No, really, New York Magazine, tell us how you feel.
The April 2 edition of the magazine shows the broadly smiling face of President Donald Trump with a massive pig snout as a nose.
Cue “Twilight Zone” music and imagine, if you will, a magazine cover of the broadly smiling Barack Obama with a huge pig nose. Is that OK? Just a sidebar to consider.
Anyhow, the headline reads: “Not Collusion … Not Incompetence … Not Cruelty … It’s the Corruption, Stupid. Why His Self-Dealing is his Biggest Political Liability.”
And the story analyzes the White House staff turnover that’s marked the Trump administration of late, as well as Jared Kushner’s business relationship with foreign entities.
“Since Trump took office,” writer Jonathan Chait states, “his pledge to ignore his own interests has been almost forgotten, lost in a disorienting hurricane of endless news. It is not just a morbid joke but a legitimate problem for the opposition that all the bad news about Trump keeps getting obscured by other bad news about Trump.”
He goes on to mention the “Russia scandal” and Stormy Daniels. And then he paints Trump as this: “Trump’s ostentatious crudeness and misogyny are a kind of human-resources strategy. Radiating personal and professional sleaze lets him quickly and easily identify individuals who have any kind of public ethics and to sort them out.”
Chait may have a case to make. Then again, he may not.
After all, a good portion of the so-called “corruption” that’s plagued this White House has been generated by anti-Trumpers who’ve been on a hunt to remove this president from office — and that was before he even took over the physical office. Can you say Maxine Waters and her pre-inauguration calls for impeachment?
The media has certainly been complicit in allowing these cycles of “impeach Trump!” stories to develop and bloom.
Either way, it’s hard getting past the pig snout. It’s not so much the image itself. It’s the hypocrisy, the failure of a pig snout picture to swing both ways. It’s the fact that if National Review, say, had run a pig snout picture of Obama, the hard left would’ve called for Secret Service to investigate.
Yes, the press has a right to free expression — media members have a right to free speech. At least, that’s still the theory in modern-day America, despite the oft-one-sided nature of how ye olde First Amendment is nowadays applied. But the left wouldn’t stand for such imagery against one of their own. And if they can’t take it, then maybe they shouldn’t dish it out, either.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.