Sick: Perverse Media Mocks Trump for Honoring, Respecting Blue-Collar Steel Worker
Presidential faux pas are the stuff of reporters’ fantasies, particularly when your publication doesn’t particularly like the president. The case of United Steelworker Union local 2227 president Scott Sauritch is just one example.
On Thursday, Sauritch was one of the individuals who spoke at a White House news conference to defend President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. Those tariffs were passed, at least according to the White House, as a response to unfair competition from countries like China and our NAFTA partners.
During the presentation, Sauritch talked about how his father lost his job as a steelworker in the 1980s due to what he said was unfair competition.
“What that does to a man with six kids is devastating, so I never forgot that, looking into his eyes, in my household, what that does to a family,” Sauritch said, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. “You hear about it, but when you’re actually involved and it impacts you, it’ll never leave you.”
Sauritch ended his speech with a paean to his father and his legacy: “For Herman Sauritch your story didn’t end. And for all the people that I represent at my union, I never want to see it again,” Sauritch said. “And for these workers and these folks, I appreciate the opportunity, I’m very humbled by this.”
‘Well, your father Herman is looking down. He’s very proud of you right now,’ Trump responded
“Oh, he’s still alive,” Sauritch responded.
Well, whoops. That’s a bit awkward. However, the emphasis is on a bit — and I’m not using understatement as a literary device here. It was clearly a minor mistake, although not to the reporters who were covering it.
There were three things that came to mind when the faux pas began circulating — and then recirculating like a mephitic fishy smell in your car’s ventilation system — on the internet and cable news.
The first was that, judging by the language that Mr. Sauritch used, it would have been easy enough for most of us to make that mistake. Had I been tasked with taking the podium after he did, I cannot say for sure I wouldn’t have made assumed his father had passed away. If you could say for certain that you wouldn’t have, congratulations: you are either profoundly tactful or exceptionally good at lying to yourself.
The second thing that came to mind was that there wasn’t actually a whole lot of awkwardness. Trump actually came up with a fairly competent response, pretty much without missing a beat: “Hey, then he’s even more proud of you.” HuffPost, not necessarily known for its deferential treatment to the current president, noted that White House staffers and other workers in the room were laughing at the mistake and the president’s quip.
The third thing that came to mind, some time after, was how breathlessly the whole affair was covered. Screenshot collage time!
“Trump kills off steelworker’s father during chaotic tariffs announcement!” Good grief! And yes, I understand that this is the British press, known for their sensationalistic headlines — but this is The Guardian, the ultra-sober appendage of Britain’s left-labour crowd.
Townhall.com’s Kurt Schlichter noticed something else about Trump’s faux pas — namely, how it related to a much bigger mistake by our former president.
Does anyone else remember when Democrats respected and defended working folks like this? @SalenaZito https://t.co/V4lOOqPMJ3
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) March 8, 2018
And survey says … zero.
That’s the truly bizarre thing about the minor slip-up the president made. If anyone thinks it’s a slight on working people, why is it that the Democrats — with eight years in the White House — did absolutely nothing like this to honor steelworkers?
It’s not as if President Obama wasn’t fond of parading people around at the White House to suit his agenda. Far from it. However, when it came to people working in traditional heavy manufacturing and mining industries — steel, coal, oil, auto workers, that sort of thing — if the White House approached them at all, it was to convert their livelihoods to “green jobs.”
In fact, one got the feeling that everyone in the Democratic Party would have been much happier if they’d just started wearing their flannels ironically, traded in their Red Wings for some Doc Martins, moved to Seattle and started doing contract coding work on a MacBook sitting in a booth in some fair-trade coffee house.
That scarcely concealed attitude remained unremarked on by the media for eight long years. But the president makes one slightly unwarranted assumption from an emotional speech by a union president and he’s the bad guy. All for showing respect to the workers whose sweat and determination build this country. Thus it has always been, and thus it shall ever be.
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