Kareem Abdul-Jabbar And Donald Trump Go At It Over Social Media
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Donald Trump -- two of the most outspoken public figures in America over the age of 65 -- officially locked horns today after Kareem wrote a piece for The Washington Post juxtaposing the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and that guy with the hair that owns all those apartment buildings. Not surprisingly, Trump didn't like what Kareem had to say.
Here's a taste...
During the GOP debate on Fox, when Megyn Kelly famously queried him about his attitude toward women (whom he has called “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “animals”) he hit back by threatening the questioner: “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”
Bad enough to alienate women in this way, but there’s even more insidious political crime here: attacking the First Amendment’s protection of a free press by menacing journalists. “I wouldn’t do that,” he said coyly. If you wouldn’t do it, why bring up that you could? For no other reason than to stifle other journalists who might want to ask tough but reasonable questions. If Americans learned that a leader in another country was threatening reporters, we would be outraged. Yet here it is. Right here. Right now.
Later, after Trump had blamed her attitude on her menstrual cycle, Kelly went on what Fox says was a planned vacation. Nevertheless, Trump suggested he may have been the cause. What kind of candidate takes credit for bullying the media? And last week, Trump allowed Univision reporter Jorge Ramos to be ejected from a press conference for asking questions about immigration without being called upon. Ramos was later readmitted and permitted to ask about immigration, during which he said Trump could still deport immigrants compassionately. “I have a bigger heart than you do,” Trump replied. Trump’s non-specific answer to the question ended with a personal insult directed at the reporter.
Trump’s vendetta against the press extended to the Des Moines Register. When the paper issued an editorial calling for Trump to withdraw from the campaign, he refused to give the paper’s reporters credentials to attend his campaign event in Iowa in July. He also called the paper “failing” and “very dishonest.” Other journalists he thinks have treated him harshly he refers to as “losers” or unintelligent, as if the definition of lack of intelligence is to not agree with him.
Attempting to bully the press to silence criticism of him is anti-American. He followed up this salvo on the First Amendment with a strike at the 14th Amendment, asserting that he’d like to deny those born in the country their citizenship. The biggest enemy to the principles of the Constitution right now is Trump.
Naturally, Trump's response was to (you guess it) launch a personal attack at Kareem for his criticism, the irony being that that was exactly what Kareem had been pointing to in his op-ed: Trump attacks the people who say things that make him uncomfortable. At no point in his handwritten response -- which was sarcastically scribbled over a printout of Abdul-Jabbar's article -- did he address anything in the actual article. Instead, Trump doubled down and called out Kareem for his notoriously prickly relationship with the press, adding "you don't have a clue about life."
Nothing like a billionaire -- who was raised by millionaires -- telling you that you're out of touch.
Let's hear it, Don.
Kareem then posted his own response to Trump's little note on Facebook, pointing out how it only reinforces his theory that Trump's go-to P.R. tactic is to intimidate the press (which Kareem is technically a part of at this point) with base-level insults.
This note from Donald Trump in response to my editorial is the best, though inelegant, support for my claims. Here again he attacks a journalist who disagrees with him, not by disputing the points made but by hurling schoolyard insults such as "nobody likes you." But if you look behind the nasty invective, you find the assault still remains against the Constitution in an effort to silence the press through intimidation.
Seriously though, how does Trump not come up with something slightly more creative than "You don't have a clue about life"? And who is he to call someone out for their less-than-optimal relationship with the press? He's been the most publically criticized person in America for the last two months. Attacking one of your critics for pointing out that you attack your critics is like going out for a beer to celebrate your sobriety. It's like refuting the claim you're a loser by shouting "I AM A LOSER." It's dumb.
It's also incredibly entertaining. More, please.
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