The New York Times is almost quaint, in the era of Trump. It always speaks politely and uses referents like “Mr.” Trump, and it comes up with euphemisms for his lies and racist speech — probably because to tell the plain truth in a headline or sentence would make them sound exactly like the National Enquirer. “Trump Lies Again” or “More Racist Hate Speech From White House,” are words that the editors at the Times cannot bring themselves to write. And it’s understandable, considering that they’ve never dealt with anyone like Trump before, and 187 years of tradition is 187 years of tradition.
Unfortunately, what used to be hyperbole or clickbait on the part of the Enquirer is now, quite frankly, simply the way it is. Be that as it may, the Times previously referred to Trump’s racism as “racially infused speech” and their latest euphemism is “racially tinged.” They’re not the only ones with a Victorian sense of delicacy, NPR and the BBC are using “racially charged.” Maybe we should have a contest, what to call racial invective since we can’t bear to call it by it’s true name? ELLE:
After the president tweeted incendiary, racially flecked things at three congresswomen of color, the international press descended upon Thesaurus.com en masse. Their goal? To figure out how to describe something we all can see but some refuse to say because there is nothing more impolite than calling someone a racist. Not even racism itself is more impolite than calling someone a racist. Can you imagine? As Dr. King wrote in his letter from the Birmingham jail, “Do things seem a little racially sprinkled here lately? No offense.”
The New York Times used “racially tinged,” as if race were the shade you had to dye a pair of pumps to match your bridesmaid’s dress. They also claimed that Trump “fans the flames of racial fire,” like he’s the villain in Backdraft. Excuse me, Blackdraft. NPR and the BBC have used “racially charged” as if Trump was an Energizer bunny stuffed with white supremacy.
Maybe these are headlines we’ll soon see, in this world of correctness over plain truth:
“Drove the AmeriKlan made car that needs to be racially charged every couple of hours.”
“Decorated his bouquet of hatred with a pleasing spray of freshly picked racial.”
“Amazing! This brave, no makeup, unretouched photo gives a glimpse of the president’s racial freckles!”
“President waved to old friend, Racismo Racisterman in the street.”
“Molecular gastronomy! The President’s submission to the final challenge was a race foam atop a tweet that had been sous-vided in racial juices and paired with a dehydrated dog whistle.”
“The president competed on the popular reality show The Amazing Racist.”
“Category is: Racially Reminiscent. 10s across the board.”
None of these media outlets are doing themselves, or us, any good by dancing around the truth. What is the problem with calling a spade a shovel here? Isn’t accuracy the first tenet of journalism?
Et tu, NPR? Good journalism is supposed to describe events accurately and plainly. It's impossible to see how telling congresswomen born in the United States to go home is anything more than one word: racist. pic.twitter.com/9gWjCUaqWs
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) July 15, 2019
It’s time to wipe the lipstick off this pig and tell the truth. If Trump was some regular Joe, a man in the street, talking this way, the news would report the plain truth, that a racist spewed invective in public. Trump doesn’t deserve to be treated deferentially. He hasn’t earned it, and in point of fact, other adults behaving with decorum and backing off merely enables him to be more outrageous. The era of Trump is not business as usual, and that’s been evident from the very beginning. The press needs to act accordingly, tear up all the style books, and tell the truth.