Friday, February 17, 2017

Others have made the comparison, but I'm startled by how much Trump's presidency resembles the plot of the movie Network.

In each story, an outspoken celebrity wins followers, and neither he nor they realize that the true power lies in the background: in Network, with producers and company executives; in Trump's presidency, with advisors and cabinet secretaries.

The resemblance isn't exact, of course. Unlike Howard Beale, Trump holds final say. If he doesn't sign the order or the bill, it won't take effect.

But Trump's authority means less than it should. Lacking intelligence, ideas, and philosophy, he's subject to manipulation by cleverer men. (From a New York Times report: "Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed.")

Trump shouts and scraps, his fans applaud, but he's a tool of those behind him.