Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Reporter Andy Chow remembers the woman, in part, because he had been kind to her before the Donald Trump rally began in Columbus, Ohio.

She had arrived in a wheelchair. Chow, who works for Ohio Public Radio’s Statehouse News Bureau, saw her struggling to maneuver the entrance and rushed to assist her. It was a gentle moment between strangers.

A few minutes later, Chow found himself on the receiving end of this same woman’s ire, sort of.

As is his habit lately, Trump began to mock the journalists in the room, and asked the crowd to join him. They turned toward the reporters and photographers, herded into the mandatory pen, and began to taunt them.

To Chow’s surprise, the woman in the wheelchair joined in. She chanted the angry words, he said, but her face didn’t mirror the requisite rage.

“It was as if she were saying, ‘I am not angry at you — this is for fun,'” Chow said. “It kind of felt like the old World Wrestling Federation matches. You booed the bad guys, but it was all in fun. It sort of put it in perspective for me.”

I first heard about Chow’s encounter with the Trump fan from Chow’s colleague, Karen Kasler, during a panel discussion I moderated on media and civility last week at the statehouse in Columbus. We shared the stage with Akron Beacon Journal Managing Editor Doug Oplinger and retired newspaper reporter Bill Hershey. We had agreed to discuss the media’s role in the declining civility of campaign coverage.

No one on the panel attempted to claim we bear no responsibility in this regard. Every newsroom is an annex to the Island of Misfit Toys, and our professional zeal often dishonors our upbringing. But when our discussion turned to how to cover Trump, the conversation shifted to the issue of growing concern for the safety of our fellow journalists.

For months now, Trump has regularly targeted our colleagues in the room to stir up rage in his supporters. He has made a game of mocking the media, particularly television photographers who refuse to obey his orders and scan for crowd shots.

At his February rally in Biloxi, Mississippi, for example, Trump repeatedly pointed to the cameraman — readily identifiable to the crowd — and shouted:

“Turn it. Turn it. Turn it. Spin it. Spin the camera. Spin the camera. Look at the guy in the middle. Look at the guy in the middle. Why aren’t you turning the camera? Why aren’t you turning the camera? Terrible. It’s so terrible. Look at him — he doesn’t turn the camera. It’s a disgusting — I tell you, it’s disgusting…”

This taunting went on for more than six minutes, with the crowd egging on Trump, to his obvious glee.

I am not the only journalist concerned about where this could lead, which is why I drew a bit of comfort from Andy Chow’s account of that kind woman pretending to hate him. It reminded me of a 2011 tea party rally I attended in suburban Cleveland.

The rumors of a Mitt Romney appearance proved to be unfounded, but the crowd was having a great time anyway. As I wrote at the time, the longest and most fiery speech of the day came from Apostle Claver T. Kamau-Imani of

“We do not stand for bipartisanship,” he yelled. “Do not be yoked together with nonbelievers.”

In case someone had missed who he was going after: “I have nothing in common with someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ,” he said.

The crowd cheered.

I made note of a number of the audience members clapping and interviewed them after his speech. I wanted to know if they really believed they should not mingle with nonbelievers. With Jews, for example.

They looked shocked by the question.

When I read back Kamau-Imani’s words about Jesus, every last one of them assured me they didn’t agree “with that part” of Apostle Claver’s creed.

And you know what? I believed them.

I walked away from that rally thinking I’d met a lot of mostly decent, disenfranchised Americans who felt they’d finally found a club that wanted them.

Fourteen months later, their presidential candidate lost the election.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz ( and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Photo: Flickr user Michael Vadon.

