It was refreshing to see this Meet The Press panelist masterfully steer a rather shallow discussion of the terrorist event in the United Kingdom into Trump’s failure to address domestic terrorism by white supremacists. Chuck Todd was visibly taken aback.
Donald Trump Masterfully Called Out On Domestic Terrorism
Chuck Todd did not expect his shallow discussion on the UK terrorist attack to morph into a sensible commentary on Donald Trump’s failure at home. Heather McGhee, President of Demos Action, did just that.
After discussing Donald Trump’s tweet storm in response to the attack in the United Kingdom, Chuck Todd sought a comment from Heather McGhee on Uk’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for tougher actions that likely would violate our civil liberties especially given our First Amendment, a restriction nonexistent in the UK.
“I think this is a question of context, balance, and approach,” Heather McGhee said. “We have been so fortunate. I mean, I live in New York City. I would never have believed about how safe that I feel even today after September 11th. This is a moment for the people of the UK where they are experiencing a heightened sense of fragility walking into bars and concert and crossing the street on a bridge. And yet at the same time, I know that people in the communities of color in this country are also seeing that the president and the Right Wing are ignoring domestic extremism here in the United States. Whether or not it is the young man who was a person who was in the military who was killed by a white supremacist or the veteran who stepped in obviously in Portland Oregon. So, I think that there is a broad conversation to have about an administration that is tolerating Right Wing extremism and hate, as well as obviously the continued threat of a war that we are continuing to not prosecute well overseas.”
Note how Ms. McGhee segued the dialogue into a valid domestic issue seldom addressed as such on our Sunday shows’ panels. She changed the narrative to ensure the millions that are watching saw the attacks and Trump’s security failures as a real problem here, domestic terrorism. It was obvious that Chuck Todd did not want to go there, but her weaving into the subject and unweaving at the end back to the overseas nature of terrorism was masterful. He was unable to stop her even though it was clear he wanted to interject.
Progressives don’t get many opportunities to address the large audiences in one spot that are afforded the Sunday shows. They must make use of those opportunities to seamlessly get their message with the proper narrative and context in, just as Heather McGhee did on this panel.
When infrequent panelists like Rachel Maddow, Heather McGhee, and Joy-ann Reid appear on Meet the Press, the program is afforded so much more context to the subject as they usually expand an antiseptic discourse into one that applies to real people. We must encourage through our tweets and emails that these panelists appear more frequently.