The tweeted photo shows, or appears to (evidence suggests it was Photoshopped), Hillary Clinton standing in front of a banner. “Count” is the word on the banner, except that Clinton’s head is blocking the “O,” forming the crudest of obscenities.
“So there’s a letter blocked. What difference does it make,” reads the caption, summoning memories of Clinton’s outburst on Benghazi.
Run-of-the-mill Twitter tastelessness, except for one of the tweeters: sit-com star Scott Baio, late of “Happy Days.” Baio has emerged from obscurity as a celebrity, or what passes for a celebrity, supporter of Donald Trump; the presumptive Republican nominee himself asked Baio to speak on the opening night of the convention.
“This may be the best meme out there,” Baio tweeted — including the hashtag #NeverHillary and directing his tweet to @realDonaldTrump. (I first saw it when a friend shared a tweet from Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur.)
This is disgusting. Standards of civility may have been shredded, but slyly using that word about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is unacceptable. This was, or should have been, disqualifying for a convention speaking gig.
Perhaps nominees cannot be held responsible for everything their surrogates say, but at least they can be expected to do some minimal level of vetting. Baio’s first version of the tweet was posted on July 10.
But he didn’t stop there, telling those who tweeted criticism that they were overreacting, or overimagining, or something. “I NEVER called her that name. You ASSUMED. I’ve already proven your lies! Retract/apologize,” Baio wrote on July 16.
This is the man Trump personally selected to represent him; they met at a fundraiser, and Trump asked him if he wanted to speak at the convention, Baio told Fox News. On the night Trump’s wife was speaking.
Does the Trump campaign consider this appropriate? Or the “best meme out there?”