At a Friday night fundraiser serendipitously open to the press, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton characterized half of Donald Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables," and further described an undetermined number of these "deplorables" as "irredeemable."
As has so often been the case, the headline and opening paragraph of the initial report at the Associated Press about her remarks, seen in a running "The Latest" series, wasn't really about her. It was about Donald Trump's reaction. A later headline, desperately trying to cover up Mrs. Clinton's critical mistake for people who won't click through to read Catherine Lucey's report, said that she only called "many" Trump supporters "deplorables," not "half."
Here is some of what Mrs. Clinton said:
Transcript (bolds are mine):
HILLARY CLINTON: To be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. (audience roars with approval)
Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. You name it.
But that other basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them.
Gosh, I thought it was only the academic malcontents and hardened radicals who could rattle off the litany of adjectives for different forms of bigotry with such conviction and so effortlessly. It turns out that the reflexive vocabulary of contempt for those who disagree with leftist dogma has made its way all the way to the very top tier of leftist leadership.
The "snip" above conveniently skips over the other key element in Mrs. Clinton's statement, posted by Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein:
The key words: "Now some of those folks -- they are irredeemable."
I wonder how big that group of "some" is — and what Mrs. Clinton would plan to do about them if elected?
Notice that the audience of the rich and famous contributors strongly cheered Mrs. Clinton when she made her outrageously bigoted "basket of deplorables" remark. How many other times has she made similar remarks when the press hasn't been allowed in?
As to the AP, here is the full 12:30 a.m. entry containing what is probably its first recognition of what she said, as seen at the website of the New York Times in the (are you kidding?) "Business Day" section (entry shown for fair use and discussion purposes):
By late morning, even the AP's headline writers realized that focusing so much on Trump was so blatantly biased that they put the focus back where it belongs. But their headline is still outrageously unacceptable and deliberately misleading, given that Mrs. Clinton was describing fully "half" of Trump's supporters — or roughly 25 percent of all Americans, given that recent polling is virtually dead-even — and not just "many" of them:
The 10:57 a.m. version of Lucey's report (saved here in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) focused more on Mrs. Clinton, but still got in a gratuitous digs at Trump's supporters:
Hillary Clinton verbally banished half of Donald Trump's backers to a "basket of deplorables," and the Republican presidential nominee quickly pounced, saying Saturday she had smeared many Americans and would pay a heavy political price.
"Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard-working people. I think it will cost her at the polls!" Trump said in a tweet.
Clinton, who has said she is the candidate who can unify a divided country, made the comment at an LGBT fundraiser Friday night at a New York City restaurant, with about 1,000 people in attendance.
... It could (could?? — Ed.) prove a stumble for a seasoned - and polarizing - politician who wants to lead a country that includes many who have embraced Trump's exhortations to "lock her up."
... Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a series of tweets after the remarks that Clinton has been talking about the extreme "alt-right" movement within the Republican Party, and he noted a recent speech she gave in Nevada on the topic. He argued that "alt-right" leaders are supporting Trump and "their supporters appear to make up half his crowd when you observe the tone of his events."
Well, it's a step that Mrs. Clinton has finally been called polarizing, an adjective which has almost exclusively been used at AP and elsewhere in the establishment press to describe conservatives and Republicans. But Lucey failed to explain that the "lock her up" chant goes back to how Mrs. Clinton deliberately mishandled her responsibilities as Secretary of State, particularly her illegal use of her own private server, her disgraceful handling of classified messages, and her serial misstatements relating to that mishandling. There's no point in arguing about whether she committed crimes; she did. That makes her a criminal, regardless of whether she is prosecuted, just as surely as someone who robs a bank and doesn't get caught is a criminal. Trump supporters, as well as many on the left who are sitting this election out, advocate locking Mrs. Clinton up because she has committed crimes. Naturally, Lucey made sure that the word "email" never appeared in her report.
As to the Clinton spokesman Merrill's defense, even if he was somehow right about the makeup of Trump's rallies — and he's not, or Trump's supporters at these events, many of whom have been victimized by violent attacks from protesting leftists, would have struck back in response, which they virtually never have — Mrs. Clinton was referring to half of his supporters, not his campaign event attendees.
There's no walking this back, Nick. Hillary Clinton smeared 25 percent of America. If they learn about it, and they should, they won't forget — which is why the headline at AP's report cited above is so disgraceful.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.