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Nixon's Revenge: The Fall of the Adversary Press
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Saturday’s White House Correspondents Association dinner exposed anew how far from Middle America our elite media reside.

At the dinner, the electricity was gone, the glamor and glitz were gone. Neither the president nor his White House staff came. Even Press Secretary Sean Spicer begged off.

The idea of a convivial evening together of our media and political establishments is probably dead for the duration of the Trump presidency.

Until Jan. 20, 2021, it appears, we are an us-vs.-them country.

As for the Washington Hilton’s version of Hollywood’s red carpet, C-SPAN elected to cover instead Trump’s rollicking rally in a distant and different capital, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Before thousands of those Middle Pennsylvanians Barack Obama dismissed as clinging to their Bibles, bigotries and guns, Donald Trump, to cheers, hoots and happy howls, mocked the media he had stiffed:

“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom … I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington’s swamp … with a much, much larger crowd and much better people.”

Back at the Hilton, all pretense at press neutrality was gone. Said WHCA president Jeff Mason in scripted remarks: “We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. We are not the enemy of the American people.”

A standing ovation followed. The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press was repeatedly invoked and defiantly applauded, as though the president were a clear and present danger to it.

For behaving like a Bernie Sanders’ rally, the national press confirmed Steve Bannon’s insight — they are the real “opposition party.”

And so the war between an adversary press and a president it despises and is determined to take down is re-engaged.

As related in my book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever,” out May 9, that war first broke out in November of 1969.

With the media establishment of that day cheering on the anti-war protests designed to break his presidency, President Nixon sought to rally the nation behind him with his “Silent Majority” speech.

His prime-time address was a smashing success — 70 percent of the country backed Nixon. But the post-speech TV analysis trashed him.

Nixon was livid. Two-thirds of the nation depended on the three networks as their primary source of national and world news. ABC, CBS and NBC not only controlled Nixon’s access to the American people but were the filter, the lens, through which the country would see him and his presidency for four years. And all three were full of Nixon-haters.

Nixon approved a counterattack on the networks by Vice President Spiro Agnew. And as he finished his edits of the Agnew speech, Nixon muttered, “This’ll tear the scab off those b——s!”

It certainly did.

Amazingly, the networks had rushed to carry the speech live, giving Agnew an audience of scores of millions for his blistering indictment of the networks’ anti-Nixon bias and abuse of their power over U.S. public opinion.

By December 1969, Nixon, the president most reviled by the press before Trump, was at 68 percent approval, and Agnew was the third-most admired man in America, after Nixon and Billy Graham.

Nixon went on to roll up a 49-state landslide three years later.

Before Watergate brought him down, he had shown that the vaunted “adversary press” was not only isolated from Middle America, it could be routed by a resolute White House in the battle for public opinion.

So where is this Trump-media war headed?

As of today, it looks as though it could end like the European wars of the last century, where victorious Brits and French were bled as badly and brought as low as defeated Germans.

Whatever happens to Trump, the respect and regard the mainstream media once enjoyed are gone. Public opinion of the national press puts them down beside the politicians they cover — and for good reason.

The people have concluded that the media really belong to the political class and merely masquerade as objective and conscientious observers. Like everyone else, they, too, have ideologies and agendas.

Moreover, unlike in the Nixon era, the adversary press today has its own adversary press: Fox News, talk radio, and media-monitoring websites to challenge their character, veracity, competence, and honor, even as they challenge the truthfulness of politicians.

Trump is being hammered as no other president before him, except perhaps Nixon during Watergate. It is hard to reach any other conclusion than that the mainstream media loathe him and intend to oust him, as they relished in helping to oust Nixon.

If this war ends well for Trump, it ends badly for his enemies in the press. If Trump goes down, the media will feel for a long time the hostility and hatred of those tens of millions who put their faith and placed their hopes in Trump.

For the mainstream media, seeking to recover the lost confidence of its countrymen, this war looks like a lose-lose.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, out May 9, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2017 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Donald Trump 
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  1. Pat’s both an expert and insider on the Nixon saga, but he’s skirting around President Trump’s deviations from Candidate Trump’s promises. In taking four years to end it in Viet Nam, President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war. Pat points out here that Nixon remained popular nonetheless. But that popularity proved to be as paper thin as Agnew’s in the face of the partisan press.