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72 responses to “A Happy Ending, Perhaps, To The Trump Lounge Act”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    The best way to describe the Trump political phenomena is to call it a cult. Most of his supporters don’t really know why they are angry, or who to direct their ire, other than to themselves, of course. The crowd of adoring fans that attend Trump’s rallies, and join in the fun of insulting and threatening people, are the same ones that a few years earlier spent their school years bullying fellow students, texting, talking to friends, and then blamed the evil teachers when they failed a test.
    What is becoming evident is that a segment of our population is more interested in having fun than listening to substantive issues, or proposals to solve socio-economic and foreign policy issues, other than building walls, keeping the darkies away, insulting fat women, playing down the sacrifices made by our veterans, and taunting a media who does not seem to get enough of The Donald. No wonder Putin loves this guy.

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    • Box says:

      Cant speak for others but our larger family of 26 are all voting for Trump and we know exactly why, exactly why we are angry and exactly to whom and what to direct the anger. So, you were saying?

      • John Cobb says:

        I would say that none of you have given a thought about what you are going to be stuck with for four years. You think you know what Hell is? Just wait!

        • dpaano says:

          Unfortunately, John, you can lead these people to water, but you can’t make them drink. They’ve bought in to the conservative Kool-Aid and they don’t care to know the truth or to even research it! As I said….it’s pretty sad and, as you said, if Trump or any GOP candidate is elected, chaos will reign supreme! They’ll be looking back to today and wondering why in heck they voted for this idiot because their lives will be so much worse than they seem to think it is now or were told it is.

          • jmprint says:

            Doesn’t matter they will still blame the democrats, the immigrants, the muslims, the blacks, the poor, the indigent people, but NEVER themselves.

      • The lucky one says:

        I get that you and your brood are angry. All of us should be. But what in the world makes you think that a demagogue with a long list of failed schemes and a talent for only one thing, self-promotion is the answer. Trump is famous for being famous much like Paris Hilton and the Kardashians. All have used their wealth to promote an image with absolutely no substance or evidence of talent or ability outside of self-promotion.

      • KathyKursh says:

        So please explain why you and 26 other family members are so angry

        • darkagesbegin says:

          my guess is that they are angry because they have been told for 30 years that trickle down would make them wealthier–and it hasn’t; that government is the problem, not the solution; and it isn’t. They found out they need government to work so their lives would be better and more predictable–and now they are angry at the GOP for lying to them about that and they see no other path to vent their anger than to support Trump as an outlet for it. But I don’t think they are sufficiently well along in the process to be able to identify the exact causes of their anger quite yet. They are not ready to face the fact that it is not washington which is broken, but the republican party itself. so trump.

        • dpaano says:

          I sincerely doubt they actually know…..they only know what they’ve been told by the conservatives to believe, all of which is BS!!! As I said earlier, they are angry at the wrong people and they want to re-elect these same idiots!

      • Starde says:

        He said you do not know why. You say you do, Box. Is hate a reason? Ignorance a reason? Racism a reason? A desire to bring back the grand ole past of white oppression and faux superiority that was often administered through violence? Is that what you are talking about Box? Is that your idea of making America great…white supremacy. That never made America great and it won’t make America great now. America is a land of immigrants and peoples of all colors and religions. You can’t go back, you must move forward and that includes the changing times and circumstances wherein whites will be and are already becoming the minority. You can’t get it back through violence, so you may as well blend in and make the country great through unity not separation. Separation only puts a crack in the wall and makes it weak. Strength comes in a collective effort. Men like Donald Trump are weak. He looks to return fascism and tear down the values America claims to stand by. Trump is a wealthy man who only uses the poor and middle class for his own ends. Has he ever helped the poor or middle class in all this time? He held his wealth all this time and never used it to help anyone but himself. If he gets elected he will forget about his supporters 2 seconds after entering office. He wants to be president so he can make deals with other countries and increase his wealth. His foolish supporters are just his means to an end. Sadly they will find that out once Trump is put in office if indeed the peoples are crazy enough to put him there.

