A video from Donald Trump‘s Kentucky rally on Tuesday has a lot of people upset, including us and 6 ABC anchor Brian Taff.
At the Kentucky rally, which took place one day after African American students were ejected from a Trump rally in Georgia, many of those in attendance pushed, shoved, and screamed at a young African American woman who was making her way through the crowd.
Here is the disturbing footage:
News anchors don’t typically tell us how they feel about things — that’s not their job — but Taff is a bit of an anomaly. Last year, he shared some strong thoughts about anti-gay marriage crusader Kim Davis, and now he has taken to Facebook to voice his concern over not just this Trump rally video but also for the future of America in general.
Here is what Taff had to say early Wednesday morning on his official Facebook page:
I watched a video late last night that haunted me. I won’t post it, because I don’t want to give people who may support what it shows anything to further their cause. Just know this: it featured a young African American girl, silently protesting at a candidate’s rally, being repeatedly physically assaulted by men and women who took issue with her silent stand — and, arguably, with her mere existence.
I need not explain the personal reasons why a sight like that would be disturbing, to say the least. But, some recognition of why I find it politically repulsive is in order.
Good journalists do not stake out public positions. I never have. My job is to report facts that allow you to take an educated position — and the messenger should never stand in the way of a message.
That said, the quest for objectivity should never serve as an excuse for willful naiveté. Just as we would distinguish between a “crime” and a “hate crime,” we need to honestly identify the nature of what we’re seeing play out in our politics. We need to stop pretending that what is happening in our political discourse this year is just words. Laugh lines. Or worse, expected. Its not. Far from it.
Last week, I had to report — on the news — that two Presidential candidates accused each other of “wetting their pants.” That one derided another for his small hands, and “you know what that means.” That one intentionally refused to disavow the KKK, for fear of alienating voters who may sympathize with its racist agenda. That a photographer was knocked to the ground for daring to leave the cage in which a candidate demanded the press be kept.
Is this who are, now? Is this the image of ourselves with which we’re most comfortable? To which we give our votes as validation?
I promise you this: my personal political leanings will never infiltrate my reporting. My colleagues don’t know where I stand. My own family doesn’t know how I vote. And my decision in November will be based on the issues, as I hope yours will be, too. But no journalist worth his or her pen should ignore how we get there — the price of the words used to win support, at the behest of voters who cheer it on. Perhaps the real story isn’t the various candidates’ willingness to say inflammatory things, but rather our willingness to applaud when they say it. Surely, the great leaders of our past, for whom both sides claim to carry the mantle, would be saddened. I am. The best nation on the planet is showing the worst of what it can be.
Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.
Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/03/02/trump-rally-video-brian-taff/
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