When are public figures going to learn that their every move has been recorded on film and instantly available for any TV news host to make an unfriendly point?
That much about the video trail left behind from decades ago became quickly apparent again when vulturous Republicans, as is their wont, flapped at the chance of assailing President Obama for shaking hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
Sen. John McCain, who has a record of erratic public remarks, immediately likened Obama to Neville Chamberlain (not original on the Right since the Iran deal) clasping the hand of Adolph Hitler. That was quickly followed on MSNBC with a photo of McCain doing the same with Khadafi, no humanitarian by any means. To put an even finer point on the Republican blather, other photos showed President Nixon greeting Mao with a handshake. (Nixon, in the spirit of world brotherhood when he was in China, even raised a glass!)
A widely published photo shows a seated President Roosevelt wedged between Churchill and Stalin (!) at Yalta in 1945 to figure out a plan for a post-war world. (Even in less genteel football, iconic coaches meet briefly at midfield after one has mercilessly trounced the other in the game.)
The Plain Dealer has now taken up the phony phenomenon of the "historic" handshake with a full-page spread offering a huge photo of the Obama-Castro encounter and urging readers to comment on it. The paper promises to print the comments later in the week. I can guess.
You'd think there is a better way to engage the reader's interest on slow news days when only person-of-the-year Pope Francis, Mandella and the Browns' next quarterback are commanding all of the attention.
And to McCain I would only say: Be careful when you sample an olive at the market. Years from now it could show up on the network news when you blast a malingering Democrat for ordering a martini from an undocumented bartender on the day the liberal pol called in sick.