President Donald Trump’s ‘Racist Joke’

by | Jun 24, 2020

“Trump Made a Racist Joke in a Phoenix Megachurch and the Crowd Went Wild.” That is the title of a Wednesday The Intercept article by Robert Mackey. Sounds like a major story that could sink President Donald Trump’s chance of reelection, heh? However, it is clear from the first paragraph of the article that what happened at Trump’s Tuesday speech is very different from what the article title suggests. Trump told a pun that played on his contention that coronavirus originated in China and a form of fighting associated with China, and many people in the audience seemed to like the pun. That’s all.

Here is the first paragraph of Mackey’s article:

WATCHING FROM HOME, at first it was hard to say which moment in Donald Trump’s rally at a Phoenix megachurch on Tuesday was the ugliest. Was it when the president of the United States repeated the racist joke he told last weekend in Tulsa, calling Covid-19, the viral disease that emerged in China last year, the “Kung Flu;” or was it a spilt second later, when thousands of his young supporters erupted in cheers?

Helpfully, Mackey placed in his article a video including Trump telling the pun and the audience reacting:

If anti-Trump people look at the matter objectively for a minute, I figure most of them would understand the pun as at least kind of funny and not at all condemnable as racist. But, Mackey’s article is not about looking at the matter objectively. Instead he spins the pun as racist, and the audience reaction to the pun as showing Trump supporters’ racism. This kind of article fulfills some readers’ desire for a new burn of Trump and Trump’s supporters. Now they have it. On to searching for to the next one.

Mackey could use some lightening up about kung fu jokes. Maybe watching the 1978 movie Drunken Master, starring Jackie Chan, could help.

Mackey’s article, brings to mind an October The Intercept article by Mehdi Hassan in which Hassan pinned an “antisemite” label on Trump and Trump’s supporters without providing any substantial evidence to back the claim. I wrote about that article here.

Trump is not the only politician to receive this sort of baseless trashing at The Intercept. In a The Intercept article in January, when Joe Biden was just one of many candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination instead of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee he is now, Aída Chávez was insinuating on very flimsy grounds that Biden had been saying racist stuff.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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