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‘The real spectacle was watching Trump pretend to care’: Charles Blow nails Trump for nonsense criminal justice campaign

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Kanye West hugging Trump

In what is being called a “manic episode,” rapper Kanye West unleashed a torrent of non-sequiturs about his masculinity and his father while the president of the United States looked on with an awkward smile.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, commentator Charles Blow called Trump’s “use” of Kanye “callous.”

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“It was all just as sad and tragic as one might have imagined,” he noted. “But, for me, too much of the focus afterward was placed on Kanye’s spectacle and not nearly enough on the callous way Trump tried to use and exploit that moment, and the degree to which we have every right to be incredulous about Trump’s manufactured concern for the criminal justice system’s propensity to chew up black lives and destroy them.”

He brought up the plea from West spouse Kim Kardashian, who pleaded with Trump to release 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, in prison for 20 years thus far with 22 left to go.

“How this would have happened, and maybe it was a different time, a different age, but we do need reform,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” in an interview. “And, that doesn’t mean easy. We’re going to make certain categories tougher when it comes to drug dealing and other things. But there has to be a reform because it’s very unfair right now. It’s very unfair to African-Americans. It’s very unfair to everybody.”

Blow called it “disingenuous” for Trump to claim he had no understanding that the criminal justice system over-sentences people of color. After all, he was the one who demanded the death penalty for the Central Park Five, who were found innocent. He’s also advocated that drug dealers be put to death. Attorney General Jeff Sessions backed the president up, pledging to “seek the death penalty whenever appropriate.”

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Trump has attacked the ACLU for fighting “Stop and Frisk” in Chicago.

“I’ve told them to work with local authorities to try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with ACLU,” Trump told an audience of law enforcement officers in Chicago last week. It “ties law enforcement’s hands; and to strongly consider stop-and-frisk. It works, and it was meant for problems like Chicago. It was meant for it. Stop-and-frisk.”

“The spectacle wasn’t really Kanye,” Blow explained. “The spectacle was watching Trump pretend to care about remedying a problem that he is consciously continuing to not only cheer but worsen. Kanye was just being used.”

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Read the full op-ed at The New York Times.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump slurs media as ‘fake and corrupt’ for disputing his claims about Elton John

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President Donald Trump hyped his claims about selling out a New Hampshire rally in a new attack on the news media.

The president insisted Monday that he enjoyed "massive overflow crowds" at his rally last week at SNHU Arena in Manchester, and slurred journalists as "fake and corrupt" for reporting the venue wasn't filled to capacity.

The Fake and Corrupt Media is sooo bad for our Country, The Enemy of the People! https://t.co/GPiklem0u1

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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