It's no secret that Donald Trump watches a lot of television. It's also no secret that Donald Trump feels very threatened by any challenges to his power, especially from Black women who have spoken out against his policies. Over the weekend, his Twitter attacks turned to Oprah Winfrey.
Last year, Winfrey convened a roundtable of voters in Grand Rapids, MI for 60 Minutes, some of whom supported Trump and some who didn't. For an episode that aired on Sunday night, she got those same voters back together to discuss how they felt about Trump a year into his first term.
Their conversation was tense, but Winfrey's moderation ensured that no one spoke over one another and that everyone had a chance to share their opinions. Still, she asked tough questions that Trump probably didn't want to hear — like voters' thoughts on his history of sexual assault allegations.
Trump, evidently, didn't feel that Winfrey was neutral enough in her moderating. "Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes," he wrote on Twitter. "The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!"
Trump would go after Winfrey over a TV segment. It fits his pattern of behavior so predictably, it's almost comical. It's obvious that Trump feels threatened by Winfrey's presidential chatter, or he wouldn't have attacked her in the first place (Winfrey has denied that she is running for President in 2020). It only took Trump a month of viewing her as a potential adversary for him to attack her, just as Refinery29's Natalie Gontcharova predicted.
It is also ironic that he calls her "insecure," as his tweet is evidence of his insecurity when it comes to the office he holds. Time and time again, we've seen Trump project his feelings onto others as a way to denigrate them, and this is no different.
Trump has a history of attacking successful women, but the ferocity with which he goes after Black women is especially potent. He attacked Rep. Federica Wilson (D-FL) for confirming that he made a Gold Star widow cry, and called for Jemele Hill to be fired from her anchor spot on ESPN for supporting the #TakeAKnee NFL protests. It's important to note the racialized aspect of his attacks — it's the loudest dog whistle if we ever heard one.
Meanwhile, the 60 Minutes segment is worth watching, and Winfrey did an excellent job moderating the panel. It's telling that the President had no criticism of the actual substance with the segment.
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