After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that President Trump had had a “meltdown” in the middle of a bipartisan meeting on the Syria issue, Trump took to the Twitter machine in an effort to try and prove it was Pelosi and not him who had the meltdown.
Here’s what he tweeted:
Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown! pic.twitter.com/RDeUI7sfe7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2019
Pelosi’s staff countered by making the picture he tweeted the header image on her Twitter page:
Nancy Pelosi took Trump's tweet about her "meltdown" and made it her Twitter cover photo https://t.co/BDKsnRhYeo pic.twitter.com/PmJk1XsKda
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 18, 2019
The media have unquestionably been swooning over the photo ever since. As Newsbusters’ Nicholas Fondacaro notes, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Lester Holt were among the many who were in awe of the supposed symbolism of the image:
Anchor Lester Holt began by touting the image himself. “It was during a contentious White House meeting about the Syria conflict that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up in front of President Trump. The photo instantly becoming a new and powerful symbol of their power struggle,” he said.
Mitchell, a well-documented fangirl of the Clintons, proclaimed the picture was “iconic” and boasted about how it was “released by the White House to diminish the Speaker, she immediately turned it into a badge of courage and her cover photo.”
CNN’s Dana Bash was another who couldn’t help but gush over the photo, and how Pelosi and her staff “owned” the moment where she “[stood up] … at a table of all men” against Trump:
“Can we do just one more beat on that photo?” Bash asked as the image was onscreen. “Until now, what her staff owned, and what has made her kind of iconic among the Democratic base and even beyond that, is that picture walking out of the White House and putting her sunglasses on. I mean, this makes that look like, you know, not even at all symbolic.”
“I mean, look at that photo of one woman standing up and, you know, giving it to the president of the United States at a table of all men there. I mean, of course she’s going to own that.”
Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, had a much more different take, noting that when she was photographed pointing a finger at President Obama in 2012, she was treated much differently by the media:
The news media hails @SpeakerPelosi as a hero for pointing her finger at @POTUS @realDonaldTrump but when I stood up to @BarackObama I was vilified as rude and racist. Such Hypocrites! pic.twitter.com/banxxQp7F1
— Jan Brewer (@GovBrewer) October 17, 2019
She’s right. Many media outlets either took a questioning or hostile tone over the image, or showed complete indifference – unlike how the Pelosi picture has been treated.
NBC’s Brian Williams wondered “Who have you ever seen talking to the President like this?”
NPR headline: Arizona Gov. Brewer Says She ‘Was Not Hostile’ In Meeting With Obama
“Finger-wagging Arizona governor says Obama was the disrespectful one”, wrote the Mercury News.
MSNBC had a poll up on their website that asked the question “Should Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer apologize for pointing her finger in President Obama’s face?”
The Root’s headline on their version of the story was: Arizona Gov Points Finger at Obama in Nasty Face-Off.
The media weren’t the only ones who frowned over Brewer’s actions:
Brewer took flak for her finger-pointing from both the media and the public, who accused her of disrespecting the presidency. More than 12,000 letters flooded her office in the ensuing days, most of which condemned her, calling her “trashy” and “tasteless.” Likening the act to belching at the president, a writer for the Washington Post scolded her, “If a thing is frowned upon in general, it’s even worse to do it to the president in particular.”
But I was told the media “don’t root for a side” or anything:
Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don't root for a side. Period. https://t.co/dhH8eherOR
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) October 16, 2016
I am so confused.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –
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