by Eddie Scarry/Washingtonexaminer.com
Several news outlets covering musician Eminem’s rap takedown of President Trump neglected to mention the artist’s history of lyrics colored by misogyny and bigotry.
Eminem’s rap was played on a video Tuesday night at the BET Hip-Hop Awards and featured the often-controversial artist criticizing Trump on nearly every front, including his feud with the NFL, his disparagement of Sen. John McCain, and even a slight at the rapper’s own fans who might support Trump.
“And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his, I’m drawing in the sand a line,” Eminem said. “You’re either for or against, and if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split on who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for it for you with this: Fuck you.”
Many reports covering the video described it as a significant moment in a clash between an outspoken celebrity and the president of the United States without noting Eminem’s past lyrics laden with themes like violence against women and anti-gay slurs.
A CNN report said the rap was “perhaps the fiercest and the most exhaustive attack against Donald Trump in hip-hop,” then highlighted “the 11 most explosive lines,” but there was no mention of Eminem’s past lyrics.
A write-up at the left-leaning Huffington Post called the rap “brutal” and led with the line: “The real Slim Shady is standing up to President Donald Trump.”
Atlantic magazine’s Conor Friedersdorf mentioned Eminem’s past but appeared to absolve him of any offense, writing that “Eminem’s reputation for not giving a shit, his impulse to burn everything down — if only metaphorically — with his lyrics, and his explicit hostility to the notion of serving as a role model, lend a fraught wrinkle to his turn as an earnest denouncer of Trump’s depredations.”
Even the music magazine Rolling Stone neglected to mention any of Eminem’s past controversial lyrics, though said that in his rap, the musician “demolish[ed] Trump.”
The Associated Press published a brief on the rap video, as did the Washington Post’s “Reliable Source” gossip column. Both made no mention of Eminem’s past lyrics.
In the earlier part of Eminem’s career, he was frequently called out by advocacy groups for his song lyrics, which were often about killing women, calling them “sluts” and calling other male singers “fag.”
The song “Kill You,” featured on Eminem’s self-titled 2000 album, includes the lyrics, “Slut, you think I won’t choke no whore / ‘Til the vocal cords don’t work in her throat no more?”
The New York Times was one of few outlets to include information about Eminem’s history, noting that “the rapper’s dense, blistering lyrics have courted controversy in the past, with some accusing him of writing homophobic and misogynistic verses.”