Donald Trump fumbled the ball snubbing the Philadelphia Eagles and late-comics feasted on the gaff. Fox News, by any measure now the Trump propaganda network, only made things worse with a horrendous gaff of its own.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
The public relations nightmare began when the administration learned only about 10 of the Super Bowl winning team’s players would appear at the traditional White House celebration of their accomplishment.
Instead of rolling with it, Trump abruptly dis-invited the team and fired off a series of scathing tweets. Fox News, in its zeal to back the President’s decision, ran photos of kneeling Philadelphia Eagles players, supposedly “disrespecting” the National Anthem.
Only one problem: the players pictured were praying before the game and well before the National Anthem. In fact, not one Eagles player took a knee during the season to protest police violence against African-Americans.
“So Donald Trump is blaming a group of black guys for something they didn’t do,” said Stephen Colbert during his opening monologue.. “They’ll have to rename the Eagles the Central Park 53.”
Ouch! The reference was to Trump’s overzealous campaign against five African-American youths were were convicted of a brutal 1989 rape in New York City’s Central Park. Trump called for the death penalty. But the convictions were overturned after DNA evidence and a serial rapist’s confession proved they were innocent.
Trump never apologized to the youths, nor did he apologize to the Eagles for falsely accusing them of “disrespecting” the flag. But Fox News did. It issued the following statement:
“During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Wallace said. “To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error.”
“Can we just acknowledge how weird it is that under Trump no one wants to visit the White House anymore?” said Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show.”
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