The Trump campaign is still in heavy damage-control mode over the self-made controversy that Donald Trump has created with his feud with a Gold Star family. Following up Khizr Khan’s heart-wrenching and emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, Trump has disparaged and attacked the Khans in numerous ways while insisting that he’s also made sacrifices akin to losing a son in war. Trump’s apparent need to dominate a grieving family has caused headaches galore for Republicans.
On Tuesday morning, Eric Trump appeared on CBS This Morning to, among other things, defend his father’s decision to attack the Khan family. The Trump scion used a couple of different techniques, none of which were truthful or effective.
Speaking to hosts Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King and Charlie Rose, the younger Trump tried to say that his pops had already apologized to the family for his remarks and moved on. In response to O’Donnell’s question regarding an apology, Eric stated that the GOP nominee “has by calling them a hero.” He also reiterated his father’s claims that he has made sacrifices. (We’ve heard that cheating on his previous wives and getting divorces is a sacrifice to this nation.)
When pressed on whether he believes his dad has been wrong on this, the smirking ’80s teen comedy villain noted that this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. This then led to him using a tactic that right-wing media has been testing for the past day or so — comparing coverage of Pat Smith’s RNC speech to the Khan’s DNC one. O’Donnell was apparently ready for that gambit.
ERIC TRUMP: Pat Smith, the mother of one of the soldiers in the Benghazi, between all the news networks, she got 70 seconds of air time. The Khan family has gotten hours and hours of air time.
O’DONNELL: Pat Smith actually spoke at the Republican National Convention, your dad called into Bill O’Reilly, and the channel switched to your dad calling in to Bill O’Reilly. It wasn’t even covered on Fox.
Yep. This was something that Fox & Friends tried to get away with Monday morning and had to admit to flubbing the following day. As Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher highlighted, this talking point apparently came from Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center, where they’ve tried to show liberal media bias by comparing the coverage of just Smith’s speech to that of Trump’s fight with the Khans.
Eric Trump is also just factually incorrect. All three of the news networks covered the Pat Smith speech extensively. According to TV Eyes, CNN and MSNBC did at least 12 segments apiece that mentioned the speech.
Trump is referring to an “analysis” by the Media Research Center, which only took into account broadcast news coverage, and which made the inaccurate comparison between Patricia Smith’s speech, which it said got 720 seconds of coverage, with the Khizr Khan speech, which it said got 55 minutes and 13 seconds of coverage. However, according to TV Eyes, the Big Three only devoted a total of two segments totaling one minute and fifty seconds to the speech itself. The rest of the coverage MRC attributes to the speech was actually of Donald Trump’s response to Mr. Khan and his wife, and the ensuing feud.
Beyond all that, though, is the fact that Donald Trump has neither moved on nor apologized. On Monday afternoon, the real estate mogul continued to go after the Khan family, stating that the reason Khizr Khan spoke forcefully against him in his DNC speech is that Trump wants to stop radical Islamic terrorism. So, now it appears Trump is suggesting the Khans have ties to extremist organizations. (Trump ally Roger Stone has already floated a Khan alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood.)
Thankfully, the mainstream media isn’t (yet) buying Trump’s attempts to spin this controversy. After Eric Trump’s CBS appearance, CNN did a segment and fact-checked the Trump offspring in their chyron.
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) August 2, 2016
Also, at least one sitting Republican Congressman has come out and said that he’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton because of Trump’s attacks on the Khans. I know we’ve said it dozens of times already with numerous ‘this has to be it?’ scandals, but could this be the thing that finally derails the Trump Train?