I loved the fact that he never drew his weapon or got flustered or had to run anywhere. I was transfixed by how this unlikely genius was always underestimated, never seen as credible, and always dismissed as a fool. No one ever saw him coming. But HE was the one asking the nagging question. HE was the one approaching it all without passion or prejudice. And when it was all said and done, HE was always the one besting the so-called “great master mind.”
I loved Columbo. I still do.
I actually carried a lot of the lessons I learned watching Columbo into my adult (and even professional) life. The first lesson I learned was, don’t judge anyone based on what they look like or sound like. Brilliance AND ignorance comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. The second thing I learned was, trust that little voice telling you, “something here isn’t right.” I listen to that voice even now when I’m writing or producing or performing.
The last thing I learned was, ask the stupid question. Seriously …ask it.
I’ve been in a lot of meetings where I raise my hand and ask something that everyone snickers at …at first. Then, when the thing is cleared up, people will come to me and say things like, “thank you for asking that. I thought I was the only one who didn’t get it.”
Now that I’m older, I care even less what people think of me. That makes me even less afraid to ask the glaring, I’m sure-we-covered-all-this-already-but-bear-with-me question. I learned all of this from Columbo.
Columbo would ask the “8-year-old” question while everyone else was off in the weeds, building grandiose theories. He solved a case once based on the way a right-handed person ties their shoes. Once, he cracked the code based on someone’s love of country music over classical. I love how Columbo thinks. And I find myself thinking that way, often.
My wife and I sat down to watch some of the Comey hearings, last week. All of this seems like such a mess. I just wanted to get some sort of a handle on it. As I understand it, we are being told that the Russian government hacked into the DNC email servers and then released DNC emails to Wikileaks. Then Wikileaks made them public. Then people (voters) saw the private emails. Then they decided who to vote for based on that. And that was how the Russians tampered with the election.
Am I right so far?
And there’s this theory that Donald Trump may have asked the Russians to do this or conspired with them in some way to make it happen. Am I correct on this? I think I am.
And so far there’s no real evidence in any direction that supports much of anything other than the Russians tried to mess with our election. And we know they try to do this all the time. Okay. I think I’m up to speed.
The first question I heard asked of Mr Comey was whether the FBI has actually seen the DNC servers. His answer was “no.” After that answer, I stopped the DVR and looked at my wife. “I don’t need to see anything else,” I told her. “Everything AFTER that answer seems like speculation to me.”
Maybe I’m missing something simple. But if the FBI hasn’t actually EXAMINED the servers in question, how can they know who the hackers were? In fact, how do they know it even WAS a hack? Could it have been a leak? Our own CIA has talked about how they can put anyone’s “fingerprints” on something cyber to make one party look like someone else (a fact that freaking terrifies me). It just seems like someone isn’t dwelling on the most obvious question of all: WAS there actually a hack?
Look, I am agnostic when it comes to Donald Trump. I was the FIRST blogger to assert publicly that I think the man might have some form of Autism. I blasted him again publicly when he made fun of the man with the disability.
I only came to his defense when people started comparing him to Hitler. And I did that mainly because of the abject disrespect that comparison shows to human beings who actually survived the REAL Hitler.
As far as I know, Donald Trump picked up his golden phone, called his friend Vladamir and they conspired to take down Hillary Clinton together. That might actually be true. I have no idea. And if it IS true then Mr Trump should be punished in whatever way you punish people who do that sort of thing (I honestly don’t know what the punishment is).
But is it just me, or shouldn’t the FBI subpoena the servers in question? If some sort of charges were to be filed, from what source would they bring EVIDENCE without the actual servers? Am I the only one thinking this? Surely I’m not.
To my mind, all the noise beyond this crucial piece of the puzzle, is just that …political noise.
I don’t love or hate any of the players involved in these theatrics. But I am raising my cigar to my forehead. I am furrowing my brow. I am folding my arms with a puzzled look on my face. And with a thick, Queens accent I’m saying, “so, just for my own personal notes, sir. Pardon me. I’m a little slow sometimes.” And I’m patting my pockets. “Please bear with me here. I know I’ve got my notes somewhere. Just a second sir. Oh yes …here they are.”
I’m dialing through a tiny note pad, my lazy eye wandering, and examining recipes and random phone numbers and then …yes there it is …
“You’re saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is simply taking the word of a third party …a privately funded firm …that the people who HIRED them were hacked by the Russians? That’s your statement, sir?”
Apparently, the straight-faced answer to that question is …yes.
All I know is, where is Columbo when you need him?