Twitter Remorse: Deleted Tweets Trigger Backlash At The DNC, Washington Post, CNN, and The White House [Updated]

Trump deleted the video of a tweet showing Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters engaged in an intense shouting match with one supporter yelling “White Power.”  The media legitimately spent exhaustive coverage on the tweet.  Trump has long been criticized for racially inflammatory rhetoric and the use of imagery and videos viewed by many as racist.  Given the controversies that range from Central Park Five to the Charlottesville protests, the tweeting of a video showing someone yelling “White Power” is news.

However, the media did not comparatively spend much coverage on the DNC tweeting that Mount Rushmore glorifies “white supremacy.”  That message appeared on the official Twitter account of  the Democratic National Committee when it shared shared a link to an article containing criticism of the visit as “glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore- a region once sacred to tribal communities.”  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are shown at the site.

There was also comparatively little coverage of the tweet of Attiah even though this was a direct statement, not a retweet.  Yet, it received virtually no coverage or criticism.  he full tweet read:

“The lies & tears of White women hath wrought: -The 1921 Tulsa Massacre – Murder of Emmet Till – Exclusion of Black women from feminist movements – 53% of white women voting for Trump. White women are lucky that we are just calling them ‘Karen’s.’ And not calling for revenge.”

For those of us still reeling over the recent apology of the New York Times (and removal of its editor) for publishing a column from a conservative U.S. Senator, the lack of media coverage of a major editor’s posting is notable. My point is not that I want to see Attiah forced out. I do not.  Indeed, like many, I praised her efforts to highlight the murder of the writer Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government.  Moreover, Attiah is hardly the first person to have poster’s remorse of a tweet. We have all had such moments.

My point is the classic free speech and free press concern raised repeatedly on this blog over the consistency of standards.  I still believe that the New York Times’ actions will live in journalistic infamy.  It represented the lowest moment for that newspaper in abandoning any semblance of viewpoint neutrality while making echo-journalism a virtual official policy of the publication.

Then there is the disgraceful tweet of CNN’s Nathan McDermott, who reacted to the loss of columnist Betsy Rothstein to cancer by noting that most of her mourners online are white. I did not know Rothstein but this type of racialized commentary is all too familiar in our public discourse. A writer loses her battle to cancer and the first thing that this CNN journalist finds notable is the race of those expressing sorrow online.  No concern about a grieving family or these grieving friends. Just a racial point to make.  There is little question what the response of CNN would have been if the tweet dealt with other races.  Indeed, if such a race-centric comment were made by Trump or a leading Republican (politician or reporter), CNN’s coverage would be unending and unrelenting.

The coin of the realm for journalism has always been not just neutrality but consistency. The similar concern arises over the lack of coverage of the DNC controversy over the “White Supremacy” tweet as opposed to the Trump tweet over the “White Power” tweet. I think both tweets were outrageous.  Yet, there remains a decidedly different response from the media. Both the DNC and Trump are actively engaged in a presidential election season where issues of races are being discussed extensively and passionately.

The fact is that I view all of these tweets are likely the result of incautious, negligent, or thoughtless moments. I tend not to ascribe evil or racist or hateful motivations when simple stupidity or spontaneity could be the reason for a controversy. A tweet is a dangerous invitation for heedlessly moments as this week has already shown.


65 thoughts on “Twitter Remorse: Deleted Tweets Trigger Backlash At The DNC, Washington Post, CNN, and The White House [Updated]”

  1. I don’t even see why any person or entity should be on Twitter any more. Or Facebook or Instagram or any of these platforms. All that’s happening is people are tweeting and retweeting without any thought of what information or ideas they are sharing. I’m speaking about everyone–Trump, all the media, corporations, etc. I’m not on any of these platforms–never have been because I saw from the very beginning where their use would lead–and the use of them (and their more aggressive censorship) have made everything so much worse. It’s a shame the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. I predict that someday that they cease to exist.

