Searches for ‘anti-Semitic’ surged on Merriam-Webster after Trump press briefing
President Trump’s press conference Thursday afternoon left a lot of questions unanswered (especially questions about Russia). But the strange event, where Trump tried to attack and discredit the media, also raised some new questions for many viewers: specifically, what on earth is anti-Semitism?
Merriam-Webster reports that queries for the term spiked on its website throughout Thursday afternoon following the briefing. It’s not a stretch to connect the surge to Trump’s mention of it in an exchange with a reporter earlier that day.
Trump bullies Jewish reporter who asked for plan to fight anti-Semitism pic.twitter.com/65jVHlg2cS
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) February 16, 2017
Trump was asked by Jake Turx, a reporter with Jewish news publication Ami Magazine, about the recent “uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it.” Despite the pains the reporter went to to make clear to Trump that he wasn’t accusing him of anti-Semitism personally, including mentioning Trump’s own Jewish grandchildren, Trump responded aggressively to the Turx’s questions, calling them unfair and demanding that the reporter “sit down.”
“So here’s the story folks,” said Trump. “Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism. The least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican.”
After the exchange, many Americans took to the web to figure out what Turx and Trump were talking about, and Merriam-Webster tweeted that the word was “among our top lookups this afternoon.”
📈’Anti-Semitism’ is among our top lookups this afternoon. https://t.co/Jcejz0vQpK
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) February 16, 2017
For the record, anti-Semitism means “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group” and by no measure is President Trump the least anti-Semitic person I’ve ever seen in my entire life.