Friday, August 26, 2016

Looking Back in Anger

Once upon a time, there was a publication called the Weekly World News that occupied a special niche in American journalism.

It was a supermarket tabloid but unique in that tawdry genre. It went places no other publication dared to go.

Where else could you read stories like  "Satan Captured by GIs in Iraq” or "Termites Eat the Eifel Tower," or "Hard Up Sheik Sheds His Wives, 200 Woman Harem to be Sold on eBay." or "Alien Bible Found, They Worship Oprah” or “I Was Bigfoot’s Love Slave.”

Its philosophy was best explained by Sal Ivon, a former managing editor, who said, "If someone calls me up and says their toaster is talking to them, I don't refer them to professional help, I say, 'Put the toaster on the phone'."

Perhaps its most popular feature was a column written by the fictitious Ed Anger,  a perpetually angry conservative (a typical column began "I'm pig-biting mad!"), who railed against illegal immigrants, women and speed limits among many other perceived ills.

Not to mention Democrats, wild animals that somehow need protection even though they have claws, complicated foods, and most television programming.

Anger also hated foreigners, yoga, whales and pineapple on pizza; he liked flogging, electrocutions and beer.

He even authored a book entitled “Let's Pave the Stupid Rainforests & Give School Teachers Stun Guns and Other Ways to Save America.”

Here’s Ed on Obamacare: “Their plan was to bore half the country to death and give the other half heart attacks, so we’d all be dead anyhow and wouldn’t need doctors!”

On China: “if I were President Obama, I’d make the Chinese buy only American  for five years, just to make up for robbing us blind – or we’ll bomb ’em back to the Stone Age where they came from.”

On legalized marijuana: “All my life I heard smoking that stuff made you a shiftless degenerate – and now the government wants to hand it out free to everybody! It won’t really be “free,” of course – you and I are the ones paying for it. We have to work two or three jobs and cough up half our dough, so these lazy dope fiends can have their wild crazy parties and eat corn chips all day in their underpants!”

The Weekly World News disappeared somewhere into cyberspace a few years back and Ed Anger along with it.  But if you noticed a certain similarity between Anger’s vitriol and the rhetoric of this year’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Could it be that Donald Trump’s politics were shaped by a ghost-written satirical column in a supermarket tabloid?  Or, to borrow from a WWN staple, is Elvis alive and directing his campaign?

We’ll never know. But Trump clearly has a lot of Anger in him.

Here are a few of the candidate’s positions which could be straight out of the pages of Weekly World News:

His political background: “What do I know about it? All I know is what's on the internet." 

The military:  “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?" –Trump, reportedly asking a foreign policy adviser three times during a meeting why the U.S. couldn’t use its nuclear weapons stockpile, according to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.

Foreign policy:  “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 (Hillary Clinton) emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." –Trump, calling on Russian espionage services to intervene in the U.S. election.

Leadership: "I alone can fix it." –Trump in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, July 21, 2016.

Race relations: "I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall." –Trump, accusing U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the fraud case against Trump University, of being biased against him because of his Mexican heritage, despite the fact that he is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems...they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists."

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." 

“I have a great relationship with the blacks.”

“Happy Cinco De Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

Women’s issues: “I think the only card she has is the women's card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, OK?"

"There has to be some form of punishment…you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it." –Trump on women who have abortions.

"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?" – Trump on primary opponent Carly Fiona.

 "If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?"

His constituents: "We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." –Trump on his performance with voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus.

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's, like, incredible."

Ed Anger would cheer. He couldn't have said it better himself.

Robert Rector is a veteran of 50 years in print journalism. He has worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Valley News, Los Angeles Times and Pasadena Star-News. His columns can be found at Robert-Rector@Blogspot.Com.

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