    President Trump’s deviations from his candidacy are much worse than Nixon’s. So even if the American people despise the press for its anti-White, globalist propaganda, Trump’s Harrisburg rallies will provide him no more than Nixon’s paper-thin support.

    If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration. The American people elected Trump because he made the others look like the cucks they are.

    Relating to immigration, I have a piece utilizing the cuck meme at http://www.DukeDougherty.com/remarks

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    • Agree: Realist, Mark Green
    • Replies: @ThisIslandEarth
    I couldn't agree more. As one of the architects of the Nixon/Agnew push-back against the media monolith (which actually was less monolithic in terms of ownership and biases than today), Pat is wearing very thick, rose-colored glasses in assessing Nixon's ephemeral bump in the polls. He seems to be viewing Trump with the same glasses. Holding rallies and blathering about the swamp while he's neck deep in it and about to sink for good is a sight to behold.

    I don't know about the mood at the recent correspondents' dinner, but the fact that Trump is retreating on nearly every important promise and notion of common sense expressed during the campaign should be cause for mainstream media celebration, as they have been an important element in taming the beast and turning him into a blunt tool of Wall Street and the Deep State. Anyone not wearing the rose glasses can see this, and noisy rallies in Main Street America won't cover it up.
    , @John G.
    "President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war."

    That's one of the biggest political myths in American lore. Nixon never claimed to have a secret plan: he even said the opposite in March.

    https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/trump-nixon-and-the-secret-plan-media-myth/

    Nixon was certainly quite vague regarding Vietnam on the '68 campaign trail, as was to be expected, as he had little to gain by talking specifics about it: very different from, say, the law and order issue. Like RFK before his death, Nixon only ruled out McCarthy-style unilateral withdrawal and Reagan-style escalation, leaving anything else on the table and letting voters think what they wanted to think. But that's something qualitatively different.

    As for his popularity though, you are definitely right, especially given Nixon's open contempt for much of the GOP. He had little support to lean back on in Congress once Watergate struck.

    "If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration."

    This is certainly true. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for the Republican Party for the first time since 1988 for many reasons. Operation SYRIAN FREEDOM definitely wasn't one of them.

    It really speaks much to Trump's instinctual laziness and intellectually shallow qualities that he's following his current course of pandering to whoever happens to have his ear at the moment. He can't be unaware that the GOP Bonzen would sooner have a Romney/Ryan style figure in there than him, no matter how much he plays nice. Doesn't he get that he won more electoral votes than any GOP candidate since '88 *because* he openly blew off or mocked GOP orthodoxy on everything from Randian fantasies on Social Security to losing stupid wars of choice in the Middle East to Turd Blossom's wet dreams on the new Mexican Republican leaning majority electing Jeb Bush's kid?

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  2. Don’t expect any let up in the 24/7 Trump, Trump, Trump cadence for the foreseeable future. If he bleeds; he ledes. That’s just the way things are. Any excess, distraction or tragedy that will sell… we’ll sell it! No apologies, no attempt at balance or fairness is intended; none is offered. That’s the American Way; deal with it. Or don’t. https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/if-it-bleeds/

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  3. The loud warmongers of the 1850′s ended up with the blood of armies on their hands.

    The media now are the same. Their billionaire masters would love to have another civil war; people like you and me would die while their riches would protect them.

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  4. The media’s strategy is not working. As the proverb says, “any press is good press”. They keep the focus on the President, and the public notices him more than they notice the media’s hatred of him.

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  5. First, I fully concur with Lit Dog, though there may be indications that the rubicon-crossing Syria bombing and Korean sabre rattling may have been an effort to inoculate himself against the neocon attacks by caving into them. Buchanan’s own role in Nixon’s 1969 fightback against the press is well documented. Indeed, I suspect that a perhaps unintended eventual consequence this battle may been to develop the neocon deep state militarist power structure which presently rules the western press.

    The view of Voltaire that those who talk most about liberty are those who don’t have it can be analogized with the press confab’s defensive statement that they are not “enemies of the people.” Only those who are enemies of the people have the need to issue a denial of the fact they are enemies of the people. Such denials usually corroborate this status and indicate a perhaps unconscious realization that the enemy of the people accusations are true. The record of the mainstream press fomenting potential nuclear war proves its status as an enemy of the people and civilization.

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  6. Every day is a new election in media land. If you can fix the election via ballot stuffing, Bernays Sauce and various other tricks, those other elections don’t matter as much.

