Stelter's Hot Take: Trump's Spat with a Reporter Was Sprinkled with 'Racial Overtones' and Sexism

Posted: May 11, 2020 7:35 PM
Stelter's Hot Take: Trump's Spat with a Reporter Was Sprinkled with 'Racial Overtones' and Sexism

Source: Screenshot/Twitter

CNN's Brian Stelter and Wolf Blitzer were rather upset President Donald Trump decided to end Monday afternoon's press conference. Trump abruptly ended the press conference when CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang asked why the president views the ability to test people for the Wuhan coronavirus as a "global competition" as people in America are "still losing their lives" every day.

Of course, Stelter and Blitzer immediately ran with the idea that Trump ended the presser because he's "racist" and "sexist."

"Brian, at the very, very end of that one-hour appearance by the president in the Rose Garden, and you were watching, all of us were watching, was really ugly," Blitzer said before playing the clip.

Blitzer explained the journalistic "courtesy" that White House Correspondents often give one another when following up with a question, something he frequently experienced during his seven years in the position.

"Let me get your thoughts on that exchange that the president had with the CBS White House correspondent," Blitzer told Stelter. 

"Clearly the president was rattled, rattled enough to walk off because he didn't want to hear the questions from Kaitlan Collins and Weijia Jiang. I think what we saw in that exchange with Weijia Jiang is something that has racial overtones. It is racist to look at an Asian-American White House correspondent and say, 'Ask China.' This isn't happening in a vacuum. This is part of a pattern of behavior from the president that goes back many years," Stelter explained. "He doesn't have the benefit of the doubt that someone might have if for the first time ever in their life they made a comment like that to a reporter. But the president has been rattled by Weijia Jiang's questions in the past. He has treated her and other female reporters differently in the past. And he's also had this pattern of reacting to minority journalists in a very specific and different way, Wolf."

"For example, a few years ago President Trump said to April Ryan, a black correspondent, to follow up with the Congressional Black Caucus because he kind of just assumed they were friends," Stelter said. "And here today, he's saying to a Chinese-born journalist, 'Ask China.' Now, of course, he says he would have said the same thing to anyone. But the pattern suggests otherwise. The pattern suggests a racial reaction to certain individuals in the press corps and that's deeply, deeply disturbing."

According to Stelter, a reporter's background and race wouldn't normally be a topic of discussion but it is "because the president routinely targets reporters who are women and people of color."

"In this case, he targeted Weijia Jiang today, and it's a pattern, and as much as we are competitive in the press corps, I think it's important we show solidarity in moments like this and call out racial kind of reactions from the president," Stelter said.

Give me a break. Why does everything have to be racist or sexist? Why can't President Trump simply be irritated by a stupid question? We're in this entire pandemic because China lied about what was happening. They lied about the fact that this virus spreads from human-to-human. They even got the World Health Organization to provide cover for them.

Heads Won’t Roll
Kurt Schlichter

It's irritating to watch the American media go to bat for the Chinese Communist Party instead of wanting to hold them accountable for what they unleashed on the world.

Saying Trump criticizes only women and minorities is blatantly false. Or did Stelter suddenly forget that Trump's biggest foe in the media – his colleague Jim Acosta – is a white male?

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