Let’s say you’re the president of the United States giving a speech about Black History month. You have a piece of paper in front of you and there’s a name written down—one you’re not familiar with—but you want to say something about him anyway.


“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice,” Donald Trump said.


Frederick Douglass died in 1895.

Now let’s say a reporter asks your spokesperson about your present-tense comments about the man who’s been dead for almost 122 years, except they don’t tell him he’s been dead for almost 122 years, so there’s no context for him to guess from.

“I think there’s contribution. I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more,” Spicer said and it’s unbelievable, but it’s true—he does do this for a living.

Former Gawker news editor

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