May 31, 2018
Leave it to President Donald Trump to make Roseanne Barr’s May 29 racist tweet about a former Obama Administration official about him — and turn it into a social media attack on Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Co.
Barr’s comments resulted in widespread condemnation in the media (including from Fox News rightwing firebrand Sean Hannity) and cancellation by Disney-owned ABC of her top-rated “Roseanne” TV show reboot.
While Barr has apologized, she also blamed the incident on her use of insomnia medication Ambien, to which the drug’s manufacturer responded that racism is not a known side effect.
Iger, who called cancellation of the “Roseanne” show the “right thing to do,” reportedly reached out to Valarie Jarret, the former senior advisor to Obama at the center of Barr’s racist tweet.
That was enough to irk Trump, who first took to social media May 30 asking for his own apology — from Iger.
“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?” Trump tweeted.
The same day, Trump’s press enabler, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called out ABC and Disney-owned ESPN on a list of alleged political wrongs originated by the media giant’s personalities.
Trump was referring to an “ABC News” report last year by Brian Ross that alleged former national security advisor Michael Flynn had been instructed by Trump to contact Russian sources prior to the 2016 election. That turned out to be false. Flynn had been in contact with the Russians on his own accord, which he later lied about to Congress and was subsequently fired for by Trump.
Ross apologized for the inaccurate report and was suspended.
But to Trump, who remains in the crosshairs of a Russian collusion investigation headed by former FBI leader Robert Mueller — with Flynn cooperating as part of a plea agreement — the grievance remains personal.
“Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!” Trump tweeted May 31.
Iger, who seeks to acquire 20th Century Fox Film in a deal that would require regulatory approval, has not responded. Nor should he.