This critique has been updated nine times, most recently on November 9, 2017. Click here to jump to that update.
A PolitiFactoid.com Critique of...
Interview with Donald Trump by John Dickerson
as broadcast on Face the Nation, June 5, 2016
The backdrop for this critique is the media frenzy over comments recently made by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump about the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University. The judge, Gonzalo Paul Curiel, ascended to the federal bench in 2012 after being nominated by President Obama in 2011. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana.
Trump has alleged that Judge Curiel is biased against him and has treated him unfairly by making unfavorable rulings in the lawsuit. Trump has said that his own promises to rein-in illegal immigration from Mexico and to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, combined with Judge Curiel's "pro-Mexican" leanings, are likely to have caused Judge Curiel's alleged bias.
These comments have resulted in a media and political firestorm. Many hours of coverage have resulted in the mainstream media, and political pundits and politicians alike have condemned Trump's comments as blatantly racist.
I take exception to much of the media coverage this issue has received. Certainly the issue is newsworthy. However, the news media should be fair and unbiased in their coverage, and I haven't seen much of that. By and large, both the mainstream media and certain elements within the so-called "conservative media" have either failed to present a complete picture or have mischaracterized or misreported many of the details about the story.
The purpose of this critique is not to defend Trump's comments or to advocate on his behalf. His comments were ill-advised and he's done a poor job of presenting his arguments, in my humble opinion. However, I don't think he's been treated fairly by the mainstream news media. John Dickerson's Face the Nation interview is the one example that I chose to critique.
You can see the full interview below. The portion dealing with Trump's comments about Judge Curiel begins at about 12:55 into the video. PolitiFactoid.com's critique appears below the video, as dark blue, indented type, embedded in excerpts of a transcript of the interview.
Face the Nation: An Interview with Donald Trump by John Dickerson
Host John Dickerson:
Let me ask you about... What does the Mexican heritage of the judge in the Trump University case have to do with anything?
I think it has a lot to do with it. First of all, I've had terrible rulings forever. I had a judge previous to him and it would have been a very quick case. This is a case I should have won on summary judgment. This is a case – and nobody writes this; they all know it but they don't like to write it – the plaintiff in the case was a woman. She was so bad that under deposition, it was over. She couldn't have been the plaintiff. It was a disaster. They went before the judge. They said, "We don't want her to be the plaintiff. We want to put somebody else in." So we said, "That's fine. Dismiss the case. You have to dismiss the case." Wait a minute. She gave letters. The most incredible reviews of the college you've ever seen, of the university. She gave the most incredible. And on top of it, we have tape, where she's talking about it in the most glowing terms. You wouldn't speak about your college like this...
Mr. Trump, what does this have to do with his parents being from Mexico? How does that...
No, no. Excuse me, I'm just saying we're getting terrible rulings. We go to the judge. We say to the judge, "Hey, you can't let her out of the case." He let her out of the case. We said, "Well, if you're going to let her out of the case, she's the plaintiff. You're going to let her out of the case, the case is over." No, the case isn't over. Okay? Now...
Give me the thought process. How does this work?
My thought process...
No, no, for him. How does his Mexican parents have to do with him not ruling...
Dickerson hasn't been able to get Trump to focus directly on ethnicity or race. Trump has been answering the question indirectly, by establishing the circumstances of the situation, i.e. (paraphrasing here) "The judge has repeatedly ruled against me in terrible ways." For Trump, that backdrop must be established so that the ethnicity question has a context. Dickerson seems to have no interest in the backdrop or the context, but, in Dickerson's defense, Trump did a lousy job explaining why the backdrop and context are important.
He's a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine, but I say he's got bias. I want to build a wall – I'm gonna build a wall...
This is where Trump expands the scope of his assertions about the judge. Here's a summary of the points he's tried to make so far: (1) The judge has repeatedly ruled against me in terrible ways, which leads me to believe he's got something against me; (2) The judge belongs to a "club or society" that is "very strongly pro-Mexican;" and (3) I've taken a strong, high-profile position that I'm going to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Now, we all know that Trump's position on the wall has been widely criticized in numerous ways, including claims that Trump must be horribly racist against Mexicans to even propose such a thing. Trump didn't mention that last part in his remarks, but he didn't have to because everyone knows about those criticisms of Trump's wall at this point.
However, despite putting these facts out there, Trump is still doing a very poor job of connecting the dots and building a case for why all these issues matter. You can't blame Dickerson for Trump's failure in that regard. However, this is where my criticism of Dickerson begins. Instead of examining these assertions that Trump has made, which Trump was trying to use to explain his position, Dickerson pretty much ignores these issues and focuses exclusively on the ethnicity angle.
If Dickerson had done his job properly, he would have learned what Trump meant by bringing up the "pro-Mexican club or society" that the judge belongs to, and why that matters. Instead, Dickerson did nothing in that regard and completely ignored that aspect. Meanwhile, Trump continues failing to connect the dots when building his case.
...I'm doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans. I'm doing very well with them, in my opinion. And we're gonna see – you're gonna see – because, you know what? I'm providing jobs. No one else is giving jobs. But, just so you understand, this judge has treated me very unfairly, he's treated me in a hostile manner, and there's something going on. When a woman can be a plaintiff in a case and then say I don't want to be – and, ya know why they don't want to be a plaintiff? They don't want her. The lawyers asked that she not be a plaintiff because they would have lost the case immediately.
So, I'm trying to figure out your thinking here, though. If his Mexican heritage – the fact that his parents were Mexican immigrants – is a barrier to him doing his job, why would any Mexican voter vote for you? Wouldn't they be the same barrier? Same problem?
A couple of important things just occurred with this question by Dickerson:
At this point, Dickerson not only ignores the case Trump was trying to build (as summarized above) but he also begins putting words in Trump's mouth that Trump did not say. Trump did not say the judge's Mexican heritage is a barrier to him doing his job. That's plain and simple – Trump did not say that. Trump said the judge was biased, which is completely different from saying his heritage is a barrier to him doing his job. However, Dickerson uses the false "barrier" premise for a reason why a "Mexican voter" would not vote for Trump.
What does Dickerson's "barrier" premise mean? If the judge's heritage is a barrier to him doing his job, does that mean his heritage makes him incompetent? He can't do his job, so he must be incompetent, because of his Mexican heritage, right? That's the sort of slippery slope created by putting words into someone's mouth. By doing so, Dickerson makes Trump sound even more like a so-called "racist."