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  7. @Lit Dog
    Pat’s both an expert and insider on the Nixon saga, but he’s skirting around President Trump’s deviations from Candidate Trump’s promises. In taking four years to end it in Viet Nam, President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war. Pat points out here that Nixon remained popular nonetheless. But that popularity proved to be as paper thin as Agnew’s in the face of the partisan press.

    President Trump’s deviations from his candidacy are much worse than Nixon’s. So even if the American people despise the press for its anti-White, globalist propaganda, Trump’s Harrisburg rallies will provide him no more than Nixon’s paper-thin support.

    If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration. The American people elected Trump because he made the others look like the cucks they are.

    Relating to immigration, I have a piece utilizing the cuck meme at www.DukeDougherty.com/remarks

    I couldn’t agree more. As one of the architects of the Nixon/Agnew push-back against the media monolith (which actually was less monolithic in terms of ownership and biases than today), Pat is wearing very thick, rose-colored glasses in assessing Nixon’s ephemeral bump in the polls. He seems to be viewing Trump with the same glasses. Holding rallies and blathering about the swamp while he’s neck deep in it and about to sink for good is a sight to behold.

    I don’t know about the mood at the recent correspondents’ dinner, but the fact that Trump is retreating on nearly every important promise and notion of common sense expressed during the campaign should be cause for mainstream media celebration, as they have been an important element in taming the beast and turning him into a blunt tool of Wall Street and the Deep State. Anyone not wearing the rose glasses can see this, and noisy rallies in Main Street America won’t cover it up.

    Read More
  8. “The people have concluded that the media really belong to the political class and merely masquerade as objective and conscientious observers. Like everyone else, they, too, have ideologies and agendas.”

    This.

    LF

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  9. @Lit Dog
    Pat’s both an expert and insider on the Nixon saga, but he’s skirting around President Trump’s deviations from Candidate Trump’s promises. In taking four years to end it in Viet Nam, President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war. Pat points out here that Nixon remained popular nonetheless. But that popularity proved to be as paper thin as Agnew’s in the face of the partisan press.

    President Trump’s deviations from his candidacy are much worse than Nixon’s. So even if the American people despise the press for its anti-White, globalist propaganda, Trump’s Harrisburg rallies will provide him no more than Nixon’s paper-thin support.

    If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration. The American people elected Trump because he made the others look like the cucks they are.

    Relating to immigration, I have a piece utilizing the cuck meme at www.DukeDougherty.com/remarks

    “President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war.”

    That’s one of the biggest political myths in American lore. Nixon never claimed to have a secret plan: he even said the opposite in March.

    https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/trump-nixon-and-the-secret-plan-media-myth/

    Nixon was certainly quite vague regarding Vietnam on the ’68 campaign trail, as was to be expected, as he had little to gain by talking specifics about it: very different from, say, the law and order issue. Like RFK before his death, Nixon only ruled out McCarthy-style unilateral withdrawal and Reagan-style escalation, leaving anything else on the table and letting voters think what they wanted to think. But that’s something qualitatively different.

    As for his popularity though, you are definitely right, especially given Nixon’s open contempt for much of the GOP. He had little support to lean back on in Congress once Watergate struck.

    “If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration.”

    This is certainly true. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for the Republican Party for the first time since 1988 for many reasons. Operation SYRIAN FREEDOM definitely wasn’t one of them.

    It really speaks much to Trump’s instinctual laziness and intellectually shallow qualities that he’s following his current course of pandering to whoever happens to have his ear at the moment. He can’t be unaware that the GOP Bonzen would sooner have a Romney/Ryan style figure in there than him, no matter how much he plays nice. Doesn’t he get that he won more electoral votes than any GOP candidate since ’88 *because* he openly blew off or mocked GOP orthodoxy on everything from Randian fantasies on Social Security to losing stupid wars of choice in the Middle East to Turd Blossom’s wet dreams on the new Mexican Republican leaning majority electing Jeb Bush’s kid?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lit Dog
    Thanks for the link to Joe Campbell article. It makes a strong case. Hopefully, I can remember that the “secret plan” was more a critique of Nixon’s proposed policies than an actual enumeration of the same.

    As Campbell points out, many of us thought Nixon would do an Eisenhower on Viet Nam, and our dismay at four years of a gradual drawdown with periods of increased bombing probably disposed us to elevating the critique to a matter of historical record.
  10. Whatever happens to Trump, the respect and regard the mainstream media once enjoyed are gone. Public opinion of the national press puts them down beside the politicians they cover — and for good reason.

