President Trump has been stoking the flames between professional sports and the White House over the last 24 hours and the media, as usual, is taking every opportunity to talk about every word and analyze every tweet.
As was reported previously at RedState, Trump lambasted NFL players during a campaign rally in Alabama Friday night where he was stumping for Sen. Luther Strange.
Of players who take a knee or sit “disrespecting” the flag during the national anthem, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, “Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”
The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has since issued a statement calling the President’s remarks “divisive” and that they “demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL…”
Not stopping there, the President also got wind of Golden State Warrior phenom, Steph Curry’s, comments that he wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of going to the White House, as teams who win the NBA Championship traditionally do.
With umbrage, Trump blasted off a tweet disinviting Curry and the Warriors.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump tweeted.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Thus, setting off an entire news cycle of Trump v. Professional Sports (except WrestleMania, I’m sure).
Since then, the major cable news networks have had a continuous parade of guests coming on to discuss Trump’s remarks in Alabama and his tweet. And the talking heads simply cannot contain themselves. Pointing out often the fact that most NBA and NFL players — including Colin Kaepernick — are persons of color.
So, of course, this is a clear indication of Donald Trump’s white supremacist leanings they allege he has, and not Trump taking a commonly held sentiment that Americans should stand during the national anthem. Or using his discretionary authority to invite and disinvite guests to the White House, particularly those who state they do not want to go.
Nope. To the media and sportscasters, this is Trump’s way of being racist.
Not only that, Trump is now being blamed for the media not covering other important topics, like the ongoing disaster in the American island of Puerto Rico. The island of 3.5 million inhabitants completely lost power a few days ago and now 70,000 residents have been told to evacuate immediately as the Guajataca dam is straining its capacity and could break at any moment.
Independent journalist Jamil Smith decided to weigh in on Trump speaking at a campaign rally while Puerto Rico drowns in darkness. “An entire island full of Americans in Puerto Rico are without power right now, and
“An entire island full of Americans in Puerto Rico are without power right now, and @POTUS is cursing out NFL players at his campaign rally,” he tweeted.
An entire island full of Americans in Puerto Rico are without power right now, and @POTUS is cursing out NFL players at his campaign rally.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 23, 2017
Perhaps Trump should try golfing during national tragedies. His predecessor, Barack Obama, seemed to deal with things that way and the media didn’t bat an eyelash. But, you know, a lot of brown, Spanish-speaking people live in Puerto Rico, so it’s definitely a conspiracy because Trump is playing 864-dimensional chess.*
Former ESPN senior editor, Keith Reed, reiterated the allegation on CNN Saturday by saying Trump’s comments on Friday and Saturday were to blame for the media not covering the Puerto Rico story.
It couldn’t possibly be the media’s obsession with Trump and the eyeballs his feuds and bombastic tweets bring to their stations and publications that are to blame. The media has a choice in what they cover. The hand-wringing over what stories get attention is an ongoing point of contention for journalists and news outlets.
Trump acts and the media reacts, rather than reports.
When Trump is on offense, the media is reflexively defensive and scandalized. And to some extent, vice versa, reminiscent of a football game. Politics is a spectator sport and with Trump, the media is the other team.
Somehow, after more than two years of this kind of drama, the media still has not realized that Trump is Trump. Trump isn’t going to stop being Trump-y. The media can cover whatever stories it wants. But, blaming Trump for their inability to stop or tone down their obsession with the man, and continually freak-out, is ridiculous.
*There’s no such thing.