President Donald Trump’s tribute to fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was widely celebrated as a moment that could be appreciated by Americans of all political leanings, but it looks like not everyone was happy about it.
Legendary film director Rob Reiner appeared on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” to discuss President Trump’s joint address to Congress on Tuesday night. Reiner starts off by accusing the president of being “a pathological liar,” and it was all downhill from there.
After Reiner questioned the president’s reading ability and his worldview, Chris Matthews shifted the topic of discussion. Bringing up the extended applause to commemorate the fallen SEAL and honor his widow, Carryn Owens, who was in attendance as a guest of the president, Matthews referred to it as “the most powerful moment” of the night, before quickly insulting it.
Highlighting the president’s comment acknowledging the applause, Matthews referred to it as “grotesquery,” a questionable comment that would immediately be outshined by Reiner’s response, when he said:
“It was cringeworthy. I mean it’s like the worst dramaturgy. Now, it sells and it works, I mean if you’re a great snake oil salesman, and he is, then it works. But boy oh boy, talk about using somebody as a prop. It was disgraceful!”
Reiner and Matthews went on to discuss the vice president’s reaction during a moment in the speech where President Trump referenced his proposed border wall. VP Pence appeared to laugh and Reiner and Matthews presupposed that he must have been laughing at the president and what they perceive as an empty promise.
Reiner’s comment stands in stark contrast to the general consensus on Trump’s address. Even commentators on Fox News and CNN could agree that Trump’s speech was decidedly presidential, with CNN’s Van Jones going so far as to refer to the address as, “one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.”
While Rob Reiner has opted to view the speech through a cynical lens, many Americans have chosen to appreciate the moment for what it was: a touching tribute to a fallen warrior.