Commentary

Spanish Media Furious After Trump 'Humiliated' Their Prime Minister with 1 Gesture

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So apparently, the media in Spain isn’t particularly fond of President Donald Trump right now. Not that I’m surprised or that there needs to be a reason for this, but the explanation is every bit as vexing as you might imagine it to be.

As you may be aware, Trump was at the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan this week.

At the meeting, there was a short interaction between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Trump. Hilarity ensued.

But not before outrage did.

Take a look at this video and see if you can ascribe some context to it:

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It looks like a short, jocund interaction.

That’s why I didn’t think anyone could possibly believe that Trump, when he pointed at Sánchez’s chair, was telling the Spanish prime minister to sit down.

World leaders generally don’t smile and laugh after being told that, and they definitely don’t sit down.

Do you think there should have been a media frenzy over this?

But, yes, that’s exactly what some Spanish media outlets thought had happened.

“The video quickly spread online, with Spanish publications interpreting the exchange as a snub of the prime minister,” Newsweek reported Friday.

El País — the second most-read daily in the country — described the president as ‘mocking’ Sanchez. El Periódico said Trump’s gesture was ‘ugly.'”

Diario Patriota, an online news outlet, recalled an earlier awkward moment between the two leaders last Summer at the NATO summit in Brussels. The website said Trump had ‘humiliated’ the prime minister, ‘barely looked’ at him and ‘forced himself’ to answer the Spaniard’s greeting,” Newsweek added.

A fuller computer translation of the El País article also noted that “leaders are already used to this type of Trump behavior, although in the case of Sánchez the relationship between them is practically non-existent.”

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El País also condemned “how the US president cuts the conversation, tells Sanchez that this is his place and leaves.”

In case you hadn’t guess, that’s very obviously not what happened.

Newsweek talked to the Spanish delegation at the G20 meeting.

The delegation told the magazine that Trump “said something along the lines of, ‘That’s a good place!’ to President Sanchez, then pointing to it.”

Sánchez, for those of you wondering, is a member of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, or Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.

In other words, his delegation likely wouldn’t have any ideological reason to cover for Trump if he really did tell Sánchez to take a seat.

This was a story that ought to have been dead on arrival; someone, somewhere on the editorial team at these Spanish publications ought to have looked at the video, rolled their eyes and told whoever proposed this story to move along.

Instead, it got published.

Why should I be surprised? Vexed, sure — but not surprised. After all, it isn’t much different from how our media acts when some non-event like this happens.

Why shouldn’t we expect the same thing to happen overseas?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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