In a story first picked up by Mother Jones, Donald Trump’s nascent Presidential campaign sent out one of the worst possible tweets yesterday:
Okay, fine, standard American stuff – goofy picture of Trump’s face, money, the White House, and troops.
Yeah, about those troops….if you look close enough at the 2nd troops from the left, you can see a little image on his left shoulder. And what is that image, you ask?
Oh. Oh no. The troops are Nazi troops taken from an iStock photo, and they aren’t just ordinary troops: they are members of the Waffen-SS. From Wikipedia:
At the post-war Nuremberg trials the Waffen-SS was condemned as a criminal organisation due to its connection to the Nazi Party and involvement in numerous war crimes. Waffen-SS veterans were denied many of the rights afforded to veterans who had served in the Heer (army), Luftwaffe (air force) or Kriegsmarine (navy). An exception was made for Waffen-SS conscripts sworn in after 1943, who were exempted because of their involuntary servitude.
So, there’s that.
Naturally, the tweet was deleted. Trump camp’s had to comment on the dibacle, and they did:
“A young intern created and posted the image and did not see the very faded figures within the flag of the stock photo. The intern apologized and immediately deleted the tweet.”
There are so, so many things wrong here:
1) A campaign of Trump’s magnitude and “seriousness” should never have relied on an intern to make a graphic that would be seen by this many people. You only use professionals, and for this exact reason. This is not the first time that an intern has made (or at least been accused of making) a mistake of this magnitude, and as I’ve argued before, your intern should not have that much of an impact on your social media.
2) If your intern made a mistake like this, it’s not the “young intern’s” fault – it’s yours. YOU are responsibility for training and managing your intern. The Trump campaign has no one to blame but themselves.
3) If the campaign actually wanted to take responsibility for the gaffe, instead of just duck it as quickly as possible, they’d say, “Hey, our bad, this is what happened but we understand that we are responsible for the error.” But they didn’t. Speaks volumes about the Trump campaign, doesn’t it?
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