Dickerson himself must be a racist. Trump has been widely criticized for having referred to the judge as "Mexican" instead of describing him as having a Mexican heritage. However, with this question, Dickerson himself illustrates how easy it is to morph one into the other. Dickerson asks why any "Mexican voter" would vote for Trump. Surely Dickerson was referring to U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage, not "Mexicans" per se, when describing certain people who will be voting in November.
However, that's not what Dickerson said. He said "Mexican voter." No one has come out and criticized Dickerson over this or charged him with being a racist for saying it. However, when Trump did the same thing, he was promptly and thoroughly crucified in the news media and by Democrats and Republicans alike as a blatant racist. Why does that apply to Trump but not Dickerson (or anyone else, as you'll see below)?
No, they're going to vote for me because I'm going to bring jobs into the country.
But isn't it the same problem...
No, totally different...
... because you want to build a wall and all that?
No, not at all.
So, what if it was a Muslim judge?
With this, Dickerson moves to Plan B. He brings a new angle to the ethnicity issue. This is an important point about the current state of journalism. Instead of sticking with the existing issue at hand, Dickerson decides to create a new issue. There was no issue involving Muslim judges until Dickerson introduced it, on his own.
This has become an unfortunate tendency in journalism in recent years which leads to the "gotcha" phenomenon. Dickerson decided to go down that route. Note that he was having very little success pinning Trump down on the Mexican ethnicity issue, so he abruptly changed course and introduced the Muslim issue (that had previously not existed), which could only have been motivated by a desire to pull a "gotcha" on Trump.
By the way, I have so many Hispanics. I made a speech last night. I saw hundreds of signs: "Latinos for Trump, Latinos for Trump," all over the place. And, you know what? They're here legally. They don't want their homes taken away. They don't want their job taken away. They like what I'm doing. Now, people can come in, but they have to come in legally.
You... on the Muslim... But, what if he was a Muslim? You've had – been very tough on Muslim immigration ban, so would a Muslim judge be also out of the question here?
Since Trump did not address the Muslim angle, which Dickerson had fabricated all by himself, Dickerson tried again to move the conversation in that direction.
Dickerson also put some additional words into Trump's mouth. He asked if a Muslim judge would also be out of the question, implying that Trump believes any judge of Mexican heritage is "out of the question." Trump never said that, nor did he even imply it. Trump's comments about Judge Curiel were specific to Judge Curiel alone and were not generalized to the Mexican heritage community as a whole (people that Dickerson likes to call "Mexican voters"). However, Dickerson – with his language – makes Trump sound as much like a racist as possible.
We're allowing tremendous numbers of people coming into this country that we know nothing about. We are, we have a problem in this country. We are going to have big problems. Ya know, I've been pretty good at predicting things, John. We're gonna have big problems. We have people coming into this country totally undocumented. They don't know anything about them. They don't have paperwork. I've interviewed and talked to the best law enforcement people in the business. There's no way of knowing where they come from. And we're taking them in from the so-called migration. They're being sent all over the country. We have people that don't know what they're doing. We have to stop it.
My question is if it were a Muslim judge, would you also feel like they wouldn't be able to treat you fairly, because of they policy of yours?
That was Dickerson's third attempt to "gotcha" Trump. Dickerson repeatedly insisted on introducing this Muslim issue into the story, even though it was not part of the story and had never been part of the story.
Why would Dickerson devote so much attention to this and fail to give any attention to the details Trump had previously raised about the true topic, as summarized above? Those details were genuine aspects of the story, on their own merits, and if Dickerson really wanted to understand what was driving Trump's comments about Curiel, Dickerson would have pursued them. Instead, Dickerson ignored those aspects in favor of creating a "gotcha" moment based on an aspect that Dickerson dreamed up all by himself. This is a case study in journalistic malpractice and has, unfortunately, become the norm for journalism these days.
Uh, it's possible, yes. Yeah. That would be possible, absolutely.
Trump finally gave in and made the mistake of answering Dickerson's "gotcha" question. He should have said something like, "What are you talking about? The judge is not Muslim," in order to stay out of Dickerson's trap. Or, perhaps a better response would have been, "I don't know, John. The judge is not Muslim. I like to deal with reality, not fantasy. Why don't you tell me if a Muslim judge would treat me fairly?" Someone needs to coach Trump on how to do that.
Even so, all Trump said was that it was "possible" that a Mulsim judge wouldn't be able to treat him fairly, due to Trump's proposal to temporarily halt Muslims from entering the country. In general, wouldn't anyone have to agree that such a thing is at least possible?
Nevertheless, other mainstream news outlets plucked this tiny video clip of Trump answering Dickerson's "gotcha" question and broadcast it repeatedly over the next couple of days, in an obvious attempt to further the left-wing narrative that Trump is horribly racist against Mexicans, Muslims, and U.S. citizens with a Mexican heritage. (In case you missed it, Dickerson likes to refer to that latter group as "Mexican voters.")
Isn't there sort of a tradition though in America, that we don't judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?
Having succeeded (on his third attempt) in getting Trump to answer the "gotcha" question, Dickerson promptly attempted to use the answer against Trump. He took Trump's response, along with Trump's assertion that the judge of Mexican heritage is not treating him fairly, and he twisted them into this notion that Trump is judging people by who their parents are and where they came from.
Dickerson presented this follow-up question as if it logically follows from anything Trump has said, but Trump never said that. Trump's claim against this one, individual judge is based on the judge's behavior, coupled with his affiliation with a "pro-Mexican" organization. That's a far cry from how Dickerson framed things with this question.
I'm not talking about tradition. I'm talking about common sense, okay? He's proud of his heritage, and I think that's great that he's proud of it.
But you're saying that it's a barrier to him doing his job.
Dickerson again put words into Trump's mouth with the "barrier" thing. Trump claimed that the judge's behavior indicates that he's biased against Trump, which might be explained by his affiliation with a "pro-Mexican" organization. When it's framed in those terms, Trump's claim doesn't sound quite so outrageous.
