Donald Trump is a racist. Full stop.
It's not a particularly difficult sentence to say or type, if one is interested in facts, truth and reality.
And yet, there are precious few white journalists (who comprise more than 75 percent of the industry) who will say that. Instead, they'll use phrases like "racially charged" or worse, "provocative" to soften the edges of Trump's ignorance and hate. It's left to the few People of Color in the industry to risk their livelihoods to call it what it is. And don't kid yourself, it is a risk to them. Look only to what's happened to Melissa Harris-Perry, Soledad O'Brien, and Tamron Hall. The fact that they are all Women of Color working in the news media which is so geared towards elevating white men should not be lost to you either.
So perhaps it's not surprising that on CNN, John King went to his panel for Inside Politics and removed Trump's racism through a lens of partisanship:
Um, what? This isn't a partisan thing. If you are a sentient being, you MUST acknowledge that Donald Trump is racist. His attack on Rep. Elijah Cummings was racist. His attack on the City of Baltimore is racist. Full stop.
A reporter on his own network just last night unequivocally called it "racist" last night. Why does John King turn it into strictly a partisan issue?
At the turn of the last century, a newspaper humorist famously said that the job of the newspapers (the media of note at the time) was to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." What the 24 hour cable news media have done is to reverse that entirely and comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. And make no mistake, this is a strategy that the Trump administration is banking on, because it solidifies his white base and it keeps the media distracted from the damage he is doing to democracy. How much of last week's Sunday shows was spent on his Twitter attack of "The Squad" rather than the heinous conditions at the border, the detaining of American citizens, the loosening of regulations to drill in Alaska, and the economy not hitting the targets set by the Trump administration? And most of that distraction was in questioning whether the tweets were racist and presenting factual analysis of them, as if it matters. Trump doesn't care if The Squad were born in America, why spend any time treating those tweets as if he was just misinformed and would amend them with correct information?
The New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik tweeted
A real problem is that politics in Trump’s era has taken on a moral dimension that news outlets either aren’t equipped to cover, or think it’s their duty to avoid. And if they avoid it, they avoid their job, which is to accurately represent to their audience what’s happening.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) July 15, 2019
It's time for John King and his colleagues to just come to grips: Donald Trump is a racist.