This time President Donald Trump may have good cause to utter one of his most famous words from recent criticism: “Sad.”
This time, it would be easy to alter the facts to suit J.K. Rowling’s recent bashing of Trump on Twitter for appearing to snub a disabled boy, but in the interest of fair and balanced journalism, he didn’t quite deserve the online chastising by the Harry Potter author — not all of it, anyway.
Consider how Donald J. Trump routinely finds himself in the news for another hyperbolic remark on Twitter that lands him in deeper do-do than a previous tweet storm in the early dawn hours. Never mind that we’ve come to accept his knee-jerk White House policy tweets as the new normal and bombastic criticism of even his own party as fair game. Further still, never mind that President Trump’s approval rating has been treading on life support and his administration hasn’t passed any significant legislation in his first six months.
In spite of his numerous political shortcomings, J.K. Rowling should have pumped the brakes a bit before she handed down Trump’s sentence. Let’s just say that things are not always what they seem and Trump received somewhat of a premature tongue-lashing before the facts were known, as Piers Morgan suggested. So, let’s take a look at them — in the interest of fairness.
On Friday, Trump greeted a small group of people invited to the White House as part of his speech on health care, according to Just Jared. Trump dubbed the group, “the victims of Obamacare.” In a widely circulated video, a boy confined to a wheelchair appeared to extend his hand to the president as the commander in chief departed the room. Trump clasped a few hands, but readers slammed him for “snubbing” the disabled boy.
Social media users erupted in rage at Trump’s seemingly callous behavior towards a boy who only wanted to be recognized by the leader of the free world. The commentary was brutal.
J.K. Rowling chimed in on the Twitter attack and took sides with Trump critics on his behavior.
A bit of context is important.
Other users quickly countered by referring to another video that disputed claims by critics. Another angle from the White House footage shows Donald Trump clearly engaging with the boy in the wheelchair. In fact, the president leaned down to shake his hands as he entered the room.
Admittedly, if the original video was the only evidence floating around the internet, it wouldn’t be a good look for Trump. Many haven’t reconciled past footage from Trump’s campaign that showed him appearing to mock a disabled journalist.
However, there is more to the story than what many have gotten bent out of shape about. In his defense (aargh, it hurts to say that), Trump is north of 6-feet-tall, and this time he may have simply not seen the boy on the way out amid a sea of taller figures and flashing lights.
It’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will offer more reasons to inflame the public with his off-the-cuff rhetoric and political chicanery. J.K. Rowling and others will have plenty time and opportunity to pile on Trump.
It’s like a reality TV show playing out before our eyes — only, we don’t know who is getting evicted, if at all. This time, Trump gets a pass.
[Featured Image by Chris Kleponis – Pool/Getty Images]