However, Dickerson went out of his way not to frame the situation in those terms and to instead paint Trump as a racist who thinks an ethnic heritage is a barrier to someone doing their job, which could easily be interpreted as Trump claiming that a Mexican heritage makes someone incompetent. Meanwhile, only Dickerson said anything about the judge's Mexican heritage being a barrier to him doing his job. Trump never said that.
Well, he's not treating me fairly.
And you think it's not because, you think it's because of where his parents came from.
Again, Trump never said that, yet Dickerson repeatedly accused Trump of that and repeatedly encouraged Trump to admit to it.
I've had numerous lawyers – Look, I have a case where thousands of people have said it was a great school. They've written reviews where they say it's a great school, not a good school, like great. They gave it the highest marks. I have thousands of these papers. It should have been a summary judgment case, meaning the case should have been dismissed, and I had a judge who was very fair. I have a lawyer who came in when he came in. I mean the lawyer on the other side sort of entered the case when he entered the case, and I'm trying to figure out what that's all about.
Trump just said something rather remarkable that Dickerson completely failed to pick up on. Trump again pointed out that Judge Curiel was not the first judge assigned to the case and that the first judge "was very fair," unlike Curiel, according to Trump.
Then Trump said that "the lawyer on the other side" entered the case when Curiel entered the case, and that Trump was "trying to figure out what that's all about." Obviously Trump was insinuating that those circumstances were suspicious and maybe needed to be "figured out." What could he mean by that? Why didn't Dickerson ask Trump to explain it? We'll never know because it went into one of Dickerson's ears and out the other. Instead, Dickerson continued focusing on his attempt to get Trump to admit to being a racist.
Would you have your lawyer say, "Hey, throw this out because the judge is..."
Well, they do that now.
... ask your lawyers to do that.
We're finding things out now that we didn't know before...
...because of his Mexican heritage though. Use that as your lawyers...
No, because of other things. I mean because of other things.
Again, Dickerson failed to put a smoking gun in Trump's hand, and he continued to ignore Trump's points about what led him to believe Judge Curiel is biased. The latest point Dickerson just ignored was Trump's claim that his team was finding out things about Judge Curiel that they didn't know before, which are "other things," not related to his Mexican heritage. Again, instead of asking what those "other things" were, Dickerson completely ignored Trump.
You said you want to reopen Trump...
How do you allow a case to proceed when the plaintiff asks to be dismissed from the case? The plaintiff – the one that brought the suit – said, "I don't want to sue anymore. I don't want to sue anymore." You know why they didn't want to? Because she can't win the case. Because she was a disaster. So, the lawyers want her dismissed from the case. They go before the judge and he let's her out? Well, he can let her out, but you have to dismiss the case.
Yeah, I guess I'm just confused about what his Mexican parents have to do with that. Let me...
In the video, you can see the frustration on Dickerson's face and hear it in his voice. He's been unable to put that smoking gun into Trump's hand and has had to endure Trump's incoherent blathering about the actual facts of the case instead of about Judge Curiel's Mexican heritage. Dickerson couldn't care less about Trump's reasons for saying what he said. Dickerson's only concern seemed to be exposing Trump as a racist because of his comments about the judge, with no regard to what Trump actually meant or what led him to make those statements.
Excuse me. I want to build a wall. I mean I don't think it's very confusing. It has nothing to do with anything except common sense. Ya know, we have to stop being so politcally correct in this country, and we need a little more common sense, John. And I'm not blaming. I'm proud of my heritage. We're all proud of our heritage. But, I want to build a wall. Now, the Hispanics, many of them like what I'm saying. They're here legally. They don't want people coming in and taking their jobs and taking their house and everything else. They don't want that.
Let me ask you about Trump University. You're gonna reopen it. Anything you'll do differently when you reopen it?
With that, Dickerson concluded his questions about Judge Curiel and moved on to another topic. In the section below, let's look at some of the vitally pertinent facts that Dickerson chose to omit from his interview:
In-Depth Analysis You Won't Find Anywhere Else
The First Judge
Twice during the interview, Trump indicated that Curiel was not the first judge assigned to the case. He mentioned the "judge previous to him [Curiel]" and "I had a judge who was very fair" prior to Curiel presiding over the case. Who was this first judge, and why haven't we heard anything about the first judge from the mainstream news media or anyone else? Dickerson ignored Trump twice when he mentioned the first judge, as has virtually everyone.
This piqued my curiosity, so I looked it up. The first judge was Irma Elsa Gonzalez, who retired in 2013, which presumably created the need for another judge (Curiel) to be assigned to the case.
Here's the most interesting thing about Judge Gonzalez – her ancestry and heritage are Mexican. According to Wikipedia, in 1992, she became the first Mexican-American female federal judge in U.S. history, nominated to that post by President George H.W. Bush. Trump described her in this interview as "very fair."
Wait a minute, though. Isn't Trump being crucified for saying that a judge with a Mexican heritage is biased against him, or, as Dickerson put it, that a judge's Mexican heritage creates a barrier to doing his job? Doesn't that mean Trump is a horrible racist against Mexicans and U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage (or, as Dickerson likes to call them, "Mexican voters")? But, if that were true, wouldn't Trump also feel that way about Judge Gonzalez? He obviously doesn't, since he praised her by saying she was "very fair."
How can Trump feel that way about Judge Gonzalez but completely differently about Judge Curiel? They're both of Mexican heritage. Earlier in the interview, Dickerson implied that Trump thinks any judge of Mexican heritage would be "out of the question." Trump obviously feels otherwise, which is proven by how positively he feels about Judge Gonzalez.
Could that difference have something to do with differences in the judges' behavior, as opposed to their ethnicity? That's a rhetorical question, by the way. Their ethnicity is the same, so it must be something other than ethnicity.
Why haven't the mainstream news explored this dichotomy? It's out there, but no one is talking about it. Maybe that's because it would disrupt the media's left-wing, factually-incorrect, anti-Trump narrative, such as the one Dickerson contributed to, i.e. any judge with a Mexican heritage (or, as Dickerson would say, a "Mexican voter") would be out of the question for Trump, so he must be a horrible racist. That's why we've heard nothing about Trump's affinity for Judge Gonzalez, because that would counteract the "Trump is a racist" narrative.
Trump's Three-part Argument Trump attempted (poorly) to explain to Dickerson why he made his comments about Curiel, as summarized above. Those three points compose Trump's argument regarding the judge's alleged bias, and they must be considered collectively, not individually. Instead of doing that, critics are focusing only on the "Mexican heritage" aspect and ignoring the other pieces of the argument.