        • dpaano says:

          Starde…they also seem to forget that his 3 or 4 bankruptcies cost the American taxpayers a bundle of money! But, I guess that doesn’t matter to them because they’ve been conditioned to hate by the GOP and their lies and scare tactics. As I said….it’s like they are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. And, the stupid thing is that they ACTUALLY believe that Trump will be able to do all the things he says he’s going to do…..guess they’ve never heard of “checks and balances” in our government….either that, or they are totally unaware of how our government works. He will not be able to just “order” people to do his bidding… doesn’t work that way! They won’t see a wall built, they won’t see the middle east bombed into oblivion, they won’t see their taxes go down (in fact, he wants to give more tax breaks to his 1% buddies than he does to the middle class), and they won’t see the economy or the job market do as well as it currently is doing. In fact, all that he wants to do will, as you say, put us back many years. We need to have a president that will continue to take us forward; not one that wants only to go backward for his OWN purposes.

        • jmprint says:

          Well said.

      • Diane says:

        Box, you are totally anonymous. Why don’t you explain why you and your family members are angry, to whom and what to direct the anger. People need to be educated with what is going on in our country that creates these feelings among ordinary people who read articles like this. You are one of us in some ways. Educate us.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I was saying that when President Obama was elected our economy was on the verge of collapse, according to W. Major U.S. corporations were on the verge of filing of bankruptcy. Bankruptcies and foreclosures were the order of the day. We lost 800,000 jobs in one month. Gas prices were over $4 a barrel. The DOW Index was at 7,000 points. Borrowing to offset the effects of irresponsible tax breaks, and reliance on deficit spending was the order of the day. We had lost over 4,700 fighting a crusade in Iraq, and tens of thousands had been maimed. Our international credibility was worth less than toilet paper. Yes, we all have reasons to be angry, and reasons to demand change, but voting for a narcissistic, egomaniac, and unqualified candidate is not going to solve anything. In fact, it is likely to put us right back where we were 7 years ago.

        • dpaano says:

          Dom….what’s really sad is that most of these people who say they are voting for Trump because they’re “angry,” actually have NO idea that their anger is directed in the wrong place! Unfortunately, they aren’t aware of all the good things that have happened in the last 7+ years because they are continually being brainwashed by the conservatives that things are SO bad! But, as I’ve said before, conservatives don’t care about facts…..they’d rather just go along and believe everything they’re told….kinda like suffering from Stockholm Syndrome!! Again, I feel sorry for them! Going through life so uninformed must be a sad thing!

      • latebloomingrandma says:

        Do you really think that trump actually gives 2 hoots about you? All he talks about is himself.

      • dpaano says:

        If you really understood WHY you’re angry, you’d realize that you’re angry at the wrong people!!! The GOP has been the “party of NO” for the entire 7+ years of the Obama administration…..they’ve done NOTHING but vote against any bills put forth by this administration that would help the American people, the veterans, the middle class, etc. This is really funny because you want to elect the SAME group of people who have caused this anger. It’s not President Obama who has caused all the problems despite what you’ve been brainwashed to believe by the GOP with their ever-present lies and scare tactics. It’s just too bad that you can’t seem to see that, but you go ahead and waste your vote for Trump, but if he actually (heaven forbid) gets elected, I’ll give you 6 months before you’re wondering why you did that. Why would ANYONE in the middle class want to elect one of the 1% to run this country…..aren’t they doing enough to damage this country as it is? I feel sorry for you!

      • jmprint says:

        Did the muslims, gay, mexican, keep our wages down? NO! Did they send our jobs overseas? NO! Do they provide tax havens for the ultra rich? NO! So you anger is that the blue eyes, white skin is not dominate.

      • jmprint says:

        You really do live up to your name in a box.

    • Starde says:

      Darkies, Dominick Villa! You sound as bad a Trump, especially when via your name you are part of the dark nation yourself.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I used that term deliberately to accentuate the real motive for the anger that so many people claim to share. My surname is spelled with one ‘l”

      • jmprint says:

        No he doesn’t, no where close to sounding like Trump. darkies covers a large ethnicity group, from mexican to muslims. Why would it offend you?

