Media chatter continued over the weekend on the “Obama Muslim question” stemming from a first question at a Donald Trump town hall meeting Thursday in Rochester, N.H.
With many media members at that gathering, plus heavy broadcast and print discussion for four days now, Grumpy Editor is amazed that no journalist sought to contact the questioner (who, surprisingly, remains unidentified, along with political affiliation) and is labeled by some media (without confirmation) as a Trump supporter.
The voice of the questioner projected well, sounding like he had a broadcasting background.
While some media, and a number of politicians, wrongly link the Muslim identification to Trump, he had nothing to do with it. Muslin simply was not uttered by the front runner for the Republican nomination.
Here’s what the questioner said and Trump’s response:
MYSTERY MAN: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. We know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?”
TRUMP: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”
That exchange kicked off a barrage of anti-Trump coverage as most media cried that Trump did not correct the audience member.
Among heavy print and broadcast coverage examples:
A lingering on-screen headline on Friday night’s “Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly on the Fox News Channel read: Firestorm over exchange at Trump event
Headline on a U.S. News &World Report story on the web: Trump Supporter Calls Obama a Muslim
The headline at CNN’s website proclaimed: Trump doesn't challenge anti-Muslim questioner at event
Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC: Trump Faces New Problem
On Saturday, Trump defended himself for not correcting the audience member, declaring: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don't think so. If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance.”
Also interesting: Two days before the New Hampshire town hall, Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin wrote Trump “has proven to be unlike any other candidate in modern American politics. Top strategists for Trump’s rivals and some corporate and conservative interests are working with opposition researchers, messaging experts and focus-group gurus to find some plausible scheme to end what has already become an enduring nightmare for much of the Republican establishment: Donald Trump, Front-Runner.”
In case you missed these…
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Among some of the goofy questions during last week’s GOP presidential debate on CNN, moderator Jake Tapper asked the candidates what code name they'd like the Secret Service to use in identifying them.