Andrew Sullivan and ‘The Madness of King Donald’

Finally! A respected journalist and public figure, columnist Andrew Sullivan, is openly questioning the mental stability and capability of Pres. Donald Trump. It’s about time someone did.

In his Friday column for New York magazine titled “The Madness of King Donald” and again this morning on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Sullivan spoke frankly about the president’s erratic, impulsive behavior and denial of reality — something any conscious human being must surely have noticed by now. Perhaps the media have feared possible repercussions for making defamatory statements.* Or perhaps they’re just too accustomed to respecting the office of president. But Trump has already declared a virtual war against them just for asking too many uncomfortable questions, so there’s no mutual respect forthcoming from this president.

From  Sullivan’s column:

Trump’s lies are different. They are direct refutations of reality — and their propagation and repetition is about enforcing his power rather than wriggling out of a political conundrum. They are attacks on the very possibility of a reasoned discourse, the kind of bald-faced lies that authoritarians issue as a way to test loyalty and force their subjects into submission.

* * *

Here is what we are supposed to do: rebut every single lie. Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups if Spicer tries to duck the plain truth. Do not allow them to move on to another question. Interviews with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists.

From his CNN interview:

No one wants to be here saying this. I don’t want to believe the president of the United States is just delusional or cannot accept reality. Of course not. It pains me. It gives me great pain and concern and distress. But at some point, being a writer or a journalist requires one to simply say what one is seeing in front of one’s eyes. And sometimes you have to say that in plain English.

I applaud Sullivan’s courage in speaking openly and daring to say what has needed saying since Inauguration Day, if not well before. It’s time his colleagues in the media stop playing pattycake with the White House and start playing hardball — because this is one game America can’t afford to lose.


*However, truth is an absolute defense against defamation charges. If a statement is accurate, then by definition it is not defamatory.

10 thoughts on “Andrew Sullivan and ‘The Madness of King Donald’

  1. I was tempted to skip the clip after reading your post but I’m glad I didn’t because it contains specifics and is a powerful expression of the seriousness of the Trump problem. Like Sullivan, I am no psychiatrist, but any rational person ought to be able to see his lies for what they are. And yet, a visit to Fox News shows that many don’t. I wonder what it will take? Maybe launching a nuke. But if I were a reporter I’d be afraid to ask him what he thinks about it for fear of putting the idea in his head.

    Yours hysterically,


    1. I’m not particularly fond of talking heads myself, preferring to read instead. But you miss so much of a person’s tone and tenor when you don’t hear them speak. Actually, although I’ve enjoyed reading Sullivan’s columns for many years, this was the first time I’ve heard him speak at any length. His urgency and concern reflect my own, but with a calm and power I couldn’t possibly achieve. I hope his words reach millions because the emperor has no clothes, and Sullivan has finally pointed it out. (I also hope he has a couple of very alert bodyguards.)

  2. Hillary Clinton and CNN and at least two other news media TV stations had Donald Trump in the cross hairs in accusing him of of suffering or having NPD (narcissistic personality disorder} during the Primaries, and they failed to get any medical evidence to that effect. Just what are they looking for now? More of the same? I am not saying I agree with every thing the man says or does. It is more than evident that more than one person or group of people want The Donald to give it his best effort at running our country. Remember…he can give orders and directives, but that does not mean they will be followed. Checks AND balances are still in effect.

    1. It’s a cinch we’ll never see any of his medical records or financial records. So observers of his behavior can only speculate. But as much time as the media give to speculation and hypothesizing, you’d think more of them would find time to mention Trump’s behavior. All I can say is thank goodness for checks and balances.

  3. A voice crying in the wilderness?

    An honest man speaking what he believes to be the truth, (and I agree with him wholeheartedly).

    The person conducting the interview, with a supercilious look on his face, appearing to my mind, to be trying to convey the impression that he believes it’s Mr. Sullivan who’s in need of treatment.

    Well that’s how it appears from where I sit, which is a long, long way from New York & Washington DC

    1. Perhaps more will follow Sullivan’s lead and start speaking up. If I still had a sense of humor, I might find it amusing to watch the media trying to criticize Trump without sounding disrespectful.

  4. Surely the media could challenge every lie vigorously but is that really the best use of their time and resources? The media already picks apart every one of his tweets, which are chock full of lies and manufactured controversy. Why focus on his nonsense? He’s already known by sensible folks to be a fraud, so what is digging into every statement accomplishing other than distracting the media from the actual sweeping policy changes being implemented by this administration? This is exactly what the Trump administration wants, for us to look the other way. The press need to pick their battles. The big fish like the Russian collusion scandal and the abuse of executive power are the ones to catch. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

    1. This was written just a month after Trump’s inauguration. Having said just about everything that could be said about Trump’s unfitness for office, I think the MSM have since moved on to the bigge issues. But I couldn’t swear to it because I pretty much quit listening to the news. It made me too angy and depressed. I watch the headlines; that’s about all.

... and that's my two cents