I had to do a double-take. Ben Stein used Donald Trump to come out with a full-throated defense of Richard Nixon. In effect, he attempted to make the case that the media forced Nixon to resign the presidency in the 70's undeservedly.
Ben Stein full-throated defense of both Tump and Nixon.
Donald Trump has so degenerated our political discourse and our minimum expectations of politicians that even Nixon's dishonest deeds are now up for re-debate.
The segment started with the host saying that she assumes Stein was not surprised that Trump decided to skip the correspondence dinner. That caused Ben Stein to go off.
"I am not surprised at it," Stein said. "I am not disappointed at it. And I don't blame Mr. Trump one bit for doing it. I mean he is a punching bag day after day after day in the media."
The host pointed out that Trump called the media the enemy of the people and accused them of making things up. She asked Sten if he gave credence to Trump's factless statements.
Stein went back into media bashing mode accusing them of bashing Trump time and time again. He claimed many people see the media as an unelected aristocracy, an effete corps of impudent snobs.
The host asked if most of Trump's political wounds were self-inflicted. Stein partially acknowledged that reality.
"You said you think the press is trying to do to him what they did to Richard Nixon," the host said. "Give us your perspective on that. Because a lot of people look at what happened to Richard Nixon and they say, 'What Richard Nixon did to himself.' The tapes from the Oval Office show that six days after the Watergate he was discussing, himself. He was discussing a cover-up. You know, the smoking gun tape. How did the media to that to Richard Nixon?"
Ben Stein's reply was disconcerting.
"The media picked one tiny little thing that he did. One tiny, tiny little thing that he did. One tiny little which was just to discuss a coverup. He didn't do the cover up. They didn't follow through with the coverup payments."
Stein then went on to enumerate Nixon's accomplishments in foreign policy, attempting to deflect from the severity of Nixon's character flaw which is not all that dissimilar than Trump's.
Ultimately Stein claims to believe that the media did in Nixon unjustly because Nixon was so accomplished in international issues. He also claims to believe the media is after Trump as well.
This writer believes Ben Stein may be looking for a job.