New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is a legacy from the days when his publication was widely respected and only journalists of considerable accomplishment and experience scored a column on its once authoritative editorial page. Friedman, the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, was appointed a columnist in 1995, when my iconoclastic Beltway hero William Safire was still publishing his defiantly informative commentaries. For a time, the journalism talent that graced the Times’ editorial pages was best likened to the legendary Oakland Raiders in the 70s under John Madden and the New York Yankees in the days of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

I was once an avid reader of Friedman’s columns but stopped routinely reading the Times four years after the disgraceful firing of then editorial page editor James Bennet, who was forced out after publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton calling for a military response to the civic unrest in wake of the death of George Floyd. The Times’ newsroom went ballistic, and after first defending Bennet, publisher A. G. Sulzberger forced him out. Kathleen Kingsbury, Bennet’s deputy, was appointed interim editorial page editor, and when I read that she told the Times’ newsroom reporters to reach out to her directly if they objected to anything she published, Kingsbury shredded the few remaining threads of respect I still had for the Times.

A publication’s editorial page is supposed to be independent of its newsroom. Kingsbury, who subsequently got Bennet’s job on a permanent basis, clearly understood that her job security was dependent on not offending the Times’ woke newsroom mob. I wasn’t alone in my distaste for Bennet’s firing. Dan Okrent, the first ombudsman for the New York Times who in May 2004 wrote a scathing column about the “flawed” journalism the Times employed in its false stories about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, was one of the few journalists with the guts to defend Bennet.

I still have a budget subscription to the Times, which costs me every month what I pay for my daily morning coffee at my local Peet’s. I maintain the subscription so that I can read worthy articles Cousin Rob sends me, or I see cited elsewhere. This weekend I looked up the column Friedman wrote after Biden’s disastrous debate performance, having read that it made the columnist cry. I, too, felt like crying, and I was curious if it was for the same reasons.

Here’s what Friedman said:

“(Biden’s debate performance) made me weep. I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime, precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election. And Donald Trump, a malicious man and a petty president, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. He is the same fire hose of lies he always was, obsessed with his grievances — nowhere close to what it will take for America to lead in the 21st century.”

Friedman articulated some of my feelings. Watching Biden’s performance was indeed heartbreaking, even for me, and I’ve never liked the guy. I also share Friedman’s view that Trump lacks the fitness and discipline to lead America into the 21st Century.

I’m often mistaken for being a Trump supporter, when in fact I loathe the guy. I rarely write about or criticize Trump because I have nothing to add. The legacy media does an excellent job highlighting Trump’s boorishness, his lies and deceptions, his narcissism, and his egotistical delusions. That Trump is unfit to serve as president is among the truths I hold to be self-evident.

Where Freedman lost me was his declaration that if Biden steps aside he will be remembered “as among the better presidencies in our history.” That’s shocking coming from a journalist whose expertise is foreign affairs. Under Biden’s watch, Russia invaded Ukraine and imprisoned a Wall Street Journal reporter on bogus charges, Hamas murdered 1,200 Israeli citizens and is holding 120 hostages, including five Americans, and pro-Palestinian protesters are defacing U.S. flags on American streets and campuses while chanting “Death to America.”

For all Friedman’s overseas sources and years of experience, a team of Wall Street Journal reporters put him to shame with this extraordinary story quoting foreign leaders saying they’ve known for quite some time that Biden was deteriorating. Although the story was published one day after the debate, my hunch is the Journal’s editors and reporters correctly anticipated Biden’s disastrous performance and began reporting the story weeks ago.

To the Journal’s credit, the publication reported about Biden’s declining mental acuity earlier this month. Yet MSNBC and Democratic luminaries like “Morning Joe” Scarborough trashed the Journal’s reporting as a Republican hit piece. Just over a week ago, the New York Times published this article assuring its readers of the White House’s claims that videos showing Biden in a state of decline were “deep fakes” and lacked “context.”

