The hosts of Fox News’ Fox & Friends defended Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after he tweeted about the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, NBA player Dwyane Wade’s cousin, in Chicago, while other media figures from across the political spectrum criticized Trump for “lacking empathy” and “politicizing tragedy.”
Donald Trump Tweeted Self-Congratulatory Comment Following Dwyane Wade’s Cousin’s Death
Trump: “Dwyane Wade’s Cousin Was Just Shot And Killed Walking Her Baby In Chicago. Just What I Have Been Saying. African-Americans Will VOTE TRUMP.” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted on August 27 after Nykea Aldridge, a Chicago woman who was the cousin of NBA player Dwyane Wade, was fatally shot stating, “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” Politico reported that Trump deleted his initial tweet, which misspelled Wade’s first name, and “now has a new tweet up with the correct spelling of Wade’s name,” and that five hours after the initial tweet Trump “also tweeted out his condolences to Wade’s family.” From the August 27 article:
Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that the fatal shooting of professional basketball star Dwyane Wade's cousin in Chicago is a reason why African-Americans will support his candidacy.
“Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” the Republican nominee wrote, spelling Wade's first name wrong.
Trump has since deleted the tweet and now has a new tweet up with the correct spelling of Wade's name.
Nearly five hours after Trump initially tweeted about the fatal shooting of Nykea Aldridge this morning, the business mogul also tweeted out his condolences to Wade's family.
Aldridge, the first cousin of the Chicago Bulls shooting guard and a mother-of-four, was killed while pushing a baby stroller in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood of Chicago. Aldridge, 32, was caught in the crossfire between two men and was not the intended target of the shooting. [Politico, 8/27/16]
Media Figures From Across The Political Spectrum Condemned Trump’s Tweet
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: Trump Has “No Empathy For The Murdered Mother,” And “He’s Done This Before.” Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said Trump’s tweet shows “no empathy for the murdered mother” and asked, “How do you even begin to explain the type of mind that could do that?” Scarborough and Bloomberg Politics’ John Heilemann pointed out that Trump has previously demonstrated such a “lack of empathy,” and Heilemann concluded that there was “irony” in Trump’s tweet because he has accused Hillary Clinton of treating people only as votes, which Heilemann said is “what he just did in that tweet.” From the August 29 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): While we keep this up, a mother, a young mother, gunned down in Chicago, and the Republican nominee immediately puts out a tweet that ends in all caps, “vote Trump” with an exclamation point. How do you even begin to explain the type of mind that could do that?
EDDIE GLAUDE JR. : I don't know. You know, I mean, you just kind of -- something has gone wrong that he lacks empathy. It actually reveals in a certain way how he views African-American communities. Right? So, instead of in that moment offering his condolences, his prayers, for the families, for the children who've lost their mother, he only saw, right, pawns to be moved. He only saw folks who could vote and who couldn’t vote.
SCARBOROUGH: Again no empathy for the murdered mother.
GLAUDE: None whatsoever.
SCARBOROUGH: Just immediately using it to say “vote Trump,” John Heilemann, and he’s done this before.
JOHN HEILEMANN: Yes, and you know, one of the things that people pointed out in the Khan controversy was, again, a lack of empathy for Mrs. Khan and why she might not have spoken at the Democratic convention because she was in grief over the loss of her son. But the interesting thing about this is also the irony of it, because his argument against Hillary Clinton is she just sees you as votes. Right? He accuses her of doing to the African-American community what he just did in that tweet. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 8/29/16]
Vox’s Matthew Yglesias: Trump Used “The Death Of An Innocent Woman … To Make An Ax-Grinding Partisan Point.” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argued that while Trump’s tweet “aimed at softening Trump’s image on race,” the candidate “is making a boast about his electoral performance.” Yglesias wrote that this “ax-grinding partisan point “ won’t do “much of anything to debunk the notion that he simply lacks a certain level of human empathy that we expect from a president.” From the August 27 article:
Donald Trump also thought that the death of an innocent woman was noteworthy, though in his case the idea was to make an ax-grinding partisan point[.]
This particular tweet, however, though arguably aimed at softening Trump’s image on race isn’t going to (sic) too much of anything to debunk the notion that he simply lacks a certain level of human empathy that we expect from a president. An innocent woman is dead. Children have lost their mother. A family is grieving. And Trump is making a boast about his electoral performance. From any other candidate it would be considered shocking, but as E.J. Dionne has written “staying shocked” is a challenge as we watch the Trump campaign unfold. [Vox, 8/27/16]
Fox News’ Julie Roginsky: “Condolences To The Family Prior To Exploiting For Political Purposes May Have Been Appropriate.”
The Federalist’s Tom Nichols: “Trump: This Is What I’ve Been Tellin’ Those Blacks. I’m Awesome.”
The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson: “You Know How Republicans Accuse Democrats of Politicizing Tragedy? Stop Saying Now, Republicans.”
MTV News' Jamil Smith:”That’s An Honest Question, @realDonaldTrump: What Is Wrong With You? You Say Clinton Just Sees Black People As Votes. What Did You Just Do?”
Rolling Stone's Jesse Berney: “I Wonder If @realDonaldTrump Has Even The Slightest Conception Of The Horrible Thing He’s Done Today.”
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: “If You’re Gonna Take Advantage Of His Cousin’s Death, You Might As Well Spell The Name Right.”
Fox News’ Morning Show Hosts Argue People Are “Missing The Point” In Defense Of Trump’s Tweet
Fox’s Brian Kilmeade: “Are We Missing The Point That This Woman Was Gunned Down In The Exact Area That He Believes Should Be Addressed?” Fox News’ morning show hosts all defended Trump’s tweet dismissing it as simply not being “the most politically correct tweet.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade questioned whether that criticism of the tweet is “missing the point” that Trump is raising about “the ‘black-on-black crime’ that’s taking place in Chicago.” Co-host Ainsley Earhardt pointed out that Trump “did offer condolences” in the next tweet and claimed that Trump has “done a lot” of outreach to the black community. And co-host Pete Hegseth argued that “substance matters more than form or tone or tweets.” From the August 29 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): The thing is, maybe it wasn't the most, it wasn’t the most politically correct tweet, obviously. Maybe he could have added a few characters in.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Well it’s only 140 characters. So then next tweet he did offer condolences.
KILMEADE: Yeah, exactly. And so I’m like, are we missing the point that this woman was gunned down in the exact area that he believes should be addressed? It’s the “black-on-black crime” that's taking place in Chicago.
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Of course, so the left piled on, including the DNC interim chairwoman, Donna Brazile.
EARHARDT: You know, [Trump has] done a lot, though. He had that round table discussion over the weekend with African-American leaders, or at the tail end of last week, I can't remember the day exactly. But they were talking about what needs to be changed in the African-American community. So they're all going into churches and going into black communities. He's also going with Ben Carson to Detroit. Ben Carson is from Detroit. They’re going to be meeting with African-American communities to find out what they can do to change that city.
HEGSETH: There’s also the point that [Republican vice presidential nominee Mike] Pence made very well that substance matters a lot more than form or tone or tweets. What are your policies and how do they uplift people? That's the argument that Trump and Pence are making. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/29/16]