Last night, after Donald Trump whipped his racist supporters into a frenzy by hurling one xenophobic attack after another at Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the crowd began chanting “send her back!” It was a new low in Trump’s bottomless pit of dangerously racist rhetoric and hate speech.
Today, Trump announced to the media that he didn’t like the “send her back” chant, saying “I was not happy with it. I disagree with it.” This prompted a number of journalists to announce “Trump disavows chant” or some similar variant. Of course this is total crap and they know it, as Trump egged the crowd on, and basked in the moment once the chant broke out, as opposed to saying or doing anything to try to stop it.
The pushback against this false reporting was so fierce, “Trump disavows” began trending atop Twitter, as one person after another called out the media for having used the inaccurate phrase. The New York Times took particular heat for putting the words “Trump Disavows” in a headline, without bothering to explain that Trump obviously didn’t mean it.
Donald Trump is only trying to belatedly walk back the “send her back” chant because his racist antics have finally reached the point where the average Republican in Congress is starting to worry about whether it’ll impact the party’s chances in 2020. At this point the media is going to have to disavow its own use of the word “disavow” before it loses any more credibility.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report