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April 22 2019

The Sound of Ignorance: Lilting Rogers & Hammerstein Song Deployed to Show How Evil Trump Is

by Charlotte Hays

When the Marine Corp musicians struck up "Edelweiss" at the White House, New York Times anti-Trump scribe Maggie Haberman noticed something sinister:

New York Times reporter and longtime Trump critic Maggie Haberman responded on Twitter: “Does anyone…at the White House understand the significance of that song?”

Steve Cortes, writing at Real Clear Politics, recalls that "Edelweiss" was the opening theme song for an Amazon TV series "The Man in the High Castle," which depicts a fictional U.S. run by Nazis.

This, apparently, is Haberman's sole cultural reference for "Edelweiss."

Those with a broader breadth of cultural experiences know that the song is actually an anti-Nazi song.

Christopher Plummer, as Baron von Trapp, sings it before he and his family begin their dramatic escape from the Nazis.

Written by two Jewish composers in the 1950s, "Edelweiss" encapsulates for von Trapp's love for Germany before it was besmirched by the Nazis. The lyrics are an implicit rebuke to the Nazis.  

Haberman's tweet reflects not only her propensity to see something sinister in anything that takes place in President Trump's orbit but also a woeful ignorance.  Cortes writes:

While Miss Haberman’s misplaced innuendo may seem frivolous, it actually points to a key element of the press’s continual mistreatment of President Trump and the MAGA movement.  Too many reporters and media mavens display an appalling dearth of historical knowledge, or at the least a total unwillingness to place events of the Trump political phenomenon into a larger context. 

Ms. Haberman has many compatriots in the land of breathless ignorance:

For instance, often when media mouthpieces assail Trump and his White House, they breathlessly bemoan the “unprecedented” nature of the supposed offenses.  For them, history literally began on Nov. 8, 2016.  For example, they regularly castigate the president as a bigot and, without proof, throw around the term “racist” with alarming regularity, seemingly unperturbed that the exact same accusations have been leveled consistently against Republicans for decades. 

Cortes concludes:

A healthy republic requires a vigorous, honest, and historically informed Fourth Estate.  Sadly, trust in our media has eroded for decades. 

Actually, I beg to differ: What is sad is not that the public is losing trust in the media. What is sad is that the media is doing things that are to be distrusted.

It would be nuts if you didn't lose a little trust in the media after reading a New York reporter impute sinister meaning to  "Edelweiss."

I also want to call your attention to an article in Slate headlined "Donald Trump's Personality Is an Impeachable Offense."

Headlines are often flip. The article, while drenched in disgust, does not actually call for impeachment on the grounds of personality. But I don't know.

Maybe the left is actually so ignorant that it is beginning to think that presidents can be impeached because the media/political establishment finds their personalities not to their liking.

I've criticized some of the President's behavior in the past, but a school of thought is developing that only someone as tough as Trump could stand up to the onslaughts of a media world that is actually able to deploy something as innocuous Rogers and Hammerstein to portray him as evil.  

 



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