Trump voicing a need to 'wait for the United Nations' before invading and stating 'the war is a mess' in its first week of operations."

But as Fred Kaplan pointed out, on October 10, 2002 Trump's current opponent argued on the floor of the US Senate

... the question is, how do we do our best to both diffuse the threat Saddam Hussein poses to his people, the region, including Israel, and the United States—and, at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations.”

She went on to say that there was “no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma” and that “people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposing conclusions.” But, she concluded, “I believe the best course is to go to the United Nations for a strong resolution” that calls “for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded” from Saddam.

There was little difference in their thinking as Mrs. Clinton went on to vote for a resolution which did not advocate invasion but authorized the President to launch one if he found it "necessary and appropriate." Though he wished the President had gotten the United Nations more involved, Donald Trump supported the invasion. Hillary Clinton apologized and Donald Trump boasted. and Howard Stern is still a coarse and crude coward.

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