Political pundits and members of the mainstream media (like Dickerson) are doing the same thing. Since Dickerson didn't delve into any other pieces of the argument, let's do that for him. One of the three parts relates to Trump's plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which, according to critics, makes him a racist against Mexicans. That piece doesn't need to be examined. The other two pieces do.
He's Not Treating Me Fairly Trump repeatedly said Judge Curiel wasn't treating him fairly, but Dickerson never asked how. Trump rambled on and on about Judge Curiel's ruling that the lawsuit could continue after the lead plaintiff withdrew from the case. That was one example, but Dickerson never asked for others. Normally a reporter would want to know about other examples, to see if there's a pattern, as Trump alleged. However, that might give Trump an avenue for building his case, and it's hard to imagine Dickerson wanting that.
In any event, I've searched the web for other examples. One caught my eye. On May 27, 2016, Judge Curiel ordered the release of previsouly-sealed documents in the Trump University lawsuit. The news media ate these documents up and were overjoyed about reporting on their contents because they contained many juicy tidbits about the inner workings of the university, many of which the university did not wish to be made public. Then, on May 31, Curiel realized he'd made a "mistake" by releasing a certain portion of the documents and ordered that they be resealed, as if that could un-do the mistake. Nice. No wonder Trump's upset.
Beyond that, I couldn't find a whole lot of analysis that supported Trump's claim, and it's difficult to reach a conclusion based on what's out there in cyberspace. However, that doesn't absolve Dickerson (and the rest of the news media) from failing to examine this aspect of why Trump said what he said.
The "Pro-Mexican Club or Society" In reference to Judge Curiel, Trump said, "He's a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican." Dickerson didn't seem to have heard that at all, as if he were temporarily deaf when Trump said it. The news media are usually extemely interested when someone is a member of a club, society, or organization, because aspects of the organization can be transferred to the person in question.
The first example that comes to mind is when former Texas Governor Rick Perry was seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2011-2012. The mainstream news media dug up a hunting camp that Perry's family had a history of leasing that was sometimes known as "Niggerhead." The news media had a field day with that one. At least that's how they behave with Republicans and conservatives, but, for some reason, Dickerson and the rest of them have virtually no interest in exploring Judge Curiel's membership in the "club or society" mentioned by Trump.
Why not? Well, let's take a look. When Curiel was being vetted for confirmation by the U.S. Senate in 2011, he indicated in a questionnaire that he was a "life-time member" of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a group that was founded under the name "La Raza National Lawyers Association." He also indicated membership in "La Raza Lawyers of San Diego."  (By the way, Dickerson likes to refer to members of these organizations as "Mexican voters.")
You might ask, "So what?" But, there's more to the story. Some right-wingers have developed complex theories about these two groups, but my comments here are limited to facts, and facts alone.
After Trump began making noise about the problems posed by unbridled illegal immigration from Mexico, the Hispanic National Bar Association issued a press release on July 2, 2015, which vehemently denounced Trump for making his strongly-worded comments and called for a "boycott of all Trump business ventures, including golf courses, hotels, and restaurants." The group's press release also accused Trump of having "a racist nature that cannot and will not go unnoticed by the Hispanic National Bar Association nor the Latino community." To me, that's very strong anti-Trump language.
Don't forget – Judge Curiel said he was a lifetime member of this organization. Think of it this way for a moment: If you owned a business that was the defendant in a lawsuit, and your judge was a "lifetime member" of an organization that had publicly condemned you over a racially-charged issue and called for your businesses to be boycotted, and your judge's ethnic heritage was the same as the one in question, and you noticed the judge repeatedly ruling against you in ways that seemed hostile, would you perhaps start wondering if the judge might harbor some bias against you?... Now, can you truthfully answer that question in the negative?
I ask these questions because I cannot find any instance where any mainstream news media outlet has adequately explored all of this. Why not? Aren't they supposed to do that, as opposed to simply contributing to the character assassination of the Republican presidential candidate who's at the center of this controversy? Is that too much to ask? If Hillary Clinton were to ever get into big trouble for something she said, wouldn't the mainstream media try to find out the reasons for her comments and try to make sense of those reasons? Can you imagine the media choosing not to do that with her? I can't.
Pro-Mexican? One last thing about the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA): Trump said Judge Curiel is a member of a "pro-Mexican" club or society. Trump's been denounced for saying that. The HNBA's website says the group "represents the interests of Hispanic legal professionals in the United States and its territories." That's how the organization has been characterized on the rare occasions when the mainstream media have mentioned the group at all.
However, the HNBA website goes on to say, "We are also committed to advocacy on issues of importance to the 54+ million people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S."
And, the HNBA press release condemning Trump goes even further. The press release clearly indicates that the HNBA "represents the interests of nearly 54 million Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, which is approximately 17% of the U.S. population." (emphasis added)
The U.S. Census Bureau says that as of July 2014, there were 55,387,539 Hispanics living in the U.S., constituting 17 percent of the nationís total population. The Census counts everyone, not just U.S. citizens, so many of those individuals are non-citizen Hispanics, and many of those are Mexicans.
How many? According to Pew Research, "Mexicans are by far the largest Hispanic-origin population in the U.S., accounting for nearly two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2012." In 2014 numbers, that means about 35.4 million of the 55.4 million Hispanics were of Mexican heritage. Pew's statistics indicate that, for 2014, about 25.4 million were U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage (or "Mexican voters" according to Dickerson), either by birth or naturalization, leaving about 10 million non-U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage living in the U.S. that year.
In case you're wondering, those 10 million individuals not only have a Mexican heritage – they are Mexicans.
So, it's correct to say the HNBA, to a large degree, represents the interests of Mexicans living in the U.S. and is therefore "pro-Mexican." (The group has a membership of about 100,000 Hispanic lawyers and represents the interests of 10 million Mexicans who are not U.S. citizens.) That's not a right-wing conspiracy theory. That comes from simple logic and arithmetic based on what the group has said about itself.
Again, in case you're wondering, Trump is neither wrong nor racist to say the HNBA is pro-Mexican – the organization itself says it is. This means Trump is correct about Judge Curiel belonging to a pro-Mexican club or society. However, the anti-Trump mainstream media would never tell you that.
