The Media’s ‘Objectivity’ on Trump is an Insult to Journalism

by Kerry Eleveld –

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) Host Joe Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski speak onstage during the 'Morning Joe' panel during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 7, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who co-host MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had a low moment last week when they appeared stumped by the assertion that Donald Trump has been making racist, xenophobic comments on the campaign trail.They were interviewing Alfonso Aguilar, one of the conservative Latino leaders who gathered in Boulder, Colorado, in advance of Wednesday’s GOP debate to put the candidates on notice: stop maligning Latino immigrants or you can kiss 2016 goodbye.

After Scarborough asked Aguilar if he agreed with Trump that illegal immigration is a “big problem” in the U.S., he answered, “Oh absolutely,” but added that it’s “very naïve” to suggest that’s all Trump is implying. “He’s saying things like, the majority of undocumented immigrants from Mexico are rapists and criminals and that we have to deport everyone—that is absolutely ridiculous,” explained Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

As Aguilar continued, Mika interjected, “Sir, if we could just be careful on both sides of this. I’m certainly not jumping to Trump’s defense here, but you just made two comments that I — I’m sorry, where did he say those exact words? … that all are ‘rapists’ or… I mean, I—“

Scarborough jumped in. “I don’t think that’s exactly what he said,” he asserted, backing up Brzezinski. They seemed to be objecting to Aguilar’s use of the word “majority.”

Then Brzezinski admonished, “You have to be careful as well, with words.”

Let’s just pause there, for a moment. Is Brzezinski really telling Aguilar to be more “careful” with his words? Has anyone told Trump to be “careful”? Because Trump’s a public figure who has been using his platform to essentially defame an entire ethnicity. Meanwhile, the people he’s targeting with his racist rhetorical flourishes are among some of the most vulnerable who reside in this nation. In fact, let’s head below the fold to revisit Trump’s exact words at his campaign launch in June.

Here’s Trump’s opening salvo on immigration:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Does anyone really think he’s suggesting that a minority of Mexican immigrants have problems—that there’s just a few bad apples? I don’t. It sounds more like “drugs” and “crime” and “rapists” are the norm, and “good people” are the exception to the rule.Of course, that wasn’t Trump’s last run at immigrants. He hit that note repeatedly over the coming weeks and months. Here he is in a follow-up interview that same day:

“And it’s people from countries other than Mexico also. We have drug dealers coming across, we have rapists, we have killers, we have murderers.”

Yes, let’s not limit their horizons, they’re also “killers” and “murderers.” If it’s illegal and reprehensible, the immigrants are doing it.CNN’s Wolf Blitzer gave a similarly dodgy defense of Trump while interviewing Sen. Bernie Sanders last month. “I am sad to say that in the year 2015,” Sanders said, “people like Trump are using racism as a way to attract votes. You don’t talk about Mexican Americans or people from Mexico as rapists or as criminals—that is not what we should be talking about in this country today. I would have hoped we would have gone beyond that kind of racism.”

Blitzer clarified, “When he says some of the people who have come into the United States—the illegal immigrants from Mexico—some of them turn out to be rapists or criminals. …”

“And so do some white people,” Sanders responded, “so do some black people, so do some everybody people. But his remarks were totally objectionable and they were racist.”

Well said, Bernie.

The mainstream media’s overwhelming failure to call Trump’s rhetoric for what it is—racist, plain and simple—has been appalling. The journalistic concept of “objectivity” was never meant to be used as a shield for uncomfortable truths.

Either Blitzer and Brzezinski aren’t living in the same world I am or they haven’t been listening. But whatever their circumstance, pretending that Trump hasn’t been unfairly maligning undocumented immigrants and blaming them for many of America’s woes is both insulting to their viewers and a disservice to the nation.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

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