    1. every good citizen with the time to do it, should have a routine to set up numerous fake name accounts under fake emails and use them to counteract the minions of the Democrat chaos machine harassing and intimidating good Americans with this ongoing disorder

      they are deleting good people’s accounts all the time but people can make new ones.

      check into “social media management” software for help

      personally this is my only fake name account because i am busy and like casting the pearls out here to my respected partners in dialogue–
      rather than before the swine at tweeter or fb

  2. Jonathan: Your comparing the DNC’s “White supremacy” tweet to Trump’s “White Power” re-tweet is yet another of your attempts at false equivalency. The full text of the DNC tweet began: “Trump has disrespected Native communities time and time again”…”He’s attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief”. All true. Regarding the coronavirus the Trump administration has threatened to deny critical COVID-19 aid to tribal communities throwing up bureaucratic obstacles. Tribal communities have been forced to go to court to enforce the CARES Act. How could you not call this just another case of a white government practicing “white supremacy”? The right-wing media and blog world, including FOX News, picked up on the DNC tweet castigating the DNC and now you have added your twist.

    It’s quite a different case with Trump’s re-tweet of the “White Power” video. Trump claims he did not hear the “White Power” shout. That’s hard to believe because the shout by the man in the golf cart came just 10 seconds into the video and was repeated. It’s impossible for anyone who has watched the video to miss the “White Power” shouts. But you think both the DNC tweet and Trump’s “White Power” re-tweet should be viewed in the same light: “I view all of these tweets are likely the result of incautious, negligent, or thoughtless moments. I tend not to ascribe evil or racist or hateful motivations…” The context of Trump’s re-tweet makes it clear his racist motivation. Trump trails Biden in most polls by up to 14 points. Trump knows he is in trouble and is resorting to his 2016 strategy of appealing to white voters to carry him across the finish line. His “White Power” re-tweet was a cold and calculated attempt to bolster support among his white supremacist base of supporters. Trump wears his racism on his sleeve. So when you opine that Trump’s re-tweet was simply due to an “incautious”, “negligent” or “thoughtless” moment I had to laugh out loud! Hear me still laughing, Jonathan?

    1. I’ve only read part of what you’ve written, but how did Trump personally “limit” the voting rights of native communities?

      1. I have friends in the midwestern bands who LOVE TRUMP. i wont say what tribe but the alliance of tribes is named Anishinaabe

        don’t believe all the crud you read in the fake news

    2. “the shout by the man in the golf cart came just 10 seconds into the video”
      I believe it, Trumps attention span is less then 10 s.

  3. I still believe that the New York Times’ actions will live in journalistic infamy. It represented the lowest moment for that newspaper in abandoning any semblance of viewpoint neutrality while making echo-journalism a virtual official policy of the publication.

    Pope Francis has a different standard for journalists.



    To the Members of the Catholic Press Association

    This year, for the first time in its history, the Catholic Press Association is hosting a virtual Catholic Media Conference, due to the current health situation. Before all else, I would like to express my closeness to those who have been affected by the virus and to those who, even at the risk of their lives, have worked and continue to work in assisting our brothers and sisters in need.

    The theme you have chosen for this year’s Conference – Together While Apart – eloquently expresses the sense of togetherness that emerged, paradoxically, from the experience of social distancing imposed by the pandemic. In my Message for last year’s World Communications Day, I reflected on how communication enables us to be, as Saint Paul says , “members of one another” (cf. Eph 4:25), called to live in communion within an ever expanding network of relationships. Because of the pandemic, all of us have come to appreciate this truth more fully. Indeed, the experience of these past months has shown how essential is the mission of the communications media for bringing people together, shortening distances, providing necessary information, and opening minds and hearts to truth.

    It was precisely this realization that led to the establishment of the first Catholic newspapers in your country and the constant encouragement given them by the Church’s pastors. We see this in the case of the Charleston Catholic Miscellany, launched in 1822 by Bishop John England and followed by so many other newspapers and journals. Today, as much as ever, our communities count on newspapers, radio, TV and social media to share, to communicate, to inform and to unite.

    E pluribus unum– the ideal of unity amid diversity, reflected in the motto of the United States, must also inspire the service you offer to the common good. How urgently is this needed today, in an age marked by conflicts and polarization from which the Catholic community itself is not immune. We need media capable of building bridges, defending life and breaking down the walls, visible and invisible, that prevent sincere dialogue and truthful communication between individuals and communities. We need media that can help people, especially the young, to distinguish good from evil, to develop sound judgments based on a clear and unbiased presentation of the facts, and to understand the importance of working for justice, social concord and respect for our common home. We need men and women of conviction who protect communication from all that would distort it or bend it to other purposes.

