Famed Hollywood icon Rob Reiner ripped into CBS journalist Leslie Stahl on Monday night who he believes ‘softballed’ Donald Trump during his first interview on ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday.
At a D.C. screening of his upcoming film ‘LBJ’ chronicling the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Reiner spoke out on last week’s presidential election. He is not known for pulling punches and he certainly did not do it on this occasion as he slammed Leslie Stahl and the news media as a whole:
“I don’t know if you saw Leslie Stahl [Sunday] night. It’s embarrassing. It is embarrassing that somebody who has a national platform would softball this moron. He’s a moron.
And that man is in the White House now, and the press normalized him. They normalized him for a long, long time. And that’s a disgrace.”
The director has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump throughout the election season. He expressed his opinion as to what Trump’s election victory signifies for the United States:
“We are fighting the last big major battle of the Civil War. There’s only been two times in the history of America where upon the election of a president, the people en masse took to the streets. One was Abraham Lincoln, and the other was Donald Trump. And for obviously, you know, 180-degree different reasons, but both based on race.”
Reiner even weaved the show in which he had a supporting role in the 1970’s, ‘All in the Family’ which was part of a number of shows created by Norman Lear which boldly highlighted race relations in the United States, in describing a progression of events over the past 50 years that have marked great social and racial progress culminating in the nation voting in its first African American president.
“To me, the scariest part of what we saw with Donald Trump was not understanding how much racism still existed in this country. It was kind of papered over for a while. I mean, we had the Civil Rights Act, we had the Voting Rights Act and then in the ’70s we had All In The Family started shining a light on racial unrest. And then we had a lot of enormous success by African-Americans in the media, in the news and so on. And then culminating with an African American president.”
Reiner said that the miscalculation that occurred on this election was because of the feeling of comfort that many felt with the progress, not realizing “that this undercurrent of racism was still there, virulent and king of down, suppressed.”