erik lundegaard

NPR's Ron Elving Knows What He Signed Up For

Iíve ragged on NPR a lot over the last year, with reason, but Iíve got to give credit to senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving, who, in discussion with Weekend Editionís Scott Simon, deftly and humanely handled how you deal with the perpetual and absurd distraction machine coming from the Trump White House.

The topic was Pres. Trumpís remarks to the widow of a fallen soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger a few weeks ago. In a phone call to her, Trump said that Johnson ďknew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts.Ē Clumsy. He also never used Sgt. Johnson's name. He kept saying ďyour guy.Ē The widow, with two children, and pregnant with a third, felt like the president didnít even know her husbandís name. ďThatís the hurting part,Ē Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fl), who was with Johnsonís widow when the call was received, told MSNBC.

At first Trump denied he said those words.†Then heís spent days attacking Congresswoman Wilson. He's still doing it.†

Now to NPR:

Scott Simon: [White House Chief of Staff] John Kelly, in addition to delivering, I think, very moving remarks about what itís like to be a parent and lose a child, he stepped into the controversy by directing criticism at the congresswoman, didnít he?

Ron Elving: Yes. Someone had apparently given him some kind of bad information about a claim that she had supposedly made of giving some funding for a building in Florida. Turns out she never made that claim. ... And the White House was also (sighs), oh, poking fun at the congresswomanís dress and hat. And this just turned out to be the sort of thing that, if they were trying to distract from the original questions about what these soldiers were doing in Niger, why we were suddenly taking casualties in this part of the world where most people donít think the United States is engaged, and of course the controversy over why it took so long for the president to acknowledge these deaths, or to say anything to the families, or to acknowledge them at all, if that was the purpose, well, I guess that has been accomplished.

Love the way he framed that: If theyíre trying to distract us from A, B, C, well, it workedóeven as he reminds us of A, B. C.

Rest of media, please take note.

The rest of their discussion is good, too.

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Posted at 07:23 AM on Sat. Oct 21, 2017 in category Media  


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