In 1967, there was a movie entitled “A Guide for the Married Man,” in which Robert Morse tells Walter Matthau how to get away with having an affair.
To illustrate the do’s and don’ts of Morse’s advice, the film turns to sketches featuring a number of big-time comedians (at the time), such as Lucille Ball, Terry Thomas and Jack Benny.
One skit, called “Deny, deny, deny,” saw Ann Morgan Guilbert (she played the neighbor, Millie, on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”) catch her husband, Joey Bishop (of Sinatra’s Rat Pack), in bed with another woman. Guilbert starts yelling, and Bishop’s responses all indicate she didn’t see what she saw — What? Where? What woman?
The other woman never reacts; instead, she gets dressed and walks out. Bishop also dresses, makes the bed and then walks out to the living room, where he sits in his easy chair and starts reading the newspaper.
Guilbert continues to ask him about the woman, to which he, again, responds, “What woman?” She walks into the empty bedroom, sees the made bed, comes back, shakes her head — as if coming out of a daze — and asks Bishop what he’d like for dinner.
We were reminded of that movie — and that particular scene — after last week.
We’ve not written much about the president of late because we thought our outrage over nonsense level had been reached. And then . . .
It started with his denial of calling Meghan Markle “nasty.” Generally, we don’t care about Britain’s royal family — they don’t actually do anything except eat up a fair amount of the average Englishman’s tax money — but we’re not a fan of how Trump goes to the “nasty” word when describing a woman for whom he doesn’t care.
But, again, we’ve seen that nonsense before, so it was just one in a series of unnecessary embarrassments to the country. But then the White House posted the video in which Trump calls Markle nasty.
Staff tried to explain it away the remark by ascribing intent, but Trump went on Twitter and said he didn’t say it and anyone who repeats that allegation is “fake news.”
Then, at the 75th anniversary remembrance of D-Day in France, during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, the taped interview ends with Trump saying he delayed the memorial service so he could take part in the Ingraham interview, “because it’s you.” Back in studio, seconds after Trump is shown saying he’s “holding them up,” Ingraham tells Fox News viewers that any claim the president delayed the ceremony is “patently false, fake news.”
Deny, deny, deny.
It doesn’t matter that we’ve seen it; it doesn’t matter if there’s video-recorded evidence; your own eyes and ears cannot be relied upon and you must believe what you are told.
We understand Trump is a creature of self-aggrandizement, hyperbole and flat-out lying, so his “gaslighting” should be expected, though not tolerated, from the president of the United States.
When a major news network tolerates its commentators not only facilitating such negative behavior but actively participating, we know we’ve hit a new low.
“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” Trump said at the VFW National Convention in 2018.
It’s important we pay attention and not accept such activity as normal.