A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
On Friday, conservatives followed the ongoing spat between the White House and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson over President Trump’s comments to the widow of an American soldier killed in Niger, which Wilson says she overheard. Wilson expressed her bewilderment at criticism from Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly to reporters on Thursday. "You mean to tell me that I have become so important that the White House is following me and my words?” she asked. "This is amazing! That is absolutely phenomenal! I'll have to tell my kids that I'm a rock star now!"
A post at Hannity.com called Wilson’s comments “disgusting.” “[I]f your suspicion was that she’s just an opportunist who knows the media will run with any story portraying Trump in a negative light, congratulations, you’re correct,” Allenwest.com’s Matt Palumbo wrote. The Resurgent’s Marc Giller agreed:
In a way, you have to pity Frederica Wilson. As a thoroughly undistinguished member of Congress, she’s had to resort to all sorts of hijinks to grab the spotlight—such as when she inserted herself into the Travon [sic] Martin case, inflaming an already tense situation with race-baiting rhetoric and calls to imprison George Zimmerman before there was even a trial. Then there’s her choice of headwear—those weird, sequined cowboy hats that look as if they came from a Halloween costume or a drag show (take your pick). Long ago, Wilson must have made the calculation that if people of District 24 didn’t even know her name, they’d at least remember her as that loudmouth with the funny fashion sense, so what the hell I’ll vote for her.
[...]What’s ironic here is that the only reason Wilson engages in this shtick is that she wants the White House to follow her every word. Getting to be a rock star for five minutes is her goal. And she seems to be having the time of her life now that the cameras following her around. As for La David Johnson and his grieving family, they’ve served their purpose. Never forget, though, Donald Trump is the insensitive one.
In an interview with CNN, Wilson said that Kelly’s calling her an “empty barrel” in his press conference on Tuesday was racist. The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois wrote that Wilson played “the race card”. “Empty barrel simply means someone that makes the most noise,” he explained, “a term that John Kelly has used previously when referring to politicians he feels are out of line.”
In other news:
National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote a widely shared essay about the white lower class called “The White Minstrel Show”:
The manners of the white underclass are Trump’s — vulgar, aggressive, boastful, selfish, promiscuous, consumerist. The white working class has a very different ethic. Its members are, in the main, churchgoing, financially prudent, and married, and their manners are formal to the point of icy politeness. You’ll recognize the style if you’ve ever been around it: It’s “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am,” but it is the formality of soldiers and police officers — correct and polite, but not in the least bit deferential. It is a formality adopted not to acknowledge the superiority of social betters but to assert the equality of the speaker — equal to any person or situation, perfectly republican manners. It is the general social respect rooted in genuine self-respect.
Its opposite is the sneering, leveling, drag-’em-all-down-into-the-mud anti-“elitism” of contemporary right-wing populism. Self-respect says: “I’m an American citizen, and I can walk into any room, talk to any president, prince, or potentate, because I can rise to any occasion.” Populist anti-elitism says the opposite: “I can be rude enough and denigrating enough to drag anybody down to my level.” Trump’s rhetoric — ridiculous and demeaning schoolyard nicknames, boasting about money, etc. — has always been about reducing.
Williamson concludes by arguing that poor whites should take greater responsibility for their own economic and social circumstances. “Feeding such people the lie that their problems are mainly external in origin — that they are the victims of scheming elites, immigrants, black welfare malingerers, superabundantly fecund Mexicans, capitalism with Chinese characteristics, Walmart, Wall Street, their neighbors — is the political equivalent of selling them heroin,” he wrote. “The opposite message — that life is hard and unfair, that what is not necessarily your fault may yet be your problem, that you must act and bear responsibility for your actions — is what conservatism used to offer, before it became a white-minstrel show."
"As I’ve said here before talking about Williamson’s views on the white underclass, I would place more blame on those outside forces than he seems to, but then again, Kevin D. Williamson has actually lived the underclass life, as a child,” the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher wrote in response. “Williamson’s point is that life is by its very nature... unfair, but you’re supposed to make the best of it anyway, with the cards you’ve been dealt.”