In light of all this, could Judge Curiel's lifetime membership in the HNBA create any possibility that he's pro-Mexican and anti-Trump, like the HNBA is? These circumstances don't prove anything, but the question is reasonable. Even if Judge Curiel is unaffected by the HNBA's anti-Trump disposition, couldn't all of these issues – collectively – create an appearance of impropriety? While mulling that question over, try using the same reasoning that the mainstream media applied to Rick Perry and the name of the hunting club his family sometimes leased.
Quick Sidebar: On June 7, PolitiFact.com posted a fact-check on Trump's claim that Judge Curiel is "a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican." As you might guess, the left-leaning PolitiFact rated Trump's claim as "Mostly False." There's a simple reason for that. The brainiacs at PolitiFact made the unsubstantiated assumption that Trump was referring to a group called the California La Raza Lawyers Association. The fact-checkers did not indicate why they made that assumption, and they completely ignored Curiel's lifetime membership in the HNBA.
I can only guess PolitiFact did that because you find much less evidence supporting Trump's claim if you limit your research to the California La Raza Lawyers Association instead of focusing on the HNBA, which is where Trump's claim proves to be true. Curiel didn't even name the California group on his Senate questionnaire, as he did with the HNBA. If PolitiFact had focused on Curiel's HNBA membership, they'd have been forced to reach the same conclusion that I did, which is that Trump's claim is true (assuming they would have fact-checked as well as I did). Funny how they chose to avoid that reality and post a rating that's simply an anti-Trump falsehood. By the way, with this sort of proficiency, how on Earth did PolitiFact ever win a Pulitzer Prize?
Double Standard But, wait – there's more. Trump was widely criticized (both by the left and by Republican politicians) for referring to Judge Curiel as "Mexican," since Curiel is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana to parents who had immigrated from Mexico. However, despite the horror of Trump using that language, some people can say such things with impunity (as Dickerson did in this very interview), depending on who they are, it seems.
To wit, contrast how Trump has been treated over his use of this verbiage versus how the news media and political elites reacted when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) posted this on Twitter, two full days before Dickerson interviewed Trump. Reid's tweet was intended to criticize Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) for not condemning Trump's "racist attacks" on Judge Curiel. In doing so, Reid wrote, "It shouldn't be hard to condemn someone for making racist comments about a Mexican judge." (emphasis added)
How much coverage was given to this "racist comment" by Reid in the mainstream news media? How many heads exploded with outrage? How many pundits and elected officials came out and criticized Reid about this? None, that I know of. It just happened to show-up while I was gathering info for this critique (way down deep in search results, I might add). It's a good example of the double standard that the mainstream media apply to themselves and left-wing politicos. Imagine the coverage if McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) had, at any point, referred to Curiel as a "Mexican judge" (or, to use Dickerson's terminology, a "Mexican voter").
In any event, it's not just Trump. Prominent left-wing Democrats and mainstream media pundits also seem to use this "Mexican" terminology in a fluid and flexible manner, i.e. using "Mexican" in place of "a person of Mexican heritage." Dickerson and Harry Reid both did it, and no one seemed to care. Heck, even Pew Research used the term "Mexicans" when describing persons of Mexican heritage in the U.S., including those with U.S. citizenship. (See Pew quote and link above.) Why is that okay for Dickerson and Reid, but the entire universe of media pundits, journalists, and politicos has a perpetual hissy fit about Trump's "racism" for doing the same thing?
Is Reid Right or Wrong? One more thing about Reid's reference to Curiel as "Mexican." While researching this critique, I ran across a few articles and posts asking whether Judge Curiel might have dual citizenship, which would make Reid technically correct to say Curiel is Mexican. The theory is that Curiel's parents came here as citizens of Mexico and were still Mexican citizens when their children were born, which might mean their children are also Mexican citizens.
I have no idea whether this is true, and I bring it up only to ask why the mainstream news media haven't looked into this question and reported on the answer? If they have reported on it, I cannot find any trace of it. Is Harry Reid correct to call Curiel a "Mexican judge" by virtue of Curiel having dual citizenship? I don't know. Does anyone know for sure? Does Dickerson know? Does CNN know? Does NBC know? Wouldn't they typically want to know that sort of thing and report on it?
The Effects of Race in the U.S. Court System:
Case Study While the news media have been covering this Trump issue, the entire political world and everyone in the mainstream media seem to have adopted the "politically correct" position that the very idea of a judge's racial or ethnic heritage being a factor in how the judge judges, is completely abhorrent and unacceptable. Anyone suggesting (or even wondering) such a thing is a horrible racist of the first order who must be destroyed in every way a person can be destroyed.
My, my, my. How soon we forget. Does even one of these Trump critics or anyone in the mainstream news media remember the following opinion of a federal judge that got significant news coverage a few years ago? Here's the quote: "...Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging."
OMG!! Who on Earth could have said something so outrageous and reprehensible?? Gender and national origin may and will make a difference in a judge's judging?? WHICH FEDERAL JUDGE SAID THIS HORRIBLE, RACIST, SEXIST THING?? ... IT MUST HAVE BEEN SCALIA!
All right, settle down, everyone. No, it wasn't the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It wasn't Donald Trump, either. The quote came from none other than U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and hero of leftists everywhere) Sonia Sotomayor, the Hispanic female appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 by President Obama, when she was an appeals court judge back in 2001. Find the quote by clicking here for a transcript, courtesy of The New York Times.
Justice Sotomayor didn't stop there. She also cited ethnicity and gender for reasons why some judges would make better decisions than other judges. On that point, Sotomayor is quoted as saying, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasnít lived that life.Ē (emphasis added)
Sounds like Sotomayor thinks that ethnicity not only can make a difference, but will make a difference when judges judge. Furthermore, she believes that one gender and one ethnicity (her own) can result in better judging than some other gender or ethnicity. Remarkably, not only did no one call for Sotomayor to be universally condemned for making such "racist" and "sexist" comments, but she was actually a shoo-in to the SCOTUS after being nominated.
Can you imagine what would have happened if a white male judge had ever said such things about his ethnicity and gender? I don't think he would be a Supreme Court justice right now, do you? In any event, no one had a problem when left-wing demigod Sotomayor said that a judge's ethnicity plays a significant role in how that judge judges.