      • charleo1 says:

        I suggest, “Starde,” you read a few more of Dominick’s comments before you judge.

  2. charleo1 says:

    I’d be the first one to confess there’s plenty I don’t pretend to understand. But gutter politics have no place in this country. Especially if one believes their country for whatever reason, has lost it’s luster, and hopes to make it great again. Just as one’s feeling left behind, angry, or whatever, would be no excuse for driving drunk, beating your kids, or falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater. Neither is it an excuse for injecting the vile poison of racial, and religious hatred into our people, and our political processes. It is not funny in the least, it’s shameful. My country, the country I know, is so much better than this. And we get to prove just that this November, with a simple vote. Lucky us!

  3. I of John says:

    This is a dangerous game Trump is playing. Someone at some point is not going to make any distinctions between what is faux and what is dead serious.

  4. yabbed says:

    Don’t fool yourself. This abhorrence now focused on Muslims was once focused on Jews (and remains underground in those same people now vilifying Muslims) and will return as soon as someone eggs that brand of hate on. Look at the KKK. They hate Jews and gays with the same fervor as they hate blacks. For any minority to sign on to the disrespect of another minority is simply opening an avenue for the hate to turn on them next.

    • paulyz says:

      Are you talking about the Democrat supported KKK? The Jews weren’t cutting off the heads of innocent victims like the radical Muslims are. The hatred from the intolerant leftists is what is troubling as we see in many planned violent disruptive behavior of Free Speech. The 1st. Amendment does not give anyone that right.

      • 5612jean says:

        From what I’ve seen the only violence has been at the trump rallies. As for the Democratic support of the KKK, how many decades ago was that? I’m sure all of those racist are long since dead. You had to reach way back for that one.

        • joe schmo says:

          Why do u suppose that is? Bernies & Hillary’s people r violent? Do we show up at your rallies and disrupt. HELL NO!

          • jmprint says:

            But you disrupted traffic with your no abortion protesters, and protesters against LGBT, and yes it gets violent when abortion clinics are being shot at and doctors being killed so please, most republicans are heartless people.

        • paulyz says:

          Yes, violence planned by mobs of leftist haters disrupting free speech at Trump rallies.

      • johninPCFL says:

        Go read your history books again.The Democrats that started the KKK left once Johnson got the civil rights legislation passed in the late 1960s. Where did they go? (HINT: the GOP)

        • paulyz says:

          But it is still the Democrats started the KKK, end of story.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Sure, so Reagan’s a union organizer, Cruz is Canadian, Rubio is an anchor baby. You’re an idiot.

          • paulyz says:

            And the Democrat/Socialist Party started the KKK, LMAO, idiot.

          • johninPCFL says:

            So intelligence isn’t your strong suit. I’ll try to explain.
            See, there’s an extension characteristic in language that uses an absurd proposition to demonstrate the stupidity of an opponents position. You claim that Democrats started the KKK (true), and by your extension still believe in those precepts (false.) This is muted by my expression that Reagan was a union organizer (true), and by that same extension, still was. Or that the Southern Baptist Convention broke from the Baptist Church to support slavery and Southern Secession (true), and by extension, still does (ask David who posts here.)
            In short, you are a moron who believes that no one changes, strongly disputed by the facts that the “blue dog Democrats” who favored the KKK left for the GOP in the 1960s (true.)
            But facts mean nothing to teabaggers (true.)

