The obsessive and relentless war on U.S. President Donald Trump is reaching new heights. “Anonymous soldiers” are now enlisting in the fight. Are all means legitimate when trying to unseat an elected president? For liberals in the U.S., democracy is only a supreme value when it’s convenient for them.
The New York Times published an opinion piece about Trump on Wednesday, penned by an anonymous author described only as a senior official in the administration. In the article, the official warned that the president’s policies are harmful to the U.S. and that he is unfit to serve in office. You see, American voters, you chose the wrong guy.
The New York Times’ slogan is “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” This slogan has become the paper’s trademark, creating the expectation that its reporting will be the most accurate and the least yellow.
Nonetheless, this week, the paper that purports to be as transparent as possible hid behind a smokescreen when it decided to run an anonymous op-ed by a senior official in the administration of the 45th president. Why did the Times decide to abandon its longtime motto just as it is at its most pertinent? Perhaps, this time, it was the anti-Trump obsession that tipped the scale.
From now on, the slogan should be “All the News That’s Fit to Print, as Long as it Serves Our Agenda.” After all, there is no shortage of platforms for remarks against the president, even those from anonymous sources within the White House, as journalist Bob Woodward and other writers did in their books denigrating Trump and his presidency.
But, for some reason, the paper decided to give its op-ed page over to someone who publicly challenged the president and in effect publicly challenged the U.S. Constitution itself. In the U.S., if you work in the White House, you work for the president. Period.
Ari Fleischer, who served as President George W. Bush’s press secretary, argued Thursday that writing an op-ed against the president without resigning is a cowardly tactic.
“My advice to the WH staff: Support the president or don’t work there,” Fleischer tweeted. “You’re privileged to hold that job. Challenge POTUS. Advise him. Do it privately, because you can. But if you can’t support him, do the honorable thing and resign. Go public if you want, after you leave.”
Accomplishments don’t count
The anonymous writer calls himself “part of the resistance” within the administration.
This underground operative, henceforth to be known as “the hero,” reveals that some members of the administration have even talked about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and the Cabinet to launch an impeachment process and force Congress to decide whether the president is fit for office. Consider for a moment that this senior official might have access to classified information. Isn’t this a potential breach of national security?
The anonymous op-ed was also perfectly timed: It ran just days before Woodward’s book on Trump hits the shelves. The book tells of a White House in chaos and a mentally deranged president (I didn’t know Woodward is a trained psychiatrist), based on what he was told by chief of staff John Kelly. Kelly, by the way, denies everything. But that’s a minor detail.
In journalism, almost all means are legitimate, and that’s a good thing. Our objective is to report on as much as possible. To generate interest, to expose, to reveal and to fight on behalf of the readers, the citizens. But in the current witch-hunt reality in the U.S., perhaps we can pause for a moment and reflect on whether everything should, in fact, be permissible.
Is all this being done for the benefit of American citizens? Or is it aimed at promoting an overt agenda? If this senior official in Trump’s administration feels so compelled to report about what goes on behind closed doors, he should step in front of the camera and explain the situation. Trump is willing to answer every question, day in and day out. Why isn’t this person, standing at the gate and yelling out warnings, willing to do the same?
If the anonymous writer had put his name on the op-ed, it would have been legitimate, and even important. If he had resigned and then written the op-ed anonymously, I might have supported its publication. But we are talking about an administration official (of which there are hundreds) who wants to have his cake and eat it, too — to stay on at the White House while cowardly attacking the president.
The author of the op-ed concedes that the Trump administration has accomplishments but claims that they were made despite, not thanks to, Trump. Failures are attributed to Trump, but accomplishments are assigned to his team.
In reality, the Trump administration has generated unbelievable economic growth (4.1 percent), unemployment in the U.S. is at a record low, there are millions of new jobs, and millions of citizens have come off food stamps. A second Supreme Court justice will soon be appointed. China and Europe are yielding to Trump’s will. He is forcing NATO allies to pay more, improving the NAFTA treaty (despite warnings that Trump’s election would prompt Mexico to sever ties with the U.S.), stepping up sanctions against Russia, convincing North Korea to begin giving up nuclear weapons, and has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. He has moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He has fulfilled his campaign promises, including on tax cuts. But the only thing that the liberal media can see is that Trump is deranged.
As the Wall Street Journal editorial board said on Thursday, it might be acceptable to run an anonymous op-ed if, for example, revealing the name would endanger the author’s life. But that is not the case here. We’re talking about something very unusual — an op-ed that disputes the incredible achievements of the current administration.
The left is losing it
The American left has lost its head. Its anti-Trump sentiment is taking this camp to alarming places. The New York Times, which a week before the election said there was a 95 percent chance that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would win, is keeping up its anti-Trump campaign.
That is why it hired “Anonymous.” Anonymous became the resident hero of this shameful campaign, fueled not by the good of the public but rather by a power-hungry agenda. Nothing more.
In the meantime, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC are enthusiastically reporting and discussing this op-ed. At this rate, they’ll want to give him a Pulitzer even though the anonymous “hero” is nothing more than a coward with an agenda.
I wonder: What will the American media do if Trump wins in 2020?
Boaz Bismuth is editor in chief of Israel Hayom, Israel’s largest daily circulation newspaper. Israel Hayom, like the Review-Journal, is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.