You have no idea what your words mean

Trump responds to accusations of racism, calls Clinton a bigot; journalist calls man who would be emperor clearly unclad

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


On Friday, after watching a CNN video clip of Donald Trump insisting Hillary Clinton is a bigot, Mika Brzezinski—journalist, author and “Morning Joe” co-host—looked into the camera with a solemn face and said, “Donald Trump, you have no idea what your words mean. You have no idea. You have no idea what your words mean.” She shook her head in seeming disapproval and continued in a steady tone, “I can’t pretend and sort of try and cover this fairly and put it in the veil of objectivity. This is wrong. You have no idea what your words mean and what you’re doing to this country.”

Brzezinski’s comments garnered a modicum of attention, surprisingly superficial coverage, given her thoughtful, dry-eyed honesty.

The Hill had a short blurb.

Ad Week’s TVNewser ran another.

The Daily Mail demonstrated its inclination to sensationalize the news by describing Brzezinski as “becoming incensed,” followed by an attempt to link the journalist’s comments to Trump’s previous vague suggestion of a liaison between Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough, both unmarried.

The U.S. edition of The Week relied on more proper British fare, categorizing the comments as a “sober condemnation.”

Politico, like many other sources, stuck with the facts: “Mika Brzezinski to Trump: 'You have no idea what your words mean.’”

But it is the Salon rendition by Brendan Gauthier that first caught my attention. It started with the headline, which Gauthier might or might not have written: “Watch Mika Brzezinski completely lose it over Donald Trump.” It continued with the subhead: “After back-to-back segments about Trump threatening and then calling Hillary a bigot, Brzezinski blew a fuse,” again, author uncertain (emphases all mine). Then Gauthier added the finishing touch with his description of Brzezinski as having “reached her breaking point.”

Brzezinski appeared quite intact to me, intact, nonflammable, location known, situation aware and articulately honest. Consequently, I’m moved to question if such derogatory descriptions would have been leveled against a male journalist, had one opted to similarly dispense with the pretense of covering Trump as a rational, honorable candidate.

The Salon coverage left me wondering if the writers involved in this piece have any idea of what their words mean—and why the compelling foundation of Brzezinski's response is not being discussed.