Today’s New York Times editorial page and other media outlets are rife with a new narrative that contradicts the one the mainstream media has been peddling for weeks that Biden was “sharp as a tack.” Columnist Maureen Dowd admitted that Biden “has clearly been declining for the last couple of years” and that his “misguided” quest for the presidency “is jeopardizing the democracy he says he wants to save.” Axios reported the Biden is dependably engaged only six hours a day.

Here’s the harsh truth: Joe Biden’s mental acuity likely didn’t diminish all that much in the ensuing week the New York Times published its story that videos of Biden’s decline were fakes. What’s changed and has the Democratic party and its legacy media enablers in a panic is that Americans are wise to the lie the media perpetuated about Biden’s mental fitness to remain in office.

And the media is still gaslighting the American public. The Times today published an editorial characterizing Biden as a selfless and “great public servant” whose candidacy has become a threat to democracy. The Times wants Biden to step aside “to serve his country.”

Henry Kissinger famously said that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Biden’s pursuit of the presidency wasn’t an act of altruism but rather a quest for power – one that he and Dr. Jill reportedly haven’t yet come to appreciate their former media allies are now demanding they give up. Power, rather than public service, is also what drives Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Indeed, Whitmer was prepared to abandon her native Michigan after only about a year as governor had Biden chosen her as his 2020 running mate.

I’ve repeatedly argued why Whitmer and Newsom are unfit to serve as president, but the problem facing Democrats is that they have few, if any candidates, who can convince a majority of Americans to trust them.

For years, Democrats have promoted the narrative that Americans are fundamentally racists bent on protecting their “white supremacy.” Americans are fed up with being maligned as bigots and told what sort of cars they need to drive, the various pronouns they must use, the jokes permissible to laugh at, the crime in their communities, tolerating incompetents in influential positions, and that men require the use of tampons. This anger is what fueled the rise of a buffoon and con man like Trump, who at least acknowledges the insanity and promotes the likely false claim he can make America great again.

Biden’s media turncoats have yet to produce proof that the president suffers from Alzheimer’s disease but it’s clear that his mental acuity has declined. Since watching last week’s debate, I’ve thought a lot about Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Ronald Reagan truly loved America, and he and Nancy genuinely loved each other. Whereas Reagan always insisted on wearing a suit and tie while working in the oval office, President Clinton viewed the space as an ideal location to receive oral sex from a young woman he exploited. The media has given Clinton a pass for his sexual exploits and forgiven Hillary Clinton for referring to reports of her husband’s predatory behavior as “bimbo eruptions,” but wants Americans to be outraged about Trump’s alleged relationship with a porn star.

Although Reagan displayed signs of mental acuity decline in his final years as president, it wasn’t until 1994, five years after he stepped down as president, that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. According to a biography by Bob Spitz, when told of his disease, Reagan asked a few questions and then moved to a “small round table in a corner” to craft a two-page handwritten letter to the American public that I’ve read repeatedly over the years for inspiration.

The letter was addressed to “My Fellow Americans.”

“I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease,” the former president wrote, according to

Reagan explained he was disclosing his illness to raise awareness and understanding about his condition.

“At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done,” he wrote. “I will continue to share life’s journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.

“Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.”

Reagan closed his letter reaffirming his love for America.

“In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

“I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”

Nancy Reagan guarded her husband’s privacy from that moment on, and Reagan faded from the public eye. I once saw a published photograph of Ronald Reagan sitting peacefully outside on a bench, but Nancy made certain that the public saw few images of Reagan in his waning years, as she wanted her husband remembered for when he was vibrant and full of life.

The American public last Thursday learned that Jill Biden is no Nancy Reagan, and the gamble the U.S. media was willing to take lying about Joe Biden’s mental health. Rather than acknowledge the media’s responsibility for Biden’s debate debacle, Friedman, the Times columnist, issued a threat.

“If (Biden) insists on running and he loses to Trump, Biden and his family — and his staff and party members who enabled him — will not be able to show their faces,” Friedman said.

If Trump gets reelected, Friedman and his legacy media colleagues would be wise to avoid looking in their mirror. They will bear some responsibility for the consequences of another Trump presidency, which I doubt America could withstand.

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