Mark Davis is a right-wing radio host and frequent contributor to the Dallas Morning News’ op-ed page. When it comes to local Trump supporters, only First Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress could challenge Davis’ media footprint. His gross missteps bear scrutiny.
Here’s the piece that was printed in today’s paper. Davis went on a humanitarian mission to Haiti and wrote about what he experienced. All well and fine. He’s to be commended for his good works. But I’d like you to pay attention to how Davis frames his travelogue. It begins:
The most important thing about Haiti is not what President Donald Trump may or may not have said about it. The most important thing is that it is a suffering island nation of 11 million, with vast landscapes of people who need the help of nations as blessed as ours.
So Davis is saying that Trump might not have called Haiti a shithole and also asked, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” He might have said that. But he might not have.
To be clear: Trump said it. Even Republicans agree that he said it. In the past, there is reason to believe, Trump has said Haitians “all have AIDS.” It is clear that Trump, for whatever reason, does not want Haitians coming to America. I would suggest that reason is racism.
As I say, the bulk of Davis’ piece is about his trip to Haiti. He writes about the poor conditions he saw and notes that he didn’t experience any animosity from the Haitians, all of whom exhibit an indomitable spirit. He concludes:
Once I returned, yes, everybody wanted to know whether the president or anyone else would be justified in that infamously coarse characterization of Haiti.
The short answer is: absolutely. But far from a slight against the inhabitants, the recognition of alarming conditions anywhere is a proper call to action to do what we can for them.
Ah! So Davis clears up the confusion he introduced about what the president may or may not have said. Now Davis is saying yes. Trump called Haiti a shithole. And now that Davis has allowed that Trump indeed called Haiti a shithole, he raises a question: was Trump justified in calling Haiti a shithole? And the answer to that question is absolutely. But, Davis contends, calling Haiti a shithole was not an insult. Trump wasn’t denigrating an entire nation as he tried to keep its people out of our blessed country. No, what he was doing was pointing out how badly Haiti needs our help. Trump was calling people to action.
Davis was sloppy to contradict himself. And his interpretation of Trump’s remarks is either sincere idiocy or a transparent lie.
The News has a new boss for its editorial board, the person who oversees the editorials and the op-ed page. His name is Brendan Miniter. Each time Davis writes something like this, he demonstrates Miniter’s lack of courage and that of Miniter’s boss, Mike Wilson. Both men are catering to the basest natures of some of their readers. The paper has a proud history of standing up to the Ku Klux Klan. No matter the financial repercussions, it published stories that assailed racists. Now, it seems, the paper prints stories that defend them.