Whatever we call Trump, he stinks just as bad

Shakespeare, a master of insults who could have prolifically composed tweets and might have described Donald Trump as an “unwash’d maggot-pie,” or a “goatish bat-fowling moldwarp,” an “idol of idiot-worshippers,” whose “name blisters our tongues,” and who is not “clean enough to spit upon,” would have run into trouble if he worked for CNN or the New York Times.

The Times reports that the presenter of CNN’s weekly show “Believer,” Reza Aslan, got fired for writing tweets in which “he described the president as ‘an embarrassment to humankind’ and compared him, using profanity, to a piece of excrement.”

In point of fact, this reporting is inaccurate. Aslan didn’t compare Trump to a piece of shit — he said he is one. Aslan was using a metaphor, not a simile. He wrote:

This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind

A succinct, objective, fair assessment that in global terms cannot be seen in any sense as controversial — except for this: including the word “shit.”

But in reference to Trump, how on earth can the word “shit” be described as profane? I know he has lots of supporters, but he’s not exactly a figure of reverence. Indeed, many of those supporters regard his crudeness as one of his principle virtues.

Donald Trump is the embodiment and arguably purest distillation of vulgarity and yet the prissy gatekeepers of American mainstream-media civility have a problem when vulgar language is used to describe a vulgar man.

What other kind of language is in any sense appropriate?

Some will argue we shouldn’t stoop to Trump’s level, yet this kind of self-imposed restraint plays straight into the orange man’s little hands.

He shameless exploits the respect offered to his office, while using this as a shield behind which he can constantly lob provocations with relative impunity.

In other words, if people like CNN’s Jeff Zucker get their way, Trump can carry on being a piece of shit while anyone in the media who wants to keep their job must be afraid of calling him the way he calls to be named.

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