Former NBC sports personality Bob Costas "courageously" trashed Trump during the Charlie Brennan show on KMOX. The radio call in show is has been aired for years on KMOX, from 9 - 11 a.m. in St. Louis. During the interview, Costas claimed that his criticism of Trump was similar to how he called out MLB baseball for doing nothing about players who used steroids.
“People didn’t like it when I said steroids were corrupting baseball and the record books. But it turned out that I was 100 percent right. A lot of people didn’t want to here it, even if they knew it was true. The same with football. It's causing football players problems from too many hits to the head.
“It was something that needed to be said. I lot of people at NBC didn’t like it. I pointed out some of the hypocrisies of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), but it was true. And it needed to be said. It didn’t mean I disliked the Olympics. I love the Olympics. But those things had to be acknowledged.”
The problem with his claim is that pretty much everybody at NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, Huffington Post, etc., are doing their best to criticize Trump, if one can call it that at this point. There is nothing courageous about what he is saying. It would be courageous to do the opposite, to not join the mob, so to speak.
Costas: “I prefer a president who is truthful, who is not corrupt, who has a basic functioning knowledge of American history. Who has a sense of common decency. Who doesn’t send out dog whistles to racists. All those things I prefer. If you call that a political bias, go ahead. Those used to be basic standards of civility that we would expect minimally of someone in high office, let alone our president. And each visit I’ve gone out of my way to say, this would not be a reaction if Mitt Romney or John Kasick were president.”
Let's look at common decency. Bill Clinton was accused of raping Juanita Broderick. A friend and compatriot of his, Jeffrey Epstein, is accused of raping a teen age girl, and hosting parties on his jet, where there were also plenty of underage girls. Clinton flew on the same jet when he had these parties with underage girls.
Costas: “This has nothing to do with conservative or liberal. It has to do with the character of the man who is in the oval office, which has been demonstrated throughout his life and is demonstrated virtually every singe day of his presidency.”
It's disingenuous of Costas to suddenly claim some kind of moral high ground, when he said nothing about moral character during Clinton's entire presidency, or about any number of things that he probably knew about during his tenure at NBC. Where was he after the NBC banquet when it was a joke to talk about Matt Lauer's sexual relationship with Ann Curry?
In a 2018 interview on CBS, she said this about the climate at NBC:
"In her first television interview since leaving NBC, former "Today" show host Ann Curry is speaking out about the firing of her former co-host Matt Lauer and the pervasive "verbal sexual" harassment during her time at NBC."
"I can say that I would be surprised if -- if -- many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment -- that existed. I think it'd be surprising if someone said that they didn't see that. So it was p -- a verbal -- sexual --," she said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday."
But wait. Wasn't Costas working for NBC during the entire time that Curry and other women were working there? Wouldn't there have been some opportunity for him to use his moral compass, the same one he is using to critique Trump, to stand up for these women? This would be courageous, wouldn't it?
Costas: “This is a media story (referring to the swamp). Donald Trump did not create the swamp. There was already a swamp created of the media silos, of the coarsening of discourse. But he rose from that swamp. And then he placed it on steroids. We live, largely in a post factual world, a separate reality world if you choose it. No amount of evidence. No amount of good natured logic or appeals to decency and evidence can penetrate that bubble if you choose to reside in it. And that’s the way it works with Donald Trump, or at least a huge portion of his base.”
Celebrity Apprentice, a program that made money for NBC? If Trump was so corrupt and immoral, why didn’t Costas complain about his behavior during his involvement with Celebrity apprentice, from 2010, until 2015. Did Trump suddenly become all of these things after he ran for office and became president? We don't know the answer to that question, because Charlie Brennan, a radio personality who panders to guests to a degree that is sickening, never asked him.
“By the way, it’s not anti-Trump or anti-Fox, it’s pro fact. Anyone of knows that toxic . … out of Trump’s mouth knows he’s not fit for office. There are times when you have to acknowledge the elephant in the room.”
“This, the Donald Trump situation, crazed anti-factual atmosphere that we’ve acquired to sustain it. That rises to the level of . . . "
“Hey. All people who value truth and common decency ought to raise their voices. And it is not a case of bias. It’s a case of having a clear-eyed view. I wish it were not so. I wish that Trump had surprised all of us. The campaign showed him to be kind of a lout. But okay.
Maybe they gave him a pass on his long life’s history of dishonesty and corruption and double dealing leading up to the White House, but maybe he’ll get past that. I had hope of that. That hope was quickly dashed.”
“If someone wants to challenge and make a merit based point, I think that you or I would happily parry that, or respond to it. And it you made a good point, I would acknowledge it. But has you hear . . . he’s bashing the president or I don’t like it."
“Some of the people on that list (mentioned by a caller) are people I would pay attention to. In order to attribute everything to Trump Derangement Syndrome, or the mainstream media, you have to believe that everyone in the mainstream media, they are all a bunch of unprincipled liars, whether it’s Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. Every single one of them. Not a one with break from orthodoxy and state the glorious truth about Donald Trump. But then, once you’ve granted that ridiculous premise, leave them aside and go to the now hundreds (that I’m aware of), thousands of life long Republicans and conservatives.”
“Take a guy like Ralph Peters. Col Ralph Peters, who I’ve been reading for years. Left Fox News because he could no longer stomach the fact that it’s too often a propaganda site. There are exceptions. But it’s too often a propaganda site.
And then to think the arbiter of media integrity is Sean Hannity, a guy who is basically a Trump propagandist, that’s what he is, and he’ entitled to be that, but then he’s going to be the judge a jury of what’s honest and true in the mainstream media. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be a joke.”
“Please understand. This is an aberrant situation. It’s not conservative, liberal, Democrat Republican. I’m a moderate guy. This is the evidence of this man’s basic character that’s been that way for decades and decades. And the presidency has just put it on steroids and amplified it if people are only willing to see it.”
In the end, Costas is not convincing. Costas has been involved with NBC Sports since the early 1980s. He was the prime-time host of 12 Olympic Games, from 1992 until 2016. Costas is smart and aware. The fact is Costas did not say anything about moral corruption at NBC because he did not have the guts to do it.
But even more, Trump was elected president for exactly the opposite reason. Trump does have the guts to call out public corruption, to question things that are happening; to challenge the swamp. That's why he was elected. What he did here is not impressive. It's too late for Costas to be a whistleblower at NBC. That ship has sailed. It's not too late for him to be honest with himself and how Trump is helping our country in ways that no other president could.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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