Are we all super confused and shocked over Donald Trump Jr.'s tweet about the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling or is that just me? His message came just moments after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker, who was sued by a same-sex couple after refusing them service based on his religious beliefs — but it honestly misses a major point surrounding the case. I'm not kidding, I've lost count of how many times I've read his post in attempts to make sense of his oblivion. But then again, the bigger question is: why am I even surprised?
On June 4, the Associated Press shared an article to Twitter, writing that the Supreme Court "narrowly" ruled in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to make a same-sex couple a cake in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Brit Hume, a political analyst for Fox News, questioned the the outlet's use of the word, citing the fact that the decision came in a whopping 7-2 vote, which prompted Trump Jr. to respond with his own mind-boggling conspiracy theory. Instead of clicking on the article to see why the news source described the ruling as "narrow," he blamed it on a ploy by the mainstream media to report skewed and false coverage. He wrote:
... we all know they would rather have then [sic] implication be that it was conservative vs lib rather than clarifying, because that’s far more polarizing. Not sure I can give the MSM [mainstream media] the benefit of the doubt anymore.
If Trump Jr. needed "clarifying," though, all he had to do was actually read the article. In reality, "narrow" has to do with the scope of the decision — which was, as is noted, narrow.
The ruling didn't make an overall judgment on the central issues of free speech or discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Rather, the court ruled only that in this specific case, the administrative agency which had ruled against the baker, Jack Phillips, on grounds of discrimination had treated him unfairly. This means that the ruling is only applicable narrowly, and future cases of business owners who refuse services to LGBTQ-identifying people on the basis of religious beliefs could end up before the court again in the future. Contrary to whatever Trump Jr. had in mind, it doesn't have a single thing to do with the number of judges who ruled in the decision. *Face-palm*
Some people called him out for, clearly, not bothering to read past the headline.
It's not the first time Trump Jr. has made these kinds of claims, though. On May 28, he apparently cosigned Roseanne Barr's conspiracy theory-laced Twitter rant, in which the actress accused Chelsea Clinton of being married to a nephew of billionaire philanthropist George Soros — who she also called a "Nazi." He even left his retweets up on his page after Barr started getting called out over the ultra-offensive messages (and lost her sitcom over them), so my guess is that he truly stands by them.
And back in February, following the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and faculty members — he was also called out for boosting conspiracy theories about David Hogg, one of the surviving students of the massacre. According to ABC News, Trump Jr. "liked" two tweets, one of which alleged that Hogg had been coached by his father to spew anti-Trump rhetoric and help curb Second Amendment rights. The caption reportedly read, “Outspoken Trump-hating school shooting survivor is son of FBI Agent: MSM helps prop up incompetent bureau.” Although Hogg's father is, in fact, a retired FBI agent, it goes without saying that the conspiracy theories about him were obviously a stretch. Go ahead and do it with me:
But seriously, in case anyone out there needed a reminder: reading is fundamental. And situations like these can always be avoided with a quick internet search. Or in Trump Jr.'s case, a click of a button. Hopefully, he gets the memo next time around.