          • paulyz says:

            The Democrat-Socialist Party also OPPOSED all of the early Civil Rights legislation. Oh, We know all about change, the failed Socialism of your idol Barack. And you morons still don’t learn, you support 2 more leftist losers.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Yes they did, which is why those members of the old Democrat party jumped ship and became the “values voters” foundation of the modern GOP. Folks that formed the John Birch Society (like the Koch brothers’ father), and the parents of Cliven Bundy and David Duke.
            The teabagger manifesto: “nearly 20% of Trump supporters did not approve of freeing the slaves, according to a January YouGov/Economist poll”

          • paulyz says:

            ALWAYS excuses for the Democrat-Socialists, no wonder you like Obama, the ultimate blamer of others for his failures. Your so-called percentages are assumptions, but I would bet that there are more leftists that didn’t want slavery ended, just like I have been telling you. And your leftist Communist Soros, hates our government & backs all leftist causes, and disrupts free soeech. He hates that OUR Constitution gets in his way.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Yeah. Soros contributes $20MM and that’s a major problem, the Kochs control $800MM but that’s OK. Soros doesn’t hold any office in the DNC, but Dick Armey (who admires Alinsky and uses his methods) owns the teabaggers.
            Today’s GOP has been totally taken over by the fascists and you’re fine with that because you’ve been brainwashed into believing they give two shits what happens to you or the country. The racists and bigots who now make up at least 20% of the GOP direct the clown car, and you’re fine with that too because you’re too simple to figure out what’s happening.
            You’re a pathetic fool.

          • paulyz says:

            Such a pathetic comment, when Hillary’s thesis was on Alinski, she admired him. Looks like the people that foolishly voted for Obama are suffering in deeper poverty & hopelessness. Many are seeing the light, the lying pandering for vites, votes that keep then dependent on the bankrupt Federal Government, all promises, no results but misery & division.

          • johninPCFL says:

            Trump, Cruz, and teabagger King Armey all use Alinsky’s tactics (Armey even brags about how he likes them.) Bush, Rubio (until the last week of his campaign) and Carson didn’t. Seems like the teabaggers like Alinsky well enough to vote for candidates who follow his tactics.
            “We will undo Obamacare”: is lying and pandering for votes. All of the candidates know there is absolutely no chance of doing it.
            Trump used the “bankrupt” federal government to make good on his business’ debts four times. Cruz depended on the “bankrupt” federal government for fast-tracked citizenship (when it suited him.) Rubio the same. Why, again, are Cubans treated differently than all other refugee groups?
            “people that foolishly voted for Obama are suffering in deeper poverty & hopelessness”? Well, except for those now working whose job disappeared under GWB, those in the automobile industries (who Romney would have put out of work), those who have health insurance now, etc., etc., etc.
            You’re a goof.

    • joe schmo says:

      Give us a break, totally different animal. Jews are not unlike Christians. They believe in the same God we do. Not Christ but the same God.

      • robrothman says:

        Joe, get an education! The Muslim God is the same God as the Jews and Christians worship. All monotheistic religions with their birth through Abraham. Abraham is the Father of Judaism and Islam.

      • johninPCFL says:

        And so do the Muslims. They believe the entire Bible and add on, kind of like Revelations. To them, Jesus is another prophet in the line from Abraham.

  5. Starde says:

    So what is this article trying to say? Is she suggesting that it is all in fun when people are being slapped, kicked, punched and thrown out…if that’s fun, I’d hate to see when its serious…do they kill someone then. Her article is ludacris and seems to want to play down the dangerous game Trump is playing.

    • Diane says:

      Of course not. Re-read the article. It has warnings to journalists (and what other segment the speaker is taunting) all through it, not because all people in a crowd are bad but because those who wouldn’t think of actually hitting a journalist could take part in the action that antagonizes those who would.

      • Joan says:

        I think it is nice that this journalist went looking for decency and kindness in a crowd that appears to seethe with resentment and animus looking for a target direction from Mr Trump.
        I too am hearten by the idea that not all those who shrill out hateful rethoric mean it or would actually support it.

        • Diane says:

          So you think that because this woman shows she is embarrassed by her taunting the journalists, but doesn’t stop, that she isn’t doing a bad thing?

