Memo to Donald Trump: Don’t tell jokes

Donald Trump was asked yesterday about the hack into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mails.

220px-Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)The Republican nominee said he did not know if Russia was behind that attack, but that he would like to see the Kremlin turn its attention to the 30,000 messages Mrs Clinton deleted prior to the FBI investigation into her email practices.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said.

Mr Trump, who was giving a press conference in Florida, said it gave him “no pause” to essentially sanction Russian cyber hacking on an American official.

“Hey you know what gives me more pause? That a person in our government – Crooked Hillary Clinton – that a person in our government would delete or get rid of 30,000 emails,” he said.

“Now, if Russia or China or any other country has those emails, I mean to be honest with you I’d love to see them.”

Source: The Telegraph (UK)

I thought that was funny, and I thought his joke had a point.  But almost every comment I’ve come across this morning treats Trump’s comment as a serious and shocking proposal.

Trump should have learned by this time something I learned very early as a newspaper reporter.  When you engage in humor or irony, vast numbers of people will not recognize it as such unless it is labeled as humor or irony.

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4 Responses to “Memo to Donald Trump: Don’t tell jokes”

  1. williambearcat Says:

    He was not making a joke or being sarcastic. Body language gives us clues as to whether something is serious or a joke. Donald was covering his ass by calling it a joke. Tell me, please, what is the joke?


  2. williambearcat Says:

    I would also say that cultural differences about what is humorous, sarcastic or ironic makes it even more important to be careful in the international arena.


  3. Lisa the Infidel Says:

    He was serious!


  4. tiffany267 Says:

    Phil, I beg to differ with your other commenters for today, and I agree with you that it was clearly a joke (though in poor taste).

    But to be fair, child rapist Donald Trump has shown a bizarre sense of humor that could reasonably lead to misunderstandings… “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” etc.


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