Yesterday the Washington Post published a piece decrying the tone of political speech on both sides of the aisle. After criticizing Michelle Wolf’s comedy stylings at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, author Michael Gerson turned to Trump’s speech in Michigan:
In Washington, Mich., President Trump gave an 80-minute speech in a stream-of-semiconsciousness style that mixed narcissism, nativism, ignorance, mendacity and malice. He attacked the FBI, intelligence agencies, the Justice Department and his presidential predecessors. “Any Hispanics in the room? ” he asked at one point, producing some boos.
That link goes to this tweet by a writer for Think Progress who claimed people booed Trump’s mention of Hispanics:
TRUMP: Are there any Hispanics in the room?
TRUMP: Not so many? That's okay… and in fairness, Kanye West gets it! pic.twitter.com/CegLcNzDXy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2018
The problem with that version of events is that it isn’t supported by the video itself. What I hear is a relatively small number of people cheering, followed by some shouts and whistles. And I’m not the only one. HuffPost wrote a piece about Trump’s mention of Hispanics which included the tweet above. Here’s how it opens [emphasis added]:
President Donald Trump was met with silence at a campaign-style rally in Michigan Saturday night when he asked if there were any Hispanics present, then repeated his demand for a border wall.
HuffPost doesn’t get it right either. You can hear some cheering in response, but the HuffPost reporter who wrote this story obviously read the tweet above and then contradicted the claim about booing, which should tell you something.
Esquire also wrote a story about the speech which included the same tweet but followed the tweet with this partial correction: “The crowd does not exactly boo at the mention of ‘Hispanics’—there’s some, but it’s more whistling.” Esquire also doesn’t think booing was the response, though they claim there was some. Plenty of regular people on Twitter also said they couldn’t hear any booing:
I definitely didn’t here booing. I believe it was “the Hispanics” cheering to respond to his inquiry. It makes sense that there wasn’t enough to make it sound like a roaring audience, especially given the location…
— D Nicole (@Dayynicolema) April 29, 2018
In any case, the broader context of this callout to Hispanics was that Trump was celebrating historic low unemployment levels among black and Hispanic Americans. The crowd clearly cheered and applauded for both announcements. Here’s a fuller video of the speech queued up to his mention of unemployment. Again, I don’t hear booing, I hear some cheering and some whistling in response to Trump’s question. There is some booing not long after when Trump mentions Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow voting against the GOP tax cut. So jump to 43:00 if you want to hear what booing sounds like.