Prior to the arrest of Cesar Sayoc in Florida today, President Trump went after the legacy media on Twitter for their reporting on the pipe bomb scare. “Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!”
Trump definitely has a point about the media being hostile toward him. Lost this week, in the hyperbolic reporting about the suspicious packages, on Monday, the New York Times had the unmitigated gall to publish an assassination fantasy about the president on its pages. The Times asked selected novelists to come up with possible outcomes to the Mueller investigation and English novelist Zoe Sharp came up with the drivel, which is nothing but left-wing assassination porn.
Entitled, How it Ends, the story is one of five short stories published in the Times’ Book Review Section. Novelists Joseph Finder, Laura Lippman, Jason Matthews, and Scott Turow all submitted pieces meant to tie up the loose ends of the Mueller investigation. While all of the pieces portrayed President Trump as either a fool or a Russian puppet, Sharp’s story stands out for its audacity.
In the story, a Russian assassin (note the subtle irony Sharp employs) lands at Dulles Airport amid news reports that President Trump’s campaign manager, his lawyer, a Republican congressman, and assorted former aides and family members have been placed under arrest for unspecified charges.
At his hotel, the assassin converses with a desk clerk whose specialty is exposition. “They’re saying the Russkies put him up to it,” the absurd dialogue reads, to which the assassin automatically replies, “fake news.” The assassin spends the remainder of the day in his room watching the “slow grind toward impeachment.”
Later in the evening, the assassin’s contact arrives with a pistol and a bottle of good Russian vodka. The order has been given, Trump must be killed.
The contact explains, “When it comes out that he [Trump] was handpicked at the highest possible level, our great nation will be the laughingstock of the world.”
Yikes, what garbage. I don’t know how long the Times gave these novelists to write these stories, but it clearly wasn’t long enough.
The climax of the story comes the next day, when the president passes the assassin and the Russian fires — only to be betrayed his substandard Russian-made pistol, which misfires. The assassin then yields to his fate, certain he will be shot or captured (or both) by the Secret Service.
Then the twist. A Secret Service agent hands the assassin his own gun and says, “Here. Use mine.”
While Ms. Sharp never actually names President Trump in her story, the writer’s prompt given to the novelists, “speculate on what happens next,” in the Mueller investigation, makes it clear exactly who she wants to be assassinated.
The story was published on Sunday — the day before the first non-functional pipe bomb was received by George Soros.
The U.S. Secret Service was especially appalled at the story.
“While we understand this is a work of fiction, the insinuation that the U.S. Secret Service would participate in the assassination of a President is outrageous and an insult to the men and women of this agency. The U.S. Secret Service prides itself on being an apolitical agency with a long and distinguished history of protecting our nation’s elected officials,” a Secret Service spokesman said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the story “absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful” on Fox and Friends on Thursday.
The website Twitchy remarked, “Well, the White House didn’t receive a pipe bomb today, but at least there’s an assassination fantasy to tide people over.”
Sharp was happy that her piece was included in the Times, tweeting, “Honoured to be in @nytimesbooks this week alongside @ScottTurow @JosephFinder @LauraMLippman Jason Matthews. We were asked to write short fiction on what happens next on the US/Russia scene.”
It makes sense that Sharp was happy about the publication of her assassination fantasy, given the fact that she's a flaky left-wing novelist, but it makes far less sense that the Times would publish such a piece given the current state of political discourse in this country.
“It’s very clear what this is: a work of fiction, commissioned by the editors of the Book Review as part of a package of five stories penned by a range of spy and crime novelists — in the Halloween edition,” a Times spokesperson told Fox News.
So, the Times is using Halloween as its excuse for publishing a work of fiction about assassinating the current president? A new low in journalism has been reached. The next time the “Gray Lady” gripes about some petty incivility shown by President Trump, it really needs to look in the mirror first. Civility, after all, begins with one’s self.
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