Ken Burns still can't get over his obsession over Donald Trump. Last June, in his Stanford commencement speech, the documentary filmmaker with the outdated Beatle haircut went all drama queen over the candidacy of Donald Trump. Well, he still can't get Trump out of his mind even if he is unable to speak his name.
In an interview with Carl Quintanilla, host of CNBC's BINGE, Burns takes us on a troubled trip deep into the heart of liberal darkness. His obsession is mostly amusing but he still continues to pretend that he is "nonpartisan" which is an easily disprovable lie. The interview begins with the clip of Burns' Stanford campaign speech thinly disguised as a commencement address:
KEN BURNS: I wasn't speaking as the person who makes films. I'm speaking as a citizen who knows about history who has always tried to be nonpartisan in everything.
Hold it! Stop the music! Before we allow Ken to go on obsessing over the One Who Cannot Be Named, we must take a timeout to call out this flat out "nonpartisan" lie. It is absurd for Burns to make this claim because his own words reveal him as a liar according to a 1998 speech he gave called, Why I am a Yellow Dog Democrat:
I was asked to speak...because some in our party thought that as a student of history, I might have a perspective on our doings.
They were also curious as to why I am a Democrat. Let me tackle the easier question first...why I am, in fact, what is called a yellow dog democrat.
...Though it is sometimes difficult and painful to say, I am pleased I live in a world with Republicans, if only to set in spectacular relief the overwhelming good sense of my party...its staggering achievements over the last two hundred years and its positive message of growth and hope for the coming millennium.
Yeah, some "nonpartisan" Burns is. And if you think I cherry picked his extreme partisanship, then read the whole extremely partisan speech for yourself.
Okay, we now return to Burns just after the point he lied about being nonpartisan:
BURNS: But in this case I felt it was time, there was a circumstance where I felt the person running for president was so unqualified and I am not alone. Almost everyone in the historical position knows that to be the case. And I've written about it and talked about it and I've tried to warn a populace sort of distracted and infatuated with the media circus.
CARL QUINTANILLA: Were you hoping to avoid giving that speech?
BURNS: Very much so. Very much so. It was very very hard to contemplate but there was something in my conscience that was nagging at me.
Apparently lying wasn't one of the things in his conscience that was nagging at him. Okay, back to "nonpartisan" Burns...
BURNS: Never in the history of the republic, for 216 years of real contested elections...that never have we had somebody so manifestly unqualified to do the job.
QUINTANILLA: So there is no historical antecedent in this country?
BURNS: There are antecedents other places which you don't really want to contemplate.
It takes no genius to figure which "other places" Burns is not very cleverly referring to. The standard unoriginal (and lazy) slam that Trump is like a certain jackbooted toothbrush mustached boyfriend of Eva hanging out at the Berchtesgaden.
QUINTANILLA: You can barely even say his name.
BURNS: I don't say his name and it was important for me not to do that. To just speak to what I felt was a historical moment and my obligation as a citizen, not as a filmmaker, not as an amateur historian but as a citizen to say "I don't think this is right, can we stop." We have seen in other histories campaigns built on fear and fear mongering and that you don't need that here.
Oh, you're just too amazingly pure to speak his name, Ken. And those hushed tones with which you speak give you just the right touch of dramatic seriousness.
Anybody else out there get the feeling that Ken Burns is writing a documentary in his mind starring himself heroically speaking out against the oncoming dictatorship of his imagination? Of course, he might have a bit of a problem in his documentary portraying himself as "nonpartisan" since he declared himself to be resolutely partisan in a rather inconvenient speech that just won't fit into his carefully prepared script.