A button and a book: Trump strikes back!
05-Jan-2018


“US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was caught crouching under Donald J. Trump’s Oval Office desk on Wednesday, in an attempt to disconnect Trump’s newly installed nuclear button”.

No. That’s not true.

It is just a piece of satirical news in the “The Borowitz Report” published in ‘The New Yorker’ on 3 January 2018.

Andy Borowitz, a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian, has been writing for the New Yorker, since 1998. And I find some of his satire on current news very funny.

After the recent exchange between the leaders of North Korea and USA, the cyberspace was flooded with jokes and memes. All about the nuclear button both leaders are purported to have.

True to his now-well-known style - on hearing that Kim Jong-Un, the head of North Korea said he has the nuclear button on his table at all times – US President Donald Trump tweeted: “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”.

Whether that particular Trump tweet was necessary or not, has soon become a matter of debate.

But even before the debate on “the button” died down, a newer debate on “the book” has come up in the USA.

Extracts from a new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, have hit the Internet and are causing great controversy.

The book which is not set for release until Tuesday apparently features fiery quotes from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and potentially embarrassing depictions of life and work inside the White House.

Needless to say, as I write this I am also reading the latest news on cnbc.com that “A lawyer for President Trump demands an apology and a retraction of material from an explosive new book by Michael Wolff about the White House”.

The lawyer’s letter to the author Michael Wolff and publishers Henry Holt & Co. reads : “Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the Book, the Article, or any excerpts or summaries of either of them, to any person or entity, and that you issue a full and complete retraction and apology to my client as to all statements made about him in the Book and Article that lack competent evidentiary support Wolff and Henry Holt and Company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

While we are unsure as to the content of the book, and while we must, of course, desist making assumptions, we must accept the fact that in today’s day and age, it is almost impossible to stop people from talking.

Unlike in the past when mass media has had editors who wielded enormous control, social media can take the news – and some rumours along with it - faster and farther than was ever imagined.

If we must give both sides a fair chance to express themselves, we must of course accept that for every writer with an opinion, there could also be an opponent with a completely different opinion.

So,  when Kim Jong-Un boasts that he has the entire US mainland within the range of his nuclear missiles, and when an author publishes a one sided view of what transpired in the white house, we cannot think that there will be no opposition to that thinking.

Retaliating to the aggressive talk of opponents has always been the staple act of politicians. And all this talk of bigger buttons and of banning books must be taken. But, with a pinch of salt.


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