Who’s the happiest guy in America this week?
Nick Fuentes. In a matter of days, he’s gone from total obscurity to the most famous person in the country. Everybody’s talking about him!
Until he had dinner with Trump, literally, no one had ever heard of him (except various “hate watch” groups scamming money out of the perpetually alarmed). That’s not for lack of trying on Fuentes’ part. He was doing anything he could think of to get people to notice him.
You say praising Hitler will get me in the news? Watch this!
[Twenty researchers at People for the American Way earnestly type up reports titled, “The Dangerous Rise of Far-Right Extremism,” then blast them to the Upper West Side.]
Serendipitously, Donald Trump is also desperate for attention. As president of the United States, he used to brag to anyone who would listen about the important people who called him. (You know, the way a lot of serious adults do.) Rupert Murdoch calls me every day!
He proudly produced the letters he’d exchanged with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to journalist Bob Woodward, telling him the letters were “soooo top secret,” and asking Woodward (again, a JOURNALIST) (for The Washington Post!), “Don’t say I gave them to you. OK?”
This is a man who faked a Time magazine featuring him on the cover with the headline, “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS … EVEN TV!” — and hung them on the walls of his golf clubs.
It’s like an episode of “Dynasty.”
So you can well imagine Trump’s state of mind right now. He blew the midterms, everyone knows he blew the midterms, and then held a funereal presidential announcement at Mar-a-Lago, attended by only losers and grifters.
After the grim event, those of us unlucky enough to be on his email list were bombarded with messages announcing the MAJOR ENDORSEMENTS he’d received! (Nearly 10!)
Endorsement of President Donald J. Trump by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
Endorsement of President Donald J. Trump by the New York Young Republican Club
Each of the no-name and/or crazy people endorsing him was proclaimed in a separate email for maximum impact. I don’t know whose endorsement carries any weight these days — definitely not Trump’s — but it’s sure not these guys.
The point is: When you’re the former president and you’re bragging about the Young Republican Club of New York City endorsing you for president, Nick Fuentes is a HUGE “get.”
Trump was dying to have anyone famous come to Mar-a-Lago. Kanye West (Ye) is a big name, right? A strongly strong name. Plus, he’s probably not getting a lot of dinner invitations these days anyway. So Trump invited Ye, and Ye brought Fuentes.
For days, Trump’s “Springtime for Hitler” dinner led on every program on MSNBC. Also CNN. Probably ESPN and the Cartoon Network, too.
Fuentes is the biggest news since a white guy shot up a Chesapeake Walmart. Scratch that — he was black. Since a white guy shot up a Colorado Springs gay nightclub! Oops, let’s move on — he’s nonbinary.
Oh well, never mind. Fuentes is big, big news! Extensive clips of his sad little podcast (six viewers) have been playing around the clock on TV. He’s been featured in 20 separate articles in The New York Times alone, getting billboarded, front-page coverage.
Even with the Times‘ flood-the-zone approach toward any vaguely white man who says something stupid, Fuentes never made the paper until Dec. 16, 2020 — in the 26th paragraph of a Thomas Edsall column: “At the pro-Trump rally in Washington on Dec. 12, the day after the Supreme Court decision, the crowd chanted ‘Destroy the G.O.P.’ at the urging of Nick Fuentes, a far-right opponent of immigration.”
Since then, despite his leaping in front of any microphone within 50 miles, Fuentes has appeared only in buried asides in a few dozen articles (about Jan. 6, natch).
But now — now, Fuentes is a star! Just like Trump. Fuentes and Trump: Narcissistic baby morons whose sole driving force in life is being FAMOUS!
Most people are unfamiliar with this emotion. A normal person likes everything about fame — except the fame part. (I tried to turn down the Time magazine cover, as the reporter John Cloud could confirm.)
Another similarity of the narcissistic baby morons: Both briefly gained respectability when, amid their babbling idiocies, they happened to hit upon immigration, and were rewarded by a nation crying out for anyone to give a damn about our country.
We didn’t want the incendiary stuff, but if that’s what it took to get immigration on the table, fine, we’ll take it. At least they weren’t calling illegal immigration an “act of love.” (Jeb!(TM))
Sadly, it turned out they were just monkeys typing for an infinite amount of time and producing Shakespeare. Recall that Trump first tried running for president in 2012 by pushing birtherism. Crash and burn.
Then by complete chance — the happy accident of Trump seeing me discuss my book Adios, America! and requesting a copy — in 2015, he started talking about immigration. He was pointlessly nasty, utterly ignorant, but at least he was talking about it. No one else would, so he became president.
But now, it’s perfectly clear that Trump’s bluster about a wall and deporting illegals was just random words that he assembled. He didn’t intend to do it, didn’t understand it and didn’t care.
Now, he’s back to his loony-tunes, get this! mode, still perseverating about his “sacred landslide election victory” being “viciously” stolen from him — in an election year when there was a red wave for every Republican but him.
From what I’ve read, Fuentes has roughly the same B.S.-to-sanity ratio, winning fans on those occasions when he talked about immigration, then deciding to spend 99% of his time trying to say things so repellent that he’d make news.
He’s made it now! You can’t turn on the TV without seeing Fuentes talking about imposing a Catholic dictatorship, Hitler is great, women should be forced to marry young and have children, and Trump must be made dictator for life.
Is he humiliated? No! He’s on TEE-VEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
The irony is: All the cable news hosts making Fuentes a star are driven by the same weird compulsion. No one paid by a television network is any less craven than Trump and Fuentes. Liberals are suddenly reborn as right-wingers at Fox, and the reverse happens at MSNBC and CNN. What do I have to believe? Please. I’m willing to say anything.
Of all the addictions — gambling, drinking, drugs — none leads to more embarrassing behavior than the quest for fame.
Unfortunately for the country, we are now locked in a situation where Trump, Fuentes and the media have identical interests: Keep Trump and Fuentes in the news.
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