    I ask you, then, to be united and a sign of unity among yourselves. Media can be large or small, but in the Church these are not the categories that count. In the Church we have all been baptized in the one Spirit and made members of the one body (cf. 1 Cor 12:13). As in every body, it is often the members who are smallest who, in the end, are those most necessary. So it is with the body of Christ. Each of us, wherever we find ourselves, is called to contribute, through our profession of truth in love, to the Church’s growth to full maturity in Christ (cf. Eph 4:15).

    Communication, we know, is not merely a matter of professional competence. A true communicator dedicates himself or herself completely to the welfare of the others, at every level, from the life of each individual to the life of the entire human family. We cannot truly communicate unless we become personally involved, unless we can personally attest to the truth of the message we convey. All communication has its ultimate source in the life of the triune God, who shares with us the richness of his divine life and calls us in turn to communicate that treasure to others by our unity in the service of his truth.

  4. Ironic when Trump is accused of racially inflaming rhetoric when the the slogan “back lives matter” is in itself racially inflaming and borderline racist, not to mention the egregious nature of the organization (if you call it that) of Black Lives Matter.

    1. Joe, totally agree. It’s more than borderline racist. All you’ve got to do is change the wording and see how it would be reacted to — WHITE lives matter — if that’s considered racist, than the original wording is racist.

    2. The term “Black Lives Matter” is short for “In this country government policy has devalued black lives and the police routinely engage in brutality without consequence against black people, and we believe that black lives matter equally to all others.”. But that is too long so we just say “Black Lives Matter”.

      “White Lives Matter” is short for “I think white lives are more important then all others.” and makes you a racist.

  5. I found Attiah tweet to be racist and borderline violent and threatening.

  6. I guess there’s not going to be any mention of the fact that the very few people who said ‘white power’, were the ones at the time being taunted, threatened, and being shouted at directly in their faces with the left’s favorite word…’RACISTS.

    1. My understanding is they were being sarcastic–mocking the knee-jerk accusations of racism. But in doing so, those with no sense of humor or those looking for the next thing to retweet, are using this to prove their usual “dog-whistle” theory.

      1. TruthHertz001 – how does that work when racism really is not a problem except with a very small minority of blacks?

        1. Well, it means that most of us don’t see racism under every rock and around every corner.

          But there will always be those who do…………………..

        1. Your article is of no interest to me. My comment was a generality, based upon my life’s experiences and observations. And in my experience, “racism” is one of the most overused and meaningless words in the English language.

    1. We’re these men racist? Yes. Is Mount Rushmore a monument to racism? No. That’s all.

        1. enigma – considering the leanings of the leaders of BLM I wouldn’t even take their advise about crossing the road. BTW, did you see that Tropic Thunder and White Chicks are going to be pulled? White girls and women all over America are learning how to get on to Tor so they can download White Chicks. 😉

          1. I’d be curious as to who you think of as the leaders of BLM? For good or bad it’s a very de-centralized group where anyone can be purported to be a leader based on the needs of the person talking. I watched Tucker Carlson denigrate BLM the other day based on the comments of their “leader” Shaun King, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you mean the group of women that started the organization who are alleged to be gay, and demonic. If the first is true I don’t care and the second I write off to the attempts to smear every black leader or group in the history of ever.
            I’ve never appreciated Tropic Thunder enough to watch the whole things and I think White Chicks is the second stupidest black movie ever, lagging behind Soul Plane. I’ll admit it has it’s fans much like “Pootie Tang” with Chris Rock. People either love it or hate it. For me, “Hated it!”

            1. enignma – I will grant just about everyone (including his parents) think Shaun King is a joke. However, there is a current “male” leader of the group, BLM, Whether he is or not, I do not know. No one invited me to the election. The two well-trained Marxiists females who started the group, I think had to step back because they were lesbians and that doesn’t sit right with a large portion of the black community. They need a “bull” up front, not a cow. or a couple of cows.

              As for the films, I like most films, however I am not a horror fan so Peele’s film has not attracted me, Still, it is more important to find and restore the films of Oscar Micheaux before they are lost forever. I have seen a few of his films and enjoyed his style and honesty as a film-maker.

              I do not want any books, films, pamphlets or posters burned because they offend people.

              1. I am undecided about Shaun King. I see all the attacks against him (and his refutations). I don’t have the ability to sort through everything to know what is true or not? I also believe some of the attacks are designed to keep him from being effective. Every black person who rose to a position of power has been attacked, every one. “Well-trained Marxists females” sounds a little propagandist to me, I don’t doubt you’ve heard it, just that it’s true, and I believe there were three founders.

