Journalism professor Seth Abramson called out Fox News for “misreporting” what Donald Trump said on their own network after he unleashed a “racist public rant” against predominantly black NFL players Thursday.
Trump complained that the mostly white NFL owners are “afraid” of their black players in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“I have so many friends who are owners and they’re in a box,” Trump said. “I’ve spoken to a couple of them, they say, ‘we are in a situation where we have to do something.’ I think they’re afraid of their players if you want to know the truth.”
Abramson, who teaches journalism and law at the University of New Hampshire, called out not just Trump but the media for attempting to cover up the president’s blatant, unveiled racism.
“Trump says the white owners of the NFL are ‘afraid’ of its black players,” Abramson tweeted. “That’s not ‘racist dog-whistling.’ It’s a ‘racist public rant.’”
“When you suggest that accomplished, politically astute black men engaged in peaceful protest are scary, you’re a racist and nothing more.”
Abramson slammed Fox News for “misreporting” what Trump said in an effort to “cover up” for him.
“Fox News—trying to cover for Trump—*misreports* him as saying owners are afraid to ‘take action against’ rather than ‘afraid of’ players. ‘I think they’re afraid of their players’ is what Trump *actually* said, Fox News,” Abramson wrote. “You can’t clean it up by misreporting it. It’s racist.”
Abramson called out other media outlets too for trying to sanitize their headlines to make the president’s comments seem less outwardly bigoted than they actually were.
“Today’s headlines should read, ‘President Goes on Racist Rant on Fox News, Says Peacefully Protesting Black NFL Players Scare People,’” he wrote. “The ledes should read: ‘Today Trump cast himself as whites’ savior—noting that, unlike NFL owners, he’s not afraid of black NFL players.’”
Abramson then turned to the public, questioning why regular Americans still pretend Trump may not be a racist but rather an old man who says racist things, while white supremacists publicly “celebrate” his bigotry.
“America’s white supremacists aren’t unclear on Trump being a racist—they celebrate the fact he is—so why should the rest of us doubt it?” Abramson asked. “Of course, we also have decades of Trump’s business, personal, and political history to work from in drawing this rather easy conclusion.”
“A man who doesn’t want to be publicly acknowledged as an unrepentant racist doesn’t speak like this—so let’s just give him what he wants,” he added. “If we’d just accept he’s a racist, we could better understand his willingness to let the ‘shipping industry’ control PR relief for days.”
The media continues to downplay Trump’s racism as a penchant for making “racist comments” in an effort to appease his supporters. It’s ironic given that the very news outlets like CNN and New York Times who clean up his language for him have been long dismissed by the likes of the Trump voter. They do it to keep their access to the White House even though the press office treats them with disdain on a daily basis and refuse to answer any direct question.
Trump spent years accusing the first black president of being born in Africa, attacked immigrants as rapists, attacked a judge for being Hispanic, hired white nationalist Steve Bannon to the White House, called for a ban of all Muslims entering the United States, whitewashed the Holocaust, and defended Nazis. What else does a fella have to do to get called a racist in this town?