As she accepted an award last weekend, Meryl Streep, the purportedly “celebrated” Hollywood actress, dredged up the lie that President-Elect Donald J. Trump “made fun of a reporter’s disability” during the recently concluded campaign for the White House. Streep’s charge, though, is an outright lie and here are the facts you need to know to combat this lie.
The lie against Trump has been around since a Trump rally in 2016 where the GOP candidate made fun of The New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for getting a story wrong. During the rally Trump criticized Kovaleski for a story Trump says was false. The particular story the reporter got wrong is immaterial here, but what Trump did while criticizing Kovaleski is the key part of the false claim that the real estate mogul “made fun of a reporter’s disability.”
The criticism stems from what Trump did to mock the man. From the dais Trump mocked the reporter by raising his arms, crooking his wrists, and stuttering as if he was acting spastic. This, critics said, was Trump making for of the reporter’s disability because, as it happens, Kovaleski has a congenital condition called arthrogryposis, a condition that makes his right arm useless due to contractures of his joints.
Now, in reality the reporter in question is not affilcted with a spastic movement. Were you to listen to him, and not see that his arm is drawn up, crooked to his chest, you’d think he would have no disability at all. But because his arm in in that useless position, it might be thought to resemble the way Trump crooked his arm whilst ridiculing the reporter during the rally.