                1. Enigma – well-trained Marxists came from their own lips from an interview. I think you are right there were three founders, but there is a male fronting now.

                  1. There are people all over the country proclaiming they are leaders, that may be true in a given community but nobody speaks for the whole organization. I read a quote from the New York Post about their training in ideologies and organizing. Did you know that communists were the sole group to stand behind The Scottsboro Boys when even the NAACP was scared? I’m more worried about Trump’s relationship with MArxists than BLM. Know anyone serving in Afghanistan?

                    1. enigma – the communists were very involved in the Civil Rights Movement and I know there are letters of Dr. King talking about trying to get them out of his movement. He thought they harmed it.
                      I think Trump is handling his Marxist as well as he can. However, the Democrats have lost the plot.

                    2. Many of the artists during the Harlem Renaissance period dabbled in communism as an alternative but for the most part lost faith. The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison was about his disillusionment with Communism, Langston Hughes was often smeared with Communist ties (not true) but he refused to disown them because they supported the Scottsboro Boys,

                      Trump’s “handling” of Marxists consists of his usual refrain of pretending not to know them. That line is getting pretty old,

    2. Well Bill I agree with your essay. All four were white racists. This doesn’t bother me see because I am white. I see all these black folks out there who hate me because I am white and to me, if white folks want to band together for common cause, GREAT! We better figure that out and fast before you take our scalps! But maybe it need not come to all that. Maybe there’s a chance to make a deal?

      See I can still relate to you as a fellow American and a person with your own tribal affinities. Ok, so let me say how i feel about these two “Founders” and take it from there:

      Every day I get madder and madder at the rich white plantation owners like Washington and Jefferson. I feel mad at Washington and Jefferson for being rich slave owners, clever men, who signed up poor white crackers to fight their war to make them kings. What did some poor slob who ate a bullet from a redcoat get out of that? George and Tom got to be kings and I have to contend with riots.

      Today, the United States is a bigger bully than King George ever was. And a bigger tax biter, too.

      And I never got a dime from a slave but I gotta pay for it, and white folks always will in this country. It’s a never ending bill served up in every budgetary cycle. And an angrier and angrier set of black “fellow americans” who hate our guts and always will. Ok, you can feel how you like! But I dont want to live with that anymore. Lets make a deal.

      See i am not descended from slaves, but the descendants of slaves are harassing and bullying me as a white American today, and soaking up a disproportionate amount of tax dollars, and I don’t like that. You disagree of course, you want more. For now, you guys want to defund the police, which will hurt your community worse than us, but, um, you can work that out on your own. Let’s go for a bigger solution to this pickle.

      See I don’t consider this a matter of “justice” because I am too cynical for that. In my eyes this is a trick from clever oligarchs to destabilize the US and get rid of Donald and if you get Biden he will bring all that funding back and probably lock down hard like bill Clinton, remember “Super predators?” Because when Democrats are in charge at the top, they want law and order. When they are not, they want disorder. And they send out the black lumpenproletariat to riot along with the antifa white freaks. The rich white plutocrats of Silicon Valley and the Geo Soroses will get their way, which is really all about “Free trade” and more latitude to have truck with the CCP in the PRC and access to their slave laborforce. It really aint about you and me. Rather than let us all be captives in the same prison colony, deluded by freedom, why don’t we rise up and slay our jailers, and then we can divvy the place up?

      See I will agree on a basic point. I will concede it! here it is. The US never should have important African slaves. The white indentured servants, that was unjust, but there is no problem with their descendants. You guys are the ones who will never give up a grudge from a century ago. OK! It is your right to your own history. But it is not mine. We are separated by our skin color. This is what we have to live with, neither one chose it. I dont blame you. I am blaming Washington and Jefferson. I wont surrender, but I am willing to cut up the pie rather than let it all go to waste.

      Tell you what. How about an end to the US altogether? Let’s discuss a partition. With this can come a peaceful population transfer and maybe even reparations. But they’re a one time deal and strictly conditional on separation. You can have some awesome land right in the lower 48, and some interest free development loans. Interest free! Cant even get that kind of deal from the world bank.

      but its gotta be contiguous, the land we keep is ours and no more apologizing and no migration privileges back into the rump white ethnostate. You guys will end up the richest black majority nation on Earth. The black American people are highly smart and educated and it will not turn out a disaster like Haiti or Liberia. I sincerely believe this is feasible. Now how about we start a negotiation?

