Forever logged in video history:
Walter Cronkite sitting a nation down to report the death of a president.
Edward R. Murrow standing up a Red Scare demagogue.
Tucker Carlson checking off reasons not to hate a warring madman.
You might not have seen that, but your grandchildren will. Rest assured, a whole lot of Russians already have.
Well, ahem — apparently there was a course correction at Fox News after “Rootin’ for Putin” by all appearances was atop the talking heads’ white board. But Tucker Carlson can never take back what he said.
Someday he will shake his wavy head at what possessed him. Of course, it’s no mystery.
His guy – Donald Trump, the man for whom Fox News’ propaganda brigade has cast its lot for five devoted years – owns Tucker. He is, in the words of George Will, one of Trump's "poodles.”
And so his cue for this frightening moment in human history was from the con man who from his Mar-A-Lago hideout called Putin’s invasion “genius.”
Trump’s assessment is fully explainable as well. In Putin, Trump has always had a friend in need.
The day after the invasion began, based on blatantly concocted pretenses, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations unblinkingly stated that in the United States, the “legitimately elected president of the country was overthrown.”
Wait. Is that the Russian Federation speaking or the Republican National Committee?
Right now, rest assured, Russia’s Internet Research Agency is calculating how Trump’s newborn Truth Social web site can help get its message, through pure propaganda or fake news, to the American masses.
At the same time Putin’s internet army is configuring the next offensive by which it seeks to return Trump to power.
Putin, being one to take the long view, knows that “Trump Jr.: 2028,” looks like a worthy investment as well.
Speaking of long views, a basic misconception about Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 election is that it was all impulse, not planning.
Much like Putin assembling his forces, Trump telegraphed his intentions long before voters had their say.
Then, like Putin, Trump relied on pliant partisans to do the unthinkable, to rationalize tactics they knew they couldn’t.
Illegally, Trump demanded that whole states he didn’t win be delivered to him via fake electors. He told Georgia’s secretary of state that following the law was a crime.
Disgraced and disgraceful, people Trump twirled around his little finger — Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley – did his bidding as they attempted to stop the awarding of electors.
And then came the mob — Trump’s armed forces, taking their bile and the brutality into the halls of our Capitol.
We are aghast at the assault on Ukraine’s capital. Recall, however, that Jan. 6 the same thing on a smaller scale happened in ours, except without missiles.
It wasn’t munitions-free, by the way. For some reason, pipe bombs placed at the headquarters of the major parties have gotten almost no attention.
Today Ukraine’s president fears for his life. On Jan. 6 our vice president shared that very problem. And if any lawmaker who dared affirm the people’s choice encountered the mob, he or she would have been torn limb from limb.
In the refusal of either Putin or Trump to listen to what the people say about their respectively dangerous gambits, we see the danger of one person having too much power.
For those Republicans (That would include Lindsey Graham) who view Putin as a madman, know that a man you respect, Attorney General Bill Barr, came to believe he was dealing with the same specimen when a screaming, red-faced Donald Trump refused to concede to reality about his rejection by the voters. Trump still does.
Now Putin refuses to acknowledge the will of the Ukrainians who created their own democracy.
What a pair – so close: two autocrats living their separate lies.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.