David Von Drehle:
"The problem with Robert De Niro’s two-word dismissal of the president of the United States [at Sunday's Tony Awards] — an F-bomb plus the president’s last name — was its pure, unadulterated tribalism," writes the Washington Post columnist. "There was no effort to persuade or win over. The Raging Bull unleashed his raging id to divide his audience into Us against Them."
De Niro's television audience was already divided into Us against Them, thus no harm was done, no Socratic effort was squandered, no unadulterated tribalism was shockingly introduced. Additionally, the targeted camp is so altogether committed to irrationality, no amount of intelligent argument would ever persuade.
Hence De Niro merely delivered unto the enemy that which the enemy itself excels at: a verbal gut punch. Fair is fair. I do find it distressing that such language is now common fare on national TV, but that's the way it is.
That's my take, contra Von Drehle.
I'm more interested in yours. Was De Niro's verbal assault ill advised? Or was it a straightforward, much-needed sign of how deeply Trump has divided us?