This Week on Squawking Heads, everyone was invited on a North Korean vacation except you; Martha Raddatz’s demeanor is as dry as the skin on Steve Bannon’s nose; and I spent 30 minutes at brunch yesterday planning escape routes from New York with one of my friends in the event of an attack on the city. And we were only about 40% kidding! 2017 is wild and not in a fun way!
I understand that in a crisis, we want our authority figures to put forth an air of calm. I myself am an easily startled alarmist who is still dealing with the emotional turmoil of a rat running into my foot on the street two full weeks ago. I need to know someone else in this country has their shit on lock. I need to know that a rat would rue the day it touched their feet.
That said, there is a large gulf between calm competence and joking condescension.
This weekend, North Korea celebrated a national holiday known as the Day of the Sun with a large scale military parade and a showcase of new, enormous missiles. According to CNN, one of the numerous international news organizations on site for the parade, the soldiers during the parade chanted “We will die for you!” toward Kim Jong-un.
“Lots of concerning things coming out of that parade,” Colonel Steve Ganyard, a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, wildly understated on This Week.
The next day, the North Koreans attempted to launch one of those missiles. It immediately blew up.
K.T. McFarland, current Deputy National Security Advisor and former Fox News commentator and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, assured the viewing public that the administration had North Korea handled by acting like it was all a silly little joke.
On Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace straight up asked McFarland if the United States had sabotaged the North Korean missile.
“Now, Chris, you know we can’t talk about secret intelligence,” McFarland said in a bizarrely girlish tone.
“I don’t have any particular comment on what happened with the North Korean missile. But it was a fizzle,” she continued with a small shrug of her shoulders and a twinkle in her eye. I swear to God it sounded like she was doing a straight to camera interview on a Bravo reality show talking about how her befuddled billionaire husband’s own little missile exploded upon launch.
McMaster seemed at least professional in his interview with Martha Raddatz, but even he seemed to be incapable of containing little giggles as she asked whether we were hurtling towards World War III.
Honestly though I don’t know why I’m asking for any decorum or grace from someone appointed by this petty dipshit:
Meet the Press started with a segment called “Trump, Then and Now” which was just 45 seconds of damning footage of Trump contradicting himself. It was beautifully shady and I loved it. From pulling out of NATO to ignoring the conflict in Syria, Trump cannot manage to stick to any of his firmly stated campaign promises. He then took to Twitter to bicker with facts:
How is this man still allowed to Tweet dumb shit like this? WE HAVE THE RECEIPTS, DONNY. WE KNOW WHAT YOU SAID.
Because I did not!
Christopher Hill, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea under George W. Bush, when asked what he thought could be done to work towards a solution with North Korea calmly replied, “I’d like to see an ambassador named to South Korea but I guess that takes a long time for this administration.”
“Yes, I was a little closer than you were,” Martha Raddatz said dryly when General McMaster noted that she probably had a better view of the North Korean missile launch from her location in South Korea. Anyone who can be that shitty to a Lieutenant General and the National Security Advisor is my hero.