Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown made a glorious name for himself while playing for the Cleveland Browns. Not known for expressing opinions unrelated to the game where he excelled, Brown, a black superstar, recently provided some thoughts about President Trump during an interview on Fox Sports Radio. He stated:
When I look at television, I see all these announcers become experts, and they’re not doing a doggone thing but pointing fingers. I find myself really pulling for the president. Now that would make me very unpopular in the black community, very unpopular with a lot of Americans … but I think there are certain good things that are coming out of this presidency because we've never seen anything like it.
Brown wasn’t specific about the “good things” he obviously finds in President Trump’s presidency. But former college professor and veteran political columnist Walter E. Williams, who is also a black American, obviously agrees with Jim Brown and provided a listing of Trump accomplishments. Williams laments that Donald Trump does not possess “the personal character that we would want our children to imitate,” but he nevertheless agreed with Heritage Foundation fellow Stephen Moore’s tally of Trump achievements. According to Williams, these are:
Trump has appointed Neil Gorsuch and nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both men have stellar judicial qualifications and a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution. In addition, Trump has nominated more than two dozen lower court judges who have similar respect for our Constitution and are not likely to make laws from the bench.
Trump has shepherded through Congress the largest personal and corporate tax cuts since [the 1980s]. His administration created a 35 percent reduction in regulations … making the U.S. the world’s No. 1 energy producer....
The Trump administration has ended the Obamacare mandate and reformed the very costly Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.... Unemployment is less than 4 percent. Black unemployment is hovering around the all-time low at 6.6 percent....
He’s gotten us out of the Paris climate accord ... [and] the Iranian nuclear deal....
Also on the international front, Trump has gotten North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un to the bargaining table to negotiate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He’s gotten our NATO allies to cough up more money for their own defense. Trump is rebuilding our military strength.
Professor Williams and Stephen Moore are evidently quite happy that Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton, is our nation’s leader. But leaders of the New York Times disagree, even breaking long-standing journalistic policy by publishing an anonymous op-ed piece supposedly written by a “senior official of the Trump administration.” Times officials admit they know who the writer is, but they have chosen to shield him or her because the person’s “job would be jeopardized” were the writer identified.
The unnamed writer claims that “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within” to thwart the president’s agenda.” Hiding behind anonymity, this self-professed Trump administration insider points to unnamed “senior officials who are working to insulate their operations from his whims.” Their anonymous criticism includes Thump’s “amorality” and his not being “moored to any discernible first principles,” “his preference for autocrats and dictators,” and his “half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.” Nevertheless the writer points to some “bright spots” in the Trump performance, but insists that these have come “despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
Reading what this op-ed states forces this writer toward a conclusion that questions its vaunted claim of authenticity. Did one individual from within the Trump administration collect the negative views of colleagues and then have the Times publish it as a true assessment of what has been the Trump routine? Or did some anti-Trump opinion molders at the Times assemble their own jaded version of an administration they have never liked from its very beginning?
The Times has customarily considered itself as the leading purveyor of openly honest journalism and a paragon of journalistic ethics. But such a claim has to be earned, not given oneself. Anonymity can justifiably be employed to protect a writer who may be physically harmed by outsiders if named. But protecting the writer of this questionable piece casts real doubts about the authenticity and seeming reliance on journalistic legitimacy of the entire episode.
It has long been this writer’s view that Deep State personnel, including the leadership of the New York Times, will employ a variety of tactics to cripple or depose Donald Trump. This extremely curious choice of an anonymous op-ed piece appears to be an act of desperation that will likely aid President Trump, not harm him or his agenda.
John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society.