Eric Trump might have managed the most tragic misunderstanding of irony since Alanis Morissette’s infamous 1996 hit when he tried to defend the president’s decision to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” in front of Navajo Code Talkers. The president’s middle son used his father’s medium of choice to explain his belief that a reporter who criticized the president’s comment as offensive can’t complain because he works for ABC, which is owned by Disney, which released the 1995 animated feature film Pocahontas . Twitter didn’t buy Eric’s take and has spent the morning positing as many rebuttals as there are colors in the wind.
Eric tweeted, “The irony of an ABC reporter (whose parent company Disney has profited nearly half a billion dollars on the movie “Pocahontas”) inferring that the name is “offensive” is truly staggering to me.” Fortunately, the internet was well-armed with concrete definitions of irony and its function.
Others were happy to provide examples of what an effective, correct use of irony would look like in a sample sentence.
There were also a number of tweets that broke down the difference between the opinions of reporters and those on whom journalists report, and why exactly Native Americans are offended. Altogether, Eric’s remarks don’t make much sense.
And others wondered if this tweet accurately reflects Eric’s knowledge of elementary American history or his IQ. Twitter is very concerned about the smarts of Trump’s large adult sons and the education they have received.
Of course, this conversation mostly leaves out the often problematic portrayal of indigenous people in Hollywood (looking at you Lone Ranger) or the fetishization of Disney’s Pocahontas character (looking at you, Nicki Minaj). Regardless of the critical reception and cultural legacy of Pocahontas, however, it wasn’t unreasonable to title the movie after its heroine. To suggest a reporter wasn’t right to ask a question because he works for a company owned by a conglomerate that made a movie twenty-two years ago, well, Twitter has spoken.