Over the last few days there’s been a lot made of ESPN journalist Jemele Hill’s comments on Twitter where she called Donald Trump a “white supremacist” who’s “surrounded himself with other white supremacists.”
Naturally, the conservative media was quick to seize on her comments, many calling for her to be fired, while Trump, himself, demanded an apology from the network.
Well, I have something to say to those in the conservative media calling for her to be fired, and to Trump for demanding a personal apology from ESPN: Are you all out of your damn minds?
You all must be, because I know the people who support the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, and even Donald Trump aren’t demanding that someone get fired for something they said on their personal Twitter account.
These people are aware that Trump spent years pushing the outright racist conspiracy that Barack Obama wasn’t an American, right? Hell, while he was on The Apprentice, Trump called Obama a racist — on Twitter! The same social media site Hill made her remarks about Trump.
Yet I don’t recall any big push from the right calling for Trump to be fired or for NBC to apologize to President Obama.
What about back in 2009 when then-Fox News employee Glenn Beck said Obama had a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” Considering he remained with Fox News until 2011, clearly he wasn’t fired for saying that a sitting president hated white people.
Then there was that time Bill O’Reilly, a Fox News employee at the time, asked then-candidate Trump how he would employ African Americans when “many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads.” Last I checked, he wasn’t let go over those extremely racist comments.
And I’m not even going to get into much of anything Alex Jones has said. The Sandy Hook denier who’s accused Obama of literally being a demon is someone who Trump’s praised — yet I don’t see most of these “Hill needs to be fired” people having too much of a problem with Jones’ never-ending horrific comments or the current “president” endorsing his absolutely insane conspiracy website.
Can’t forget when Rush Limbaugh accused Obama of trying to expose white people to Ebola as revenge for slavery.
For those calling ESPN hypocrites for firing Curt Schilling, you might want to learn a few facts. At the time he was fired, he had already been warned about making controversial statements, including comparing Muslims — all of them — with Nazis. Though he was eventually fired for sharing an extremely anti-transgender post.
Oh, and last I checked, I didn’t see any massive boycotts or outrage from Trump or the right-wing media over any of the multitude of vile things Ann Coulter’s said over the years.
How about Fox News as a whole? A few weeks ago, Fox News was forced to retract a conspiracy heavily pushed by the network (one that they’re currently being sued over) that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was the person who gave hacked emails to WikiLeaks, which was supposedly why he was tragically murdered. While the conspiracy was discussed by several people on the network, Sean Hannity made it a feature on his show for several days.
Yet, nobody was fired for that — nor did I see Trump or anyone from the conservative media say there should be.
Speaking of Trump, how often has he singled out journalists — or people in general — to personally attack on Twitter? Did he or did he not, just a few weeks ago, accuse MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski of having a face-lift? He also called her “low I.Q.” and called her fiance and fellow co-host Joe Scarborough “psycho.”
Did he apologize or resign? Nope, he didn’t do either. Keep in mind this is the “president” who said this, not some ordinary citizen, journalist, or ESPN host.
The list goes on and on of terrible things conservatives have said which they never apologized for, let alone were fired for saying.
So, conservative media and Donald Trump, please, spare me this fake outrage over what Hill said — you bunch of weak, hypocritical little snowflakes.
Look, should she have said it? Probably not. As I’ve said in the past, like it or not, when you represent some sort of company, organization or group, the First Amendment doesn’t shield you from facing repercussions for something you say. Jemele Hill absolutely has the right to her opinion, and I think millions of people, myself included, probably agree with her.
That said, when someone in her position says what she did, critics are clearly going to seize on that and blame the entire network for her personal opinion. Even though this doesn’t rise to the level of a so-called news network pushing fake news like Fox News did with the Seth Rich story, or like large left-wing “news” organizations have done in the past when falsely labeling Republicans as members of the KKK, Hill’s comments are still going to be scrutinized simply because of how “controversial” her opinion is.
The problem here is, while I don’t think Hill should have publicly said what she did, I understand why Hill, an African American, would feel that way considering who the current “president” is.
Many members of Donald Trump’s own party condemned his comments following the violence in Charlottesville where he initially refused to directly condemn white supremacists, then went on to say that there were some “good people” among them. If mostly old white male conservative Republicans are taking issue with Trump’s response to blatant racism, how do you think the vast majority of African Americans or any minority group feel?
Let’s not kid ourselves, Donald Trump has a lengthy history of racism.
For me this goes back to the difference between the right to free speech vs the “right” to not facing repercussions for that speech. While Jemele Hill absolutely had the right to say what she did, and I mostly agree with her assessment of Trump, that doesn’t mean she’s protected from facing any backlash for what she had to say. Whether or not it’s fair, when you’re a public figure, you are always representing any company, group, organization, or network of which you’re a part.
Though I definitely don’t think she should be fired — that’s just ridiculous. I might not agree with her saying these comments publicly, but I absolutely understand why she feels the way that she does.
And anyone on the right, especially Donald Trump, demanding she be fired or apologize is an absolute hypocrite based upon the behavior and comments by many members of the conservative media and Trump, himself.
This is simply another example where Donald Trump and conservatives hold others accountable for high standards they damn sure don’t follow themselves.