Just a few quick observations I hope you’ll keep in mind as the media go into full swoon over President Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday night.
- Trump’s denunciation of anti-Semitic attacks and other hate crimes was welcome and long overdue. But any media outlet that doesn’t point out that Trump seemed to blame those incidents on the Jews just a day earlier (a favorite theme of David Duke’s, by the way) is doing you a disservice.
- In calm, statesmanlike tones, Trump once again whipped up fear and hatred against immigrants, this time by promising to establish a registry to call attention to crimes by undocumented residents. Never mind that the data show they are less likely to commit crimes than non-immigrants. As Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe tweeted:
It's awful to exploit loved ones of murder victims in order to demonize all illegal immigrants — 99+ percent of whom never hurt a soul.
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) March 1, 2017
- The most genuinely moving moment of the night came when Trump recognized Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who was killed in Yemen recently. CNN’s Van Jones was so impressed that he said, “He became President of the United States in that moment, period.” I won’t question Trump’s sincerity. But don’t forget that Owens was killed in a botched, hastily approved raid criticized by, among others, Sen. John McCain, and that Owens’ father is so angry with the president that he refused to meet with him. In other words, there’s a lot more to this than met the eye of viewers who were tuning in last night.