This week the media edged closer to their Murrow moment. In the 50s, CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow took on Sen. Joe McCarthy and his unscrupulous red-baiting, helping bring about McCarthy's downfall. And this week, the media finally began to call out Donald Trump's racism and point out the cowardice of those like Paul Ryan, who admitted Trump's comments about Judge Gonazalo Curiel were the "textbook definition of racism" -- and yet continued to endorse him. So the media edged closer to their Murrow moment, but they still have a long way to go, judging by their reaction to Trump's speech after winning the California primary. Only Donald Trump could be praised for a speech just because it did not include any overt racism. But whether he "pivots" to being "presidential" or not, we know what he thinks, and we know what "textbook" beliefs his policies are based on. "This is no time," said Murrow of McCarthy, "to remain silent." Nor to ignore or euphemize the grave danger we're facing.
For a politician or a journalist, there was a time when citing the classics -- as long as it wasn't done in a pedantic or pompous manner -- was a mark of wisdom and experience. If a candidate or reporter does it today, there's a good chance they'll be trolled and ridiculed for high-handed pretension. Cue Donald Trump shouting, "Loser!"
When I talk about Schock's "closet," I mean the system of keeping LGBTs down by intimidating and disadvantaging them. Laws like those Schock supported are designed to oppress gays and lesbians, and they send a clear message: Sure, go ahead and be openly gay; just remember that you could lose your job, your home, your safety, or your life.