      How about this. You can have the South! The entire Confederacy, yours for the keeping. Your one time reparation, you won the Civil war and got the prize. Every single inch of every single Confederate state, not including, the neutral states, nor, the port of NOLA which was always in federal hands anyways.

      Mexican-Americans can get in on this. Let them have Texas if they want it. OK! But you’re illegal immigraton privileges north of there, revoked.

      Asian Americans are about the nicest group of people ever come to these shores, I say let them go where they like. They can decide their own fate. Trust me they are ok with us– some of the most “racist” white guys I know love Asians. But black and white have to separate. America’s been kind to black citizens since the mid sixties, in my view, but you disagree even about that, and for sure you guys won’t let the old stuff go. OK! I got it! We will never be at peace. let’s have a divorce and live in different households and maybe we can be good neighbors with a little distance and some clearer boundaries. Let’s start a negotiation?

      How about we agree to confiscate George Soros’ billions as a start, to help fund the conversation? Oh, and we can let Silicon Valley have a “free trade zone” in Norcal, but they have to pay us both a tax. Or else. Let’s get some ideas on the table!

      PS I kind of like Lincoln, even though he was a cruel tyrant. I have more and more appreciation for his tough choices as I age. Teddy was great, just fantastic. He gave us antitrust laws and we should use them to break Silicon Valley., I know we will never see eye to eye on this. that’s ok!

      PPS we keep the nukes

      PPPS you guys have to take a pro rata share of the US sovereign debt. Or how about we just default on it to help pay for this? Maybe that’s on the table too.

  7. You know Jonathon I’m not sure but was thinking. I don’t know what people are talking about when they say dog whistle. Only just recently heard that phrase. Still don’t know what it means. Would it be to hard to think DJT don’t realize all the symbols of white power. I didn’t know that a fist up in the air means white power. With all these people agreeing with blm. Is it a great sin to blow our own horn. Being white is not all the bad things people say they are. I never owned any slave’s my parents or their parents never owned slaves. So why should we feel guilty for those that did. At that time in history was not a good time for all as we look back. But at that time it seemed to be the way of life. We can’t change the past nor can we pay for it. Most important we have learned from the past

    1. We know not the meaning of the word “mine”; it is “ours”: our race, the totality of our people. Ten hearts, one beat! One hundred hearts, one beat! Ten thousand hearts, one beat! We were born to fight and die and to continue the flow of our people. The future is now! So stand up like men and drive the enemy to the sea! Stand up like men and swear a sacred oath upon the green graves of our sires that you will reclaim what our forefathers discovered, explored, conquered, settled, built, and died for! Stand up like men and reclaim our soil! Look toward the stars and proclaim our destiny!…. we have a saying: Defeat, never! Victory forever!

  8. Interesting times in the republic.

    Agreed with you on the firing of the NYT editor, Turley.

    And it seems an interesting theme has arisen in the free speech realm. First off, we’ve never had truly free speech. If you come from a segment of society with more status your speech has always been more protected than others. The thing Trump brings so much to the surface is his pushing the boundaries of subtext and text. Because he’s been allowed to put what was once (dog whistle) subtext into the realm of text, it opens a whole new branch of more disgusting subtext up, with the coresponding attempts to police the realm of text in response. It’s a fascinating dynamic, isn’t it?

    But word, Professor…, retweeting an old geezer snarling about white power in a golf cart is special. As a punishment, Trump should be required to leave the tweet up and to have to ride around in that golf cart with that racist dude.

  9. “ I tend not to ascribe evil or racist or hateful motivations when simple stupidity or spontaneity could be the reason for a controversy. A tweet is a dangerous invitation for heedlessly moments as this week has already shown.“
    Trumps tweet was a statement by a supporter he claims not to have heard. Attiah’s tweet Is a not-so-thinly veiled death threat made by her to “white women.” She never apologized. She just cut and run as racists do. It wasn’t stupid; it was hateful, calculated and cowardly. Her support for the terrorist Khashoggi is hardly a redeeming feature. Talk about a “Karen.”

  10. These deleted tweeters probably monitor closely the tweets of their children.

  11. “Moreover, Attiah is hardly the first person to have poster’s remorse of a tweet. We have all had such moments.”

    No we haven’t.

  12. It never occurred to me that the mainstream media is inconsistent and biased. I’ll look into this and let you know what I find.

  13. Civilized, educated, mature adults do not Tweet, read Wikipedia, or watch televised news reports.

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