Commenting on the Donald Sterling (a grimy shyster lawyer formerly known as Donald Tokowitz), Pat Buchanan asks: "Is America Still a Serious Country?" Absolutely not and it has not been one for a very long time.
Our country has become one big TV show: at best like Oprah and Dr. Phil and at worst like Jerry Springer. Scandalous, self-occupied, mawkish, shallow, childish. Instead of discussing politics, books, or even sports, men with advanced degrees wax eloquent about the Sterling scandal on Facebook in competition over whose politically-correct outrage will be louder. Whatever happened to sticking to stats, scores, and players when discussing sports.
And why is no one outraged at Sterling's infidelity to his aged and long-suffering wife? Ann Coulter pointed out in a recent column:
The fact that this 80-year-old human-manatee, married with three children, has been openly consorting with prostitutes for decades does not account for 1 percent of the media's outrage against Sterling.
See, to the media, a married man who openly frolics with prostitutes (and then sues one of them!) and goes out in public with a mistress who is old enough to be his granddaughter is no big deal. But the moment that same man makes a racially insensitive comment, all politically-correct hell breaks loose and he is the new Hitler of the Hour. Did people expect this debauched wreck of a man to be a paragon of civility and tact? You gotta be kiddin' me, as they say in NYC.
Interestingly enough, Sterling bears an eerie resemblance to a shabby shyster I had the misfortune of running into a few years back. Like Sterling, he was a slumlord who bragged about being tough on his Black and Hispanic tenants, while ostentatiously genuflecting to minorities. A dyspeptic Manhattan Jew with a constant frown and a droning nasal monotone, this gonif made a fortune by engaging in highly questionable real estate transactions. And like the disgraced owner of the Clippers, he liked to show off his vulgar girlfriend. In short, an example of what Sterling was before he made it big. Perhaps, he will pool his resources with a syndicate of other Manhattan shysters and they will buy the Clippers out. Oprah or Magic Johnson will be a politically-correct figurehead owner, acceptable to the establishment and the Thought Police.
In years past, the whole shabby affair would have been relegated to the pages of such cerebral publications as The National Enquirer, Star, and other intellectual masterpieces stacked near the check-out lane in suburban supermarkets. But those were the good old days. Now, the president takes time out of his foreign tour to comment on a private conversation between a notoriously dissolute businessman and his mistress. And then Americans wonder why Putin does not take our commander-in-chief seriously and why our country is a laughing stock from Paris to Perm.
Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.