A columnist with the New York Daily News was forced to edit her piece after she used a racial slur against Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, The Daily Caller reports.
In Linda Stasi’s Tuesday column, which demanded that “The Five” co-host should be fired from the network for an alleged relationship with Donald Trump Jr., our writer friend decided it was a perfectly salutary to make a wise-crack about Guilfoyle — who is half-Puerto Rican — picking fruit.
“Thing is, Guilfoyle is an otherwise brilliant woman. When it comes to picking men, though, she’d be better off picking grapes,” Stasi’s column originally read.
That earned this tweet from Donald Trump Jr.
How did this get past her editors at the @NYDailyNews? Or do they condone this kind of talk? I guess hypocrisy, sexism & racist rhetoric are alive & well there.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 13, 2018
Stasi denied that it was a racial slur but decided to edit it out nonetheless.
“Absolutely no idea that Kimberly Guilfoyle is half Puerto Rican…and my column was in no way meant as a slur,” she tweeted.
Absolutely no idea that Kimberly Guilfoyle is half Puerto Rican…and my column was in no way meant as a slur. Nonetheless I will change that reference online. I'm just surprised anyone would have assumed such a stereotype b/c someone is half-Latina. So sorry for misunderstanding
— Linda Stasi (@lindastasi) June 13, 2018
“Nonetheless I will change that reference online. I’m just surprised anyone would have assumed such a stereotype b/c someone is half-Latina. So sorry for misunderstanding.”
The line now reads, “When it comes to picking men, though, she’d probably have better odds picking lotto numbers.”
“Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that one line in the column was somehow a reference to Ms. Guilfoyle being Puerto Rican (I since checked it out and she is indeed Puerto Rican on her father’s side),” Stasi wrote in an email to The Daily Caller.
“Not that I had any idea of her ethnicity nor if I did would I associate grape picking with her or it with Puerto Rico. My Italian family- who picks their own grapes in Calabria- sure. The ravaged island of Puerto Rico – no. I think Mr. Trump mistakenly assumed I wrote it to stereotype her somehow. Truthfully I was kind of flummoxed by the association. But why leave a phrase in if it could be in any way misconstrued like that?”
There are a few other details to this whole story beyond the apology. The first, it may not surprise you to know, is that the Daily News is a liberal paper; it’s basically The New York Times for Gotham residents who are slightly lower on the literacy totem pole.
If someone from the Trump administration had used that phrase with any Latino/Latina, one of Stasi’s cohort would be furiously typing away at the brittle keyboard of their MacBook, demanding their removal and once again proclaiming the inveterate white supremacy that has engulfed the White House.
Then there’s the choice of phraseology. I don’t necessarily want to cast a shadow on Stasi’s story and I find it odd that someone would consciously leave something that could be interpreted as a racial slur in their column, but what are the other alternatives here? Telling someone to “pick grapes” as a generic insult sounds vaguely like the superannuated “go suck an egg” deprecation. Except it hardly makes any sense unless you — whether consciously or subconsciously — had some sort of motive behind it.
Go pick grapes? Okay, I get to be out in the dry sunshine and pick bunches of fruit. While the manual labor might be intensive, what, pray tell, is statistically difficult about this? I’m having a hard time coming up with an alternative to racism here.
One could also entertain the possibility that the column isn’t particularly well-written, which I’d give you. The Daily Caller notes one mistake, which is that it refers to Guilfoyle as a “reporter.” (She’s a pundit; that’s hardly a distinction without a difference if you’re calling for someone’s firing because their personal life might make them less objective when they don’t feign objectivity in the first place.)
I found another one, which is Stasi’s contention that Donald Trump Jr. is “a guy so dumb he retweeted the insane conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring behind a pizza place.” For the record, while he’s retweeted and supported individuals who believed the Pizzagate theory had merit, I haven’t seen actual tweets invoking the theory.
There’s no evidence that he knew these individuals believed in or promoted the ridiculous Pizzagate theory, any more than there’s evidence Stasi knew Guilfoyle was a Latina. Our columnist, apparently, isn’t willing to give Trump Jr. the same benefit of the doubt she more or less expects from us.
Oh, and while we’re at it, way to throw in “(t)he ravaged island” part about Puerto Rico in your apology, too, Ms. Stasi. Because as Harvey Weinstein showed, no apology is complete without a deflection to a previously approved liberal cause.
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