Jack Parkos | United States
Yesterday, President Trump invited The Clemson Tigers, NCAA football champions to the White House. There, he served them a feast of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. In a tweet, Trump claimed they had over “1000 hamburgers”. The White House kitchen staff was not available due to the shutdown.
Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamburgers etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2019
Many mainstream media outlets were outraged. Of course, there are plenty of things to criticize within the Trump administration, including military action in Yemen that led to the slaughter of children on a school bus. But why is there anything wrong with a Clemson hamburger party?
Trump Hamburgers: Not The Onion
Many needed to find out exactly how many burgers were served. Former NFL player Reggie Bush called it was disrespectful and a “slap in the face” to the winning team. However, the team appeared to enjoy the festivities in all available photos.
An opinion article in “USA Today“ went so far as to claim that this is a tactic to divert us from the government shutdown. This comes in spite of the fact that the president directly mentioned the shutdown in a tweet about the party. Author Christine Brennan stated:
What was the rush? Most White House celebrations occur at least a month or two after a championship is won. Why did Trump hurry Clemson into the White House a week after the national championship game? Is he really that lonely — or so desperate for a photo op with football players? Diversion, anyone?
When people think of diversions, they generally imagine major political controversies, not a Clemson hamburger party.
Moreover, a Washington Post article ridiculed the idea that Trump’s hamburgers were a mile high. In a non-satirical article, they “fact-checked” the claim, proving that, in fact, 1,000 burgers would only be 2,000 feet high. Of all of the Trump claims to fact-check, this is not worth attention. Stories like these belong on The Onion, not reputable sites.
Covering the Clemson Hamburger Party
Is this really what the media is covering? This story, in general, did not deserve much attention. At most, it deserved short stories of players visiting the White House and greeting the president. Do we really need a national debate about what they ate and why? Quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he liked the meal. It appears the team enjoyed the meal. Why does there need to be controversy over this?
There are real stories out there in America and the world, ones of suffering and glee. But the mainstream media fails to cover these. While a hacker group releases ominous files about the 9/11 attacks, we see story after story about Trump’s “hamberders” typo. They are trying to make huge controversies out of nothing. This is not a story; it is an attempt at a political attack on an enemy.
We cannot further allow the media to be a political tool. Journalists are supposed to tell stories and discuss actual issues. This siege of stories merely marks another step away from legitimate, honest journalism.
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