    The corporate media are toast. They will continue to catapult the propaganda to progressively less effect. The Zempire will have to resort to more direct means to regulate our thought and behavior.

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  11. I am well aware of Mr. Buchanan’s history in the Nixon White House and with and his regular views on Unz.com but admittedly have not and will not read his Nixon book even if it were given to me by a friend. As a salve to him I would not read Conrad Black’s Nixon book either.

    He simply cannot be objective and as having been an active participant in the electoral process himself either doesn’t realize how ridiculous it is nor cannot make himself admit to this fact.

    I, like himself had held Richard Nixon in high regard and considered him to have been unfairly maligned. But through much research I came to adjust that view and iiincluded reading several of his own works. The first one that set me somewhat askew was ‘Six Crises’, Nixon’s first book published during his wilderness years. I thought that it might be a good read but to my surprise I couldn’t make it past the first hundred or so pages because it was always about POLITICS. Not what was good for the nation, or (God forfend) the world but policies that had to be pursued to guarantee some win in some election or to gain a strategic majority in congress.

    At first I thought that it was a snow-job of sorts on his part or maybe something to do with the Zeitgeist of the times but still it seemed like he was pursuing a one-dimensional existence whereby winning the contest was all that mattered. In other words becoming the head of state was a vehicle to only being re-elected and any foreign or domestic policy enacted was based only towards that goal. A head shrinker might say that this was his (very real) fixation with football with him as quarterback finally realized.

    Seymour Hersch’s anti memoirs about Kissinger in the White House ( The Price of Power) confirmed that of Nixon in spades. The very direct result was wars Nixon helped third parties blunder into and existing ones continued strictly due to media, poll and election concerns. Maybe several hundred thousand foreigners (plus some locals) ended up dead “but dammit (sic) the goalposts were in sight…”

    Now Trump in this regard is like a retarded Nixon. US elections are sort of like the Special Olympics in world politics. Of course the electorate are also ‘special’ so it all seems normal to them.

    Memo to Mr. Buchanan: the media has already made itself politically irrelevant as per the results of the last election. The Great Pumpkin will unwittingly make himself also irrelevant because he will fulfill one of his promises, he will unite the populace.

    By that I mean that all the Pussy Hats that hated him will lock arms with all those Duck Dynasty types that supported him.

    Be it unintelligence, hubris, co-option, deep state, Kushner or Zandor from planet X, I had never thought to witness such a degradation of a head of state as we see with this chap in this, his first hundred days.

    If Idi Amin were alive today he might say ” this person, though quite entertaining is too much of a buffoon to lead Liberia let alone the United States”.

    Cheers-

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  12. But as the non-critical thinking public becomes less informed by the news media, they become more informed by the entertainment media. Or anyone else who can get them to forget about content and and get them to be more concerned about the style with which that content is delivered.

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  13. @John G.
    "President Nixon all but reneged on Candidate Nixon’s secret plan to end the war."

    That's one of the biggest political myths in American lore. Nixon never claimed to have a secret plan: he even said the opposite in March.

    https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/trump-nixon-and-the-secret-plan-media-myth/

    Nixon was certainly quite vague regarding Vietnam on the '68 campaign trail, as was to be expected, as he had little to gain by talking specifics about it: very different from, say, the law and order issue. Like RFK before his death, Nixon only ruled out McCarthy-style unilateral withdrawal and Reagan-style escalation, leaving anything else on the table and letting voters think what they wanted to think. But that's something qualitatively different.

    As for his popularity though, you are definitely right, especially given Nixon's open contempt for much of the GOP. He had little support to lean back on in Congress once Watergate struck.

    "If President Trump wants to regain the deep heartfelt support he engendered in the campaign, he better not delude himself into thinking that attacking the media is all it takes. He’s pandering to the globalists on foreign policy, and he’s pandering to the globalists on immigration."

    This is certainly true. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for the Republican Party for the first time since 1988 for many reasons. Operation SYRIAN FREEDOM definitely wasn't one of them.

