President Trump gave the commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy. The theme was perseverance, and he gave the new graduates good advice:
Now, I want to take this opportunity to give you some advice. Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted, but you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.
Apparently, he then went off script:
Look at the way I've been treated lately. Especially by the media. No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down. You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams. I guess that's why, thank you, I guess that's why we won.
The speech came after a difficult week for the president: he fired FBI Director James Comey, who questioned the president's integrity in return.
Of course, reports about President Trump's speech vary according to political alignment. Conservative outlets such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News applaud his calling out the media. Limbaugh wrote, "Media Livid," and Fox's headline was "Trump Takes on Media." Compare those headlines with CNN's: "Trump's Pity Party at Coast Guard Academy Was Shameful."
- What's your view of the speech? Do you agree more with the conservative media outlets or the more liberal CNN? How does your opinion align with your own political views?
- Take the other side of the argument. In what ways was the comment appropriate or inappropriate?
- How would you assess President Trump's speech overall? Consider delivery skills discussed in Chapter 11.