I’m old enough to remember when Rick Wilson was a Republican political strategist and media consultant. But that all changed when until Donald Trump received the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Wilson not only became a never-Trumper but a classless one that, joining panels of deep thinkers on CNN and MSNBC, where his razor-sharp wit is often on display.
It was on display in January when he joined CNN anchor Don Lemon and New York Times op-ed writer Wajahat Ali in ridiculing Trump supporters as toothless, brainless rubes. Lemon just about busted a gut when Wilson lapsed into a faux Southern accent to mock Trump voters inability to read or do math. (I don’t know if Wilson dusted off his math “joke” earlier this week when New York Times editor Maya Gay and Brian Williams demonstrated their inability to do simple arithmetic operations.)
Sometimes the joke is on Wilson, as was the case last week when he and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough were trolled by a fake Trump tweet.
And sometimes there’s no joke at all. Witness Wilson’s latest, which came in reaction to a public service announcement by First Lady Melania Trump to remind her fellow Americans of proper steps they can take to avoid becoming victims of the coronavirus.
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The attempt was subtle and may have been missed by some. But despite their low IQs, plenty of Trump followers picked up on the crass “joke.” Riffing off the first lady’s #BeBest campaign, which is intended to combat bullying, Wilson retweeted CNN’s announcement of the PSA, adding the hashtag #BeInfected.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 19, 2020
Among those who got and deplored Wilson’s witticism was media reporter for The Hill Joe Concha, who tweeted back:
This is the most insidious & hateful rhetoric of anyone who exists in political punditry. Rick Wilson is wishing Coronavirus on Melania Trump. It doesn’t matter if the wish is aimed at a First Lady, or a doctor, a teacher, a policewoman. It is despicable. He deserves no platform. https://t.co/uTr5RVZSTX
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) March 19, 2020
There is no word yet from CNN or MSNBC on whether they plan to invite Wilson back, but here’s some friendly advice to them: Don’t.