    It really speaks much to Trump's instinctual laziness and intellectually shallow qualities that he's following his current course of pandering to whoever happens to have his ear at the moment. He can't be unaware that the GOP Bonzen would sooner have a Romney/Ryan style figure in there than him, no matter how much he plays nice. Doesn't he get that he won more electoral votes than any GOP candidate since '88 *because* he openly blew off or mocked GOP orthodoxy on everything from Randian fantasies on Social Security to losing stupid wars of choice in the Middle East to Turd Blossom's wet dreams on the new Mexican Republican leaning majority electing Jeb Bush's kid?

    Thanks for the link to Joe Campbell article. It makes a strong case. Hopefully, I can remember that the “secret plan” was more a critique of Nixon’s proposed policies than an actual enumeration of the same.

    As Campbell points out, many of us thought Nixon would do an Eisenhower on Viet Nam, and our dismay at four years of a gradual drawdown with periods of increased bombing probably disposed us to elevating the critique to a matter of historical record.

    Read More
  14. Deep state/sh*t state coups that I am aware of since Ike times:

    JFK, Nixon, maybe Carter, attemp against Trump still in motion but Trump will win.

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  15. The vile mafia connected Nixon and his sanctimonious enabler, Buchanan, concocted a campaign based around a nebulous “secret plan to end the war and achieve peace with honor”. The secret plan turned out to be bombing the vietskis around the clock until they gave up. Nixon’s popularity was quite high the whole time proving once again that no american pol ever lost an iota of support by murdering foreigners en masse…..

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  16. For the mainstream media, seeking to recover the lost confidence of its countrymen, this war looks like a lose-lose.

    The media have permanently lost their credibility and will never get it back. The bloom is off the rose, so to speak.

    But if Trump goes down it will largely be of his own making due to broken campaign promises and willingness to compromise with legislators whose primary aim is to keep the swamp not only filled, but overflowing. Trump’s base has given their collective middle finger to the lamestream, presstitute media, so biased media coverage can’t be used as an excuse if and when when he goes down.

    We thought we voted for a fighter who would put America first. But increasingly Trump is looking like the cucker in chief who will further demoralize the deplorables and pave the way for left wing totalitarianism in 2020.

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  17. I’m not an American.

    But as a huge fan of American literature I make the observation that the Travis McGee novels of John D. MacDonald may be a good source for students of the increasing centralisation of media ownership and consequential dumbing down of what “information” is available to the masses.

    Sounds almost communistic… but not in a good way.

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  18. I had a dream last night about Best Korea.

    I’m normally a fairly light sleeper. I sleep at most 6 hours per night, and sometimes not even that much. Often it seems like I don’t even really sleep at all; I just fall into a hypnogogic trance for a few hours that is something midway between a daydream and an epileptic seizure, and in that state of consciousness I experience my REM sleep and allow my mind to exercise the functions of dreaming, i.e. consolidating memories, expressing subconscious desires, resolving emotional tensions, etc.

    However, last night was something very different. I fell into the deepest sleep I have had in years, and I dreamed vividly of North Korea. In the manner typical of dreams, the details that I can recall now are foggy, but the essence of the dream was something like this.

    There was some kind of trilateral symposium occurring on North Korean soil. The setting was an open-air sports stadium. It was nighttime. The three parties represented were North Korea, China, and America. All three national leaders were present: Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, and Xi Jinping. Each president had a large retinue with him consisting of hundreds of people. The crowds were boisterous and animated as the argued over the geopolitical situation.

    I was standing in the Chinese contingent very near to President Xi. The North Korean contingent was to our left, and the American contingent even further to the left but caddy-corner. I have no recollection of what was being discussed, but the climax of the dream shortly ensued. Kim Jong-un grew angry, strode out of his retinue, crossed to the Chinese section, and quite literally BTFO’s Xi Jinping with his bare hands!

    Now, my theory dream interpretation is very much “psychological” in nature, which is to say that I consider the dream material to arise out of the substance of a person’s life and experiences. I don’t regard dreams to be prophetic or oracular in nature except in very exceptional circumstances. However, when I woke up in the morning and did some quick internet browsing before work, I saw the headline on Zero Hedge saying that China had threatened North Korea with sanctions and North Korea responded bravely by warning China not to exacerbate the already tense geopolitical situation.

    This subject must have been weighing heavily on my mind. Reading further into the news today, I cannot help but think that everything North Korea has been saying makes an especially poignant sort of sense. Far from being a “fat, crazy dictator,” Kim Jong-un seems to be treating the matter with a courage and clarity unmatched by any of his counterparts. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I think North Korea has the moral high ground in this conflict and I very much hope they will prevail.

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