Justice Sotomayor even went so far as to specify that being Hispanic can make a difference. (Note to world: Judge Curiel is Hispanic.)
One last thing about Justice Sotomayor and the news media. When Sotomayor was nominated for the SCOTUS by President Obama, the mainstream news media looked into her background, like they're supposed to, and they found these two examples of Sotomayor's racist and sexist opinions about ethnicity and gender.
However, what they did next reveals everything. Instead of depicting Sotomayor as a racist and a sexist (as they would with a white male nominee who had said such things about his own race and gender), media pundits and journalists actually hailed and praised Sotomayor for espousing her racist and sexist opinions, as evidence that she would bring "much-needed diversity" to the Court.
Yes, up is down, and down is up, when the mainstream news media think it should be that way.
The Effects of Race in the U.S. Court System:
The Big Picture From a broader perspective, we've been told for many years that the U.S. judicial system is racially biased against people of color. (Click here or here for two examples.) Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a black death-row inmate in Georgia because the jury in his trial was all-white and the SCOTUS suspected bias in the jury selection process. So, academicians and the general population harbor the notion that race matters in the court system, and even the highest court in the land has formally acknowledged the same. Nobody seems to think there's a problem with believing that race can have such an effect.
But, as soon as Trump said that his judge appears to be biased, which, among other things, could have something to do with the judge's ethnic heritage, the notion that race or ethnicity could have such an effect has become sacrilegious, all of a sudden. I guess race can only be an issue when minorities are allegedly suffering ill effects due to the "racism" and/or bias of non-minorities. It's okay to suggest racism or bias under those circumstances.
However, to suggest that a minority judge could possibly harbor a bias makes you a racist and a hater, especially if your suggestion is related in any way to the judge's ethnicity, regardless of whether you're making sense. And, the outrage is so strong that no one even bothers to examine whether you're making sense. If anyone did that, they would probably be labeled a racist also.
What If... I wonder what would happen if a left-wing politician, personality, or organizaton – or a governmental body led by Democrats – ever took the position that a minority judge's race could contribute to the judge being biased. Would heads explode with outrage? Would the issue get a huge amount of coverage in the mainstream media to condemn whoever took that position? Would pundits and politicians publicly declare that whoever took that position was motivated by racism and hate? Would we see all that happen, the way it's happened after Trump made his comments about Judge Curiel?
Actually, we don't have to wonder. None of that would happen. How do I know? Because the Obama Administration has already engaged in the "racist" behavior I described above, yet none of those outcomes happened. What am I talking about? See this report from NPR in January 2015 which tells the story of an immigration judge of Iranian descent who was forbidden by the U.S. Department of Justice from hearing any cases that involved Iranian nationals, following her attendance at a White House meeting with Iranian-American community leaders. The president of the National Association of Immigration Judges is quoted as saying, "And we do believe that this appears to be discriminatory based on her Iranian heritage."
Where was the outrage from the mainstream media and the political elites? Why didn't Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan hold press conferences to denouce this injustice and classify it as "textbook racism?" Why didn't President Obama himself intervene and urge the U.S. DOJ to reverse its order? Why was there no firestorm in the mainstream news media over this horrible injustice that must have been motivated by racism and hate? None of those things happened to President Obama or anyone at the DOJ, yet they all happened to Trump, even though all Trump did was say things. Obama's DOJ took official action based on its horrible "racism" and "hate."
By the way, the U.S. DOJ did not reverse its position without a fight. The immigration judge had to file a lawsuit against the DOJ, which the DOJ fought, until finally reaching a settlement with the judge in November 2015, in which the DOJ agreed to pay $200,000 to the judge and promised to "review its recusal policies." 
The Bottom Line
So, it's okay for a Hispanic female judge to opine that ethnicity and gender make a difference for judges, and that her gender and ethnicity could lead to better judging than that rendered by judges of other ethnicities and genders. That's okay. Not only is it okay, but she was actually praised for taking those "racist" positions prior to being promptly ushered into the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's also okay for the Obama Administration to not only think that a minority judge's race could lead to biased behavior, but to also act on that notion, at least until faced with an un-win-able lawsuit. When all that happened, almost no one seemed to think anything was wrong (not President Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN, CBS, NBC, or hardly any other leftist or mainstream media outlet). NPR and The Huffington Post are the only non-conservative news outlets I can find that devoted even minimal coverage to the DOJ's "racism" while the story was unfolding. Even conservative news outlets mostly ignored it at the time.
But, as soon as Donald Trump says he's being treated unfairly by Judge Curiel, and the judge's Mexican heritage might be one piece of the puzzle, Trump is universally declared to be as racist as Adolf Hitler, and the issue gets tons of news coverage in which the media seem delighted to help crucify Trump while declining to even pretend to analyze the reasons behind Trump's comments.
That's the sad state of journalism in this country. Frankly, at this point, it's hard to imagine how the ship will ever get back on course. (See Update #2 for more on that school of thought.)
UPDATE #1: (July 7, 2016) A number of newspapers ran an AP story on June 18 to illustrate various ways the term "Mexican" can be perceived. The AP article includes the following: "...Trump suggested Curiel lacked the ability to be objective because of his ethnic background."
That is not an accurate description of what Trump said, and it creates a negative impression of Trump in the reader's mind that does not reflect reality. Trump did not say Judge Curiel "lacked the ability to be objective." Such language harkens back to the "incompetent" issue created by John Dickerson on Face the Nation. Trump said Curiel is "biased" in this particular case and that two pieces of Trump's three-point argument indicate Curiel has a "conflict of interest."
Having a bias and a conflict of interest is not the same as "lacking the ability to be objective." You can be objective by setting aside any bias you might normally be inclined to harbor. Judges have to do that all the time. If a judge hasn't done that, then he or she has failed to be objective on the matter in question, which is different from "lacking the ability" to be objective or being incompetent. Verbiage is important, and mainstream reporters have an unfortunate tendency to generate either a positive or negative impression simply with their choice of words. With Republicans and conservatives, it always seems to be in a negative sense.
The AP also wrote that Trump made his claim against Curiel because of Curiel's "ethnic background." That is also misleading because the situation is nowhere near that simple. As I mentioned above, Trump's argument has three distinct components, and Curiel's ethnicity is only one aspect. The components must be taken collectively, not individually. Just like John Dickerson and the rest of the mainstream news media, the AP focuses only on the ethnicity aspect and ignores everything else. That misrepresents reality, does a disservice to media consumers, and improperly provides support for Trump's critics who claim Trump is a "racist."
