Dear Republicans: The Newsweek Journalist did *nothing* wrong

Trump spends Thanksgiving in 2018 at his golf resort

Newsweek inexplicably fired journalist Jessica Kwong for .. doing absolutely nothing wrong. She wrote a story mocking President Trump for spending Thanksgiving golfing and tweeting again this year, which is how he has spent virtually every weekend of his presidency, running up more vacation/lazy time than any other president in American history. Her story was based on Trump’s public schedule as written and released by the White House itself. It’s not her fault that Trump made an unscheduled and highly secret (read: classified) trip to Afghanistan for Thanksgiving for the first time in his presidency.

It used to be an American tradition for the president to visit American troops stationed overseas, especially those in combat areas, on Thanksgiving. Donald Trump, being very much himself, broke that tradition and stayed home to golf and sit on his ass over the first two Thanksgivings of his presidency, in 2017 and 2018. The asshole had the chutzpah to speak to troops in Afghanistan via video conference from his golf club and resort Mar-a-Lago. In 2018 he didn’t even bother with video, he only made a phone call.

It would have been impossible for Kwong, or ANY journalist in the country, to know about Trump’s trip beforehand. From what I’ve read, even the press pool (journalists who travel with the president everywhere he goes, on Air Force One itself, even on trips like this) isn’t told where they and the President are going until they’ve landed.

Kwong did nothing wrong in her story, it simply looked embarrassing for Newsweek and for Kwong herself to mock and chastise the President for not doing something that he ended up doing this year after all — despite the fact that he did not make these trips in 2017 or 2018. Newsweek had no cause to fire Kwong, she did absolutely nothing wrong, and neither her nor anyone else could have possibly known that Trump was going to do.

This unfair firing is far worse for Newsweek than the story was. At least before, Newsweek looked eager to rag on Trump when he actually did something good and right for a change (nevermind that such a thing is extraordinarily rare). Now Newsweek looks idiotic, eager to bend over for the White House, too eager to appear fair and neutral when their writer did nothing wrong at all. Any conservatives happy over this clearly don’t understand that these trips are literally government secrets, for national security reasons — for the President’s safety. I suggest they all sit and try to learn a little something about how their own government functions, and stop watching Fox News for a day so they stop looking as foolish as Newsweek actually is.

About Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.