Remember soon after the November election when Christiane Amanpour rallied her colleagues in the media to wake up and “commit to real reporting” after that eight-year nap, now that both journalism and democracy were in “mortal peril”?
Journalists certainly have been busy, at least on social media, where they can crank out vitally needed information without the delay a second thought would require. For example, President Trump spoke briefly Wednesday at a women’s empowerment panel, where the key takeaway seemed to be that he knew, or claimed to know, who Susan B. Anthony was.
"Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" the president asked a group of women today at the White House.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 29, 2017
"Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" Trump asks at women's empowerment event.
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) March 29, 2017
"Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" asks Trump at a women's empowerment event at the White House.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 29, 2017
Do you think Trump knows Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass were friends? Worked together on universal suffrage? (Knows who they were?) https://t.co/fY5Zi171wO
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 29, 2017
LOL! Someone at The Hill had better publish a feature story on Chelsea Clinton’s deep knowledge of American history by 6 p.m. or we’ll be deeply disappointed.
— Dave Keiser (@DaveKeiser) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus whenever he asks this, it means he just learned about the person that morning as meeting prep
— Laura (@tailor31415) March 29, 2017
— UTMB (@UTMBColo) March 29, 2017
— David Carmichel (@Barca10333) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus Translation: "Someone told me about Susan B. Anthony 10 minutes ago to help me sound smart. How's it working so far?"
— Steven Martens (@StevenMartens23) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus His next line was "I was reading some printouts from her Wikipedia page this morning and did you know…"
— Parker (@parkervb) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus Pres of USA most likely cannot name all 50 states. That IS a big deal – he has low IQ & interest in this country's history
— Dana Pike (@DanaPike25) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus Um, Wow!!! That is condescending on its own.
— Elena (@flowertimezones) March 29, 2017
Today Trump asked a group of women "Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" This is her grave after the 2016 election. Yeah, we've heard of her pic.twitter.com/U2RWnZLpAX
— O General My General (@rideatdawn) March 29, 2017
Hold on a second; it seems the president said something immediately after that comment … let’s listen in.
@rebeccaballhaus Please be better than the Trumpeteers. Watch the video and don't be so easily baited into reactionary tweeting. Context!
— Puempin' Ain't Vesey (@omgrodnick) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus Immediately afterwards he smiled and said "I'm shocked that you heard of her." Clearly was not saying this seriously.
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) March 29, 2017
WSJ reporter fails to report Trump smiled & said "I'm shocked you've heard of her" immediately afterwards and was clearly joking https://t.co/cIRw8DdmH8
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) March 29, 2017
So are we to believe the president was joking around? BuzzFeed’s David Mack has video of the comment, and like he says, it certainly looks like Trump was just joking around … if you are willing to pay attention for literally a second longer.
Re: Trump's Susan B Anthony comment. Chill. He was being sarcastic. pic.twitter.com/3aH4t4yln3
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 29, 2017
Trump jokingly asks a group of women at the White House: "Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony? I'm shocked that you've heard." pic.twitter.com/423gD7itcn
— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) March 29, 2017
.@ktumulty as a tactic to illicit audience response/participation, no? Not actually assuming the attendees didn’t know Susan B. Anthony
— Matthew Wester (@matthew_wester) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus I'm no fan of 45 but this tweet is a time-waster. He was obviously kidding.
— Barbara Dew Rupert (@bdew) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus that was a joke. Dont take It out of context…….
— globalistdestruction (@FSRaid) March 29, 2017
@rebeccaballhaus what was the rest of the quote? This is why media isnt trusted
— Brent Randolph (@BrentRandolph) March 29, 2017
So there are one or two journalists who can recognize sarcasm when they hear it. Maybe it’s possible, then, that when the Hillary Clinton campaign ripped into Trump that time he “actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage” on his opponent … he was being sarcastic?
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.
* * *
'Typical': John Harwood sends out Cruz quote without full context; Updates with full quote after backlash https://t.co/QIiEiREf3Y
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) February 7, 2016