          She has bad feelings in her “heart” or she would not have joined the taunting. In fact, if there wasn’t something bad in her character, she would not even be at a Trump rally.

          • Joan says:

            I never said that. I do not know, nor do you, what was in that women’s heart. We do know what was in the journalist’s and that is what my comments made reference to. You will never find kindness when you close your eyes to the potential for it which is in all of us.

          • Diane says:

            I didn’t say you said this, I was asking for clarification. I do think you are dangerously naive if you assume that people who “shrill out hateful rhetoric” are not doing harm at that very moment by joining their voices with other haters, and are capable of worse.

  6. greenlantern1 says:

    Ever read President Lincoln’s SPOT RESOLUTIONS?
    President Grant’s memoirs?
    Were they good REPUBLICAN presidents?
    What did they say about Mexico?
    What did President Eisenhower do to Hitler’s ATLANTIC WALL?
    Was he a good REPUBLICAN president?

  7. 5612jean says:

    If main stream media would stop giving trump the attention he’s looking for, and then him pretending he’s so mistreated by the same group, we might well be rid of him by now. He doesn’t have to spend his money on ads, because the news media is doing it for him for free. I guess it’s to late to ignore this idiot now.

  8. Low Bounty Contact says:

    That’s the ticket: Trump/Putin 2016.

    • joe schmo says:

      Putin knows exactly what he is doing…… He knows all about how the KGB was. So do I. My family lived under Communism for 40 years. I was born and American and visited there as a child. AWFUL! U don’t even want to go there.

  9. Otto T. Goat says:

    A Bernie supporter tried to attack Trump on stage.

    • dpaano says:

      And how do you know FOR SURE that the individual was a Bernie supporter? Subsequent news articles said that this was not true.

      • Otto T. Goat says:

        Feel free to link to one of those articles.

      • joe schmo says:

        Oh boy, you need to do your research. On both sides. Then come to a conclusion….. It’s not what u think. Trump is RIGHT.

        • jmprint says:

          Right about what, that the GOP is fked up!

          • marriea says:

            Joe is either a fraud, or a unrepentant Trump supporter who is a sheep.
            I say fraud because no one can be that stupid. But if he is, he’s blind as they say a bat is and don’t know any better and doesn’t want to know any better.

  10. dpaano says:

    I don’t know why Trump is terrorizing the journalists….he’s gotten so much free press from them that it’s laughable! As for “civility,” that went out the window the day Trump registered as a GOP candidate. There’s no such thing anymore when it comes to civility in politics, and that’s the really sad part! People hate just to hate….no rhyme or reason!

    • joe schmo says:

      Because they r a bunch of communist liars who want to disrupt the world and turn it into a Global Mecca! Duhhhhh!

    • Carol Clinch says:

      Why doesn’t the press stop covering him? If he doesn’t treat the press well, why are they hanging around to take more abuse.

      • JPHALL says:

        They want the ratings or viewers that Trump gets them. Remember what happens during ratings season on TV? Anything goes to get the ratings or viewers.

  11. joe schmo says:

    Trump has not created rage. It is the left that seeks revenge. You preach love and peace, yet r the most violent of the two parties. Do we show up @ Demo rallies and disrupt them. HELL no! Trump is this nations only hope. We don’t want communism now do we? Not that many of u know what that entails.

    • jmprint says:

      joe if you want communism, Putin is looking for a secretary, please apply.

    • jmprint says:

      Yes joe we know how the republicans embrace gays and women’s rights, because they are just such understanding and wonderful people, very godly in their own cult way, and Trump’s ungodly behavior is just a way of letting those wonderful people exhale. The thing you don’t like about the protesters is that they are pointing out the lies that Trump is telling and you don’t want to hear it, but they have just as much right to voice their opinion as the trumpeters.

    • robrothman says:

      Trump did not create the rage but he feeds on it like a giant leach. He, like so many of his followers lives off the blood, sweat and tears of the dying middle class.

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