Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He demanded through a surrogate that the media stop talking about race.

In today's briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about an interview in which White House chief of staff John Kelly said that the Civil War could have been avoided through "compromise," and in which he praised the "honorable" character of Robert E. Lee. (Lee was a slaveowner who is known to have personally abused those he held in bondage.)

Asked to acknowledge the fact that many found Kelly's comments racially offensive, Sanders responded that the claim was "outrageous and absurd" and blamed the media for depicting the Trump White House as a "racially charged" place.

What counts as "racially charged" is a matter of opinion, but just since taking office, Trump--who describes himself as "the least racist person"--has personally done the following:

So what?

  • Presidents don't actually get to dictate how they're covered by the news media.
  • Saying that nobody was offended by praise for a slaveowner's character doesn't make it true.