The AP article goes on to list a politician and an NBA basketball coach who got into trouble by using the term "Mexican" to criticize people the AP calls "Mexican-Americans" (or, as Dickerson would call them, "Mexican voters"). The two people mentioned were obviously using the term in quite a negative way. The article goes on to suggest that "Mexican" is a loaded word that might or might not be viewed as offensive, depending on the context, the tone, and the intent of whoever is using the word.
However, the AP article failed to specify how the context, tone, or intent of Trump's comments were responsible for getting Trump into trouble, as it did with the two other examples in the article (perhaps because there's no "there" there). And, the AP glaringly omitted any mention of Senator Harry Reid's use of the term, which happened right in the midst of the Trump controversy, and from which Reid walked away completely unscathed.
In any event, the AP story suggests that "mexicano" is a more acceptable term to describe U.S.-born individuals of Mexican ancestry. Perhaps Reid, Dickerson, and Trump will adopt that term from now on.
UPDATE #2: (Aug 22, 2016) Yesterday, the New York Post published a very illustrative (yet depressing) article by Michael Goodwin about the pending demise of journalism, entitled "American journalism is collapsing before our eyes," which speaks in holistic terms to many of the problematic issues I've raised in this critique and others. Please read Mr. Goodwin's article and learn from it, especially if you're a journalist or want to become a journalist. Also see below for video of Goodwin discussing these topics.
Has the media been biased against Trump? Yes, we believe so, especially lately. Trump's every utterance, no matter how innocuous, is now parsed, analyzed and criticized by a litany of political pundits...
And while hundreds of stories have attempted to shed light on Trump's feelings about women, minorities, his business dealings, his taxes and more, so little has been written about some of Clinton's questionable decisions as secretary of state, her emails and the fact that she and Bill have somehow amassed incredible wealth during their political careers...
Here's the mea culpa: The Daily Commercial hasn't done enough to mitigate the anti-Trump wave in the pages of this paper. We've tried to be circumspect about the stories we run, the headlines we put on them, the political cartoons we publish (we recently abandoned our usual cartoonists in favor of a service that is not so unrelentingly anti-Trump). Our editors have even re-edited some wire stories that we thought used loaded language to describe Trump. But in retrospect, we haven't gone far enough.
The Daily Commercial seems to have realized that, even though Trump has behaved in ways that many people consider very unpresidential and sometimes reprehensible, it's not the news media's place to deliberately attempt to assassinate him as a candidate, regardless of how distasteful reporters and editors might find him. How many other mainstream news outlets will realize how outrageously biased they've been against Trump and how ridiculously favorable they've been toward Hillary Clinton, and that such behavior is just not acceptable? How many will be willing to admit that publicly? I'm guessing not many and quite possibly none.
UPDATE #4: (Nov 3, 2016) Today I encountered a very interesting story at Observer by journalist Ken Silverstein, who declares early in the piece that his own politics "are on the left." That being said, he goes on to illustrate how the 2016 presidential race's biggest losers are "reporters and the profession of journalism, which has been reduced to surrogacy, largely on behalf of Hillary Clinton." Anyone paying attention and who is honest with himself or herself already knows this to be true, but it's refreshing to know that at least one individual member of the left-leaning news media has the guts to admit it publicly. It's an interesting story and I advise everyone to read it.
UPDATE #5: (Nov 4, 2016) On the heels of yesterday's update, I heard an interview today on NPR's Morning Edition by host Steve Inskeep with A.J. Delgado, an attorney of Cuban ancestry who supports Donald Trump and advises the Trump campaign. She is also an accomplished Harvard Law School graduate and a conservative commentator, columnist, and author. (Click here for the interview at NPR.org. The pertinent dialog begins at about 1:47.)
During the interview, Inskeep brought up the controversy over Trump's comments about Judge Curiel and the Trump University lawsuit, in what seemed to be a blatant attempt to resurrect that now-forgotten issue and use it to support Hillary Clinton's criticism of Trump the day before.
Here's how Inskeep phrased his question:
In Las Vegas yesterday, Secretary Clinton said – and this is a quote – "If Trump wins, we'd have a president who doesn't see you [Latinos, she means] as American," which is harsh, but Trump did literally say that an American judge of Mexican descent could not do his job as a judge because he's – quote – "Mexican." Is there something to Secretary Clinton's argument here?
To his shame, Inskeep misquoted Trump and even used the word "literally" to make it sound like he was quoting Trump's exact words. But, those were not Trump's words.
To her credit, Delgado was quick to point out that Inskeep, with his erroneous mischaracterization of what Trump had previously said about Judge Curiel, was simply following the lemming-like herd of reporters into the abyss of misquoting and misrepresenting Trump's comments about the judge. As I pointed out in the critique above, Delgado was correct – that's not what Trump said about Judge Curiel.
Here was Delgado's excellent response to Inskeep's blatant journalistic malpractice:
Well, it's a shame the media is still misreporting that Mr. Trump said he [Curiel] couldn't do his job because he was Mexican. Mr. Trump expressed concern that the judge may have had some sort of personal animus or concerns about Mr. Trump based on Mr. Trump's plan to build a wall. And, sure, I suppose that's related to his being Mexican and the fact that the judge was also a member of an organization that had boycotted Mr. Trump over his views on the wall. So, no, he never said it was because of his Mexican heritage. Obviously he has a Latino advisor, so he does not cast any aspersions on our talents, but rather is a firm believer in them. He never said that, in any way, and I'm sad that the media is still reporting it that way.
Inskeep followed Delgado's response by asserting that Trump "did describe him [Curiel] as Mexican and say that he was biased against him, but I will take your point there." With that, Inskeep backed-off the media's widespread and misleading anti-Trump narrative about the Judge Curiel commentary at least a tiny, little, miniscule bit, seemingly to the smallest degree he possibly could on the spur of the moment.
For her part, Delgado didn't touch on everything at her disposal for debunking that media narrative, but she did a great job of pushing back, and she succeeded in disarming Inskeep on that point about as well as she could, given the brevity of the interview.
