Sunday, July 29, 2018

Record And Play

If you are as old as I am, or have an affinity for history, you might remember that once upon a time there was a president named Richard Nixon. President Nixon got it into his head that taping all of his conversations would somehow benefit him, and in the end it was the very thing that brought him down and forced him to resign. Hearing people say, in their own voice not a transcription, “The Jews have certain traits,” Nixon said into the rolling tape he had installed in the Oval Office. “The Irish have certain — for example, the Irish can’t drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I’ve known gets mean when he drinks. Particularly the real Irish.” He continued: “The Italians, of course, those people course don’t have their heads screwed on tight. They are wonderful people, but,” and his voice trailed off. And these were not the comments he was caught making regarding the Watergate break-in. And then there was the unexplained eighteen minute gap on one of the tapes that was originally ascribed to his secretary, Rosemary Woods, "accidentally" leaving her foot on the pause button for more than a quarter hour. 
Once Richard Nixon was caught with his metaphorical pants down, it was only a matter of time before Gerald Ford was being sworn in as the thirty-eighth president of the United States. Which brings us tumbling through time to number forty-five. Recently, CNN has unveiled tapes that reveal our current "President" talking to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen about how to buy up the rights to a story about an extra-marital affair the-candidate Trump had with a Playboy model some years ago. "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.
When financing comes up again later in the conversation, Trump interrupts Cohen asking, "What financing?" according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, "We'll have to pay," Trump is heard saying "pay with cash." If that sounds a little unclear, keep in mind this is the same man who once bragged to Billy Bush, I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything." And so on. On tape. Treasonable? Probably not. Reprehensible? Most certainly. Including the part where he ends up throwing a little shade at Gerald Ford as they prepare to exit the bus. And what has our "President" done in reaction to these gaffes? Well, he went to Twitter, of course. He asked, rhetorically, "What kind of attorney would tape a client?" Not that he was looking for my response, but I would say, "The kind of attorney you would hire." 
And then there's the matter of the missing bit of tape in the official version of the Trump/Putin press conference. The White House version edits out the moment when a Reuters reporter asked whether Putin wanted Mr. Trump to win the election. Not an eighteen minute gap, but it sure seems significant. And continues with that long and consistent streak of being reprehensible. Treasonable? Stay tuned. 

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