Unfortunately, reporters almost never encounter any such push-back when they foist their seemingly endless supply of left-leaning, anti-Trump narratives onto the millions of consumers of American journalism, which means those consumers usually don't know any better and are therefore subjected to the full brunt of the media's anti-Trump bias without a counterbalance to provide a dose of reality.
UPDATE #6: (Nov 21, 2016) Last week, after having won the 2016 presidential election earlier in the month, Donald Trump reached a $25 million settlement with the plaintiffs in three Trump University lawsuits, without an acknowledgment of fault or liability. Trump had long refused to settle and had always proclaimed he would win, but with his upcoming presidential term looming, he explained that he decided to settle in order to eliminate the distraction created by the high-profile legal actions. Read one of many news stories about the settlement in The New York Times by clicking here.
UPDATE #7: (April 20, 2017) Trump's position on Judge Curiel resurfaced today in the mainstream news media after Curiel was assigned to preside over a case in which a man claims to have been deported from the U.S. improperly.
In reference to the Trump University lawsuit, CNN's report included the following: "Trump claimed Curiel could not impartially hear the case because of his [Mexican] background and Trump's hardline immigration policies."
Once again, that is not what Trump claimed. Trump said Curiel was biased, which is not the same as claiming Curiel could not impartially hear the case. Using the words "could not impartially hear the case because of his [Mexican] background" implies that Trump claimed the judge is incompetent due to his Mexican heritage, which makes Trump sound like a racist.
An accurate description of what Trump actually said (i.e. the judge is biased, as illustrated in Trump's three-part argument) would fail to make Trump sound like a racist, which is the only reason I can think of for the MSM to continually use the words they use.
I described this difference ad nauseum previously in this critique. And yet the mainstream news media's misleading language keeps on keepin' on whenever they mention Trump and Curiel in the same report. Words mean things and imply things, which is why a reporter's choice of verbiage means so much. That's why this web site exists.
One last thing about the CNN story. Here's the headline: "Judge denigrated by Trump as 'Mexican' will hear key deportation case."
Can you imagine a headline that would paint Trump in a more negative light than this headline does? It's shameless, actually. Trump "denigrated" the judge by referring to him as "Mexican?"
For some reason, I can't find any CNN story that shouts at us in a great big headline that Harry Reid "denigrated" Curiel by calling him a "Mexican judge." (Actually, I can find virtually no mention of that at all, anywhere in the MSM.) Where was CNN's outrage when that happened?
I also cannot find a CNN story about John Dickerson's "denigration" of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent when he referred to them as "Mexican voters." Where was CNN's outrage when that happened?
Please let me know if CNN actually did report on those characterizations by Reid and Dickerson as "denigrations" and I'm just not finding it. I'll be waiting to hear from you with bated breath.
UPDATE #8: (October 20, 2017) Today numerous news outlets posted stories like this one from USA Today to report that the "dreamer" lawsuit being presided over by Judge Curiel (see Update #7) has been dismissed at the request of the plaintiff. Meanwhile, the plaintiff is still in Mexico after having been deported there, even though Judge Curiel was planning to allow him back into the U.S. to participate in the lawsuit. USA Today barely mentions Curiel at all, and, as of this writing, a search of CNN.com returns no news of the dismissal whatsoever.
UPDATE #9: (November 9, 2017) The situation with this "dreamer" who filed the deportation lawsuit – which CNN sensationalized as part of the Trump/Curiel saga (see Update #7) – just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Last night, Hot Air reported that the "dreamer" in question was arrested on Monday of this week after once again trying to enter the U.S. illegally. He was reportedly on his way to Sacramento, California.
Given that the "dreamer" dropped his deportation lawsuit only about three weeks ago, it seems likely he had already decided that the best way to reside in the U.S. was to simply enter the country illegally and "live in the shadows" within the friendly confines of a "sanctuary city." Once again, a search of CNN.com produces no results about this news, for some reason.
The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are often used to refer to a "race," but there is no such thing as the Hispanic race. People of Hispanic origin may be of any race, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The term "Hispanic" can accurately refer to an ethnicity. According to the Census, "... race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are separate and distinct concepts," and, "Hispanic origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the personís parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States." Nevertheless, the term "Hispanic" is routinely used in the media and popular culture as a "race" that is typically represented by people with Central American, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or South American ancestry. (Click here to return to the critique.)
Dickerson is not the only journalist who has put these words in Trump's mouth. Trump also appeared on the June 5 edition of CNN's State of the Union in which host Jake Tapper had a remarkably similar interview with Trump. The transcripts are so similar that it's hard to tell the difference. Tapper (like Dickerson) repeatedly accused Trump of invoking Judge Curiel's ethnicity as a reason why Curiel "can't do his job." Trump didn't say that during either interview, but both Dickerson and Tapper repeatedly tried to get Trump to agree to that premise as the basis for Trump's comments about Curiel. (Click here to return to the critique.)
In case you're wondering, the Spanish term "La Raza" translates into English as "The Race." Can you imagine the reaction if there were an organization professing to represent Caucasian lawyers that had the words "The Race" in its name? (Click here to return to the critique.)
This 10 million figure representing the number of persons of Mexican heritage living in the U.S. who are not U.S. citizens, was recalculated on June 22, 2016, and replaces an inaccurate figure that was originally included in this critique. (Click here to return to the critique.)
Hats off to The Daily Caller for re-introducing us to the Obama Administration's "racist" behavior a few days ago. I now remember hearing the original story on NPR in January 2015, but it did not come back to me until I found it at The Daily Caller while researching this critique. It's a shame that the mainstream news media refuse to expose the irony of Trump's comments versus the actions of the U.S. DOJ. But, it should be no surprise. (Click here to return to the critique.)
Well, that's how the CNN headline read when I first encountered the story. I guess I should have captured a screen shot. I checked back an hour or two later to find the headline had been changed to "Judge whose Mexican heritage Trump denigrated will hear deportation case." They retained the "denigration" theme, but I'm guessing they changed the wording because their first headline could mean CNN considers the whole concept of "Mexican" to be denigrating. See what I mean? Words and their implications mean things, and CNN knows it. (By the way, even though I did not capture a screen shot of the original CNN headline, the Internet never forgets. Click here and here to see screen shots showing other websites that attribute that original headline to CNN. Even better, click here to see a Twitter post from CNN host Jake Tapper that shows both headlines.)