Late Night Open Thread: But Who Was the Target Audience?

Could we cynics have been wrong in assuming that Trump’s support of A$AP Rocky was nothing but a cheap ploy to reassure his white Base that he was Not A Racist? Well, with so many grifters inveterate self-promoters each telling a different story, it’s hard to be sure:

According to new details provided by sources involved, Trump’s role in pushing for Rocky’s release started with a reality television megastar calling the West Wing, a mysterious entertainment industry “fixer” and two Trump supporters. The president’s allies who connected Rocky’s team with the White House hoped to facilitate a scene that would bolster Trump’s image among African-Americans. Instead, they say they were left angry when Rocky failed to thank Trump or those around him…

Darrell Scott and Kareem Lanier entered the picture a few days after Rocky was detained. Scott, an Ohio pastor, was one of Trump’s highest-profile African-American surrogates during the 2016 campaign and went on to serve on his transition team. Lanier is the co-chairman of the Urban Revitalization Coalition, a nonprofit led by Scott dedicated to promoting elements of the Trump agenda to the black community. The two men, who were hardly household names, have become a regular presence at the White House at events focused on addressing African-American issues.

Scott and Lanier said they became involved after hearing from a man named Hassan Muhammad, who describes himself as a “fixer” for high-profile figures in the entertainment industry. In a pair of phone conversations this week, Muhammad, who has no web presence and was unwilling to name any of his contacts, said an associate of Rocky’s reached out to him about the rapper’s situation…

TL, DR: These two high-profile surrogates seem to have convinced Jared Kushner that the Oval Office Occupant making a huge public fuss (always one of Trump’s favorite things) would improve his status with The Blacks. And Jared, publicity expert, jumped at the possibility! It’s not as though guys like this might’ve had ulterior motives, right?…

… Both Lanier and Scott were upset that Rocky never acknowledged the assistance he had gotten. Lanier attributed this to the potential blowback that an African-American celebrity like Rocky could face for embracing Trump.

“One of the problems that we have as a culture — and I’m talking about black Americans — is herd mentality,” Lanier said. “Right now it’s popular for those guys to bash President Trump.”

The two men said they were left disappointed that Rocky didn’t thank the White House — even behind the scenes.

“All he had to do was do a two-minute call to say thank you,” said Scott. “Rocky hasn’t even called us and said, ‘Hey, man, thank you guys. I appreciate it,’ in private. Just in private.”

27 replies
  1. 1
    Yarrow says:

    It made me laugh that he ghosted them. I know nothing about the story but that part is funny.

    Is Trump at the G-7 yet? Trying to imagine what he’s going to do there. Attend the boring meetings or hide in his room watching TV and tweeting? I guess he’ll meet with his buddy Boris.

  2. 2
    ola azul says:

    In the macabre cavalcade of Trump doings, this Rocky attempted-intervention is, to me, one a those stories where I find myself wondering: “Does Trump or any of his horrible peeps, know any, you know, actual real-life human beings? You know, apart from marks, people yer fucking, regretful relations and the like, I means. Are they familiar with human behavior in any way?

    Cuz here’s what’s weird ’bout this story: this rapper was involved inna picayune brawler dust-up on foreign soil inna purty progressive locality. So what makes Trump, or any of his brain-dead-trust, think this rapper needs Trump’s help? Or that it’d be welcomed? Much less appreciated?

    Cuz Sweden ain’t Saudi Arabia, Rocky got time served and sent on his way, don’t let the door slap you in the ass on the way out.

    But what sticks for me is the idiotic *presumption* that, if only preznit dumbshit was to stick his oar in the water, why then Rocky is gonna be one thankful obeisant obliging colored willing to extol preznit dumbshit’s virtues to a disbelieving electorate. Who thinks like this?

    We’ve had this spiraling motherfucker in office for a while now, but must confess, I *still* am not inured to his childishness or his cruelty.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Just in private.

    And would have remained private for less time than it is taking to complete typing this sentence.

  4. 4
    SRW1 says:

    After the ‘success’ of this exercise, amnesty for Blago is now probably DOA.

    That’ll show them democrats!

  5. 5
    sm*t cl*de says:

    I am happy to despise everyone involved in this story.

  6. 6

    From what I’ve heard about all of this, Trump made a big deal, the Swedes told him to fuck off, Rocky got convicted and was sentenced to time served and came home. Why would he thank Trump, he did nothing for him.

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    Grifters all the way down. And only someone like Jared Kushner would’ve believed that black people would fall for this.

  8. 8
    ola azul says:


    Tend to disagree. In the facile way these simple-minded fuckers think, reckon they will (wrongly) intuit that showing leniency to a Dem (nevermind most Dems reckon Blago *deserves* his lock-up) will be just the cross-over grace notes they needs to get reinstalled.

    You know, in the same insipid blunt-force way Team-Trumpenfuhrer thought firing Comey would appeal to Dems.

  9. 9
    sm*t cl*de says:

    “One of the problems that we have as a culture — and I’m talking about black Americans — is herd mentality,” Lanier said.

    Scott is “an Ohio pastor”, which is to say, he and Lanier make their living from gullibility. Lanier’s main complaint is that “we as a culture” are not gullible enough.

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    They capitalize just like Twitler:

    Scott then emailed the prosecutor, highlighting his own ties to Trump.

    “I’m reaching out to you, with all due respect for your great Country, and for the office you hold, on behalf of the Artist known as A$ap Rocky. … I by no means intend any offense, nor disregard for your country’s legal system, nor for your acumen as a Prosecutor,” Scott wrote.

    Scott described Rocky’s potential release as “a tremendous demonstration of goodwill, not only between our two Countries, but also between your Country, and the African American Community in the United States.”

  11. 11

    @Mary G: As I said, it didn’t seem to make any difference, so why should Rocky thank Trump, I see no reason.

    OT: I went to downtown LA yesterday afternoon, snapped this pic in Little Tokyo.

  12. 12
    prostratedragon says:

    @Yarrow: I’ve been calling him Boris for some time. At first I just fell into it because I had trouble remembering his name, and tried to do better.

    Then it dawned on me that it probably pisses him right off.

  13. 13
    prostratedragon says:

    And as for other news of the day, there’s one person to whom I can stop humming this:

    “You Rascal You,” Cab Calloway

  14. 14
    NotMax says:


    Obligatory, but not PC, pre-code Betty Boop with Satchmo.

  15. 15
    Paul T says:

    Fixer═guy who sent in the check. The Trump crime family would only do this for money, not for “the black vote.”

  16. 16

    @Paul T:

    The Trump crime family would only do this for money, not for “the black vote.”

    Naah, Trump has a clear history of liking to hang around briefly with blacks who will publicly praise him. He loves having Black Friends. It’s a racist thing. It validates them.

  17. 17
    Keith P. says:

    Trump wants to be thanked for the guy getting found guilty of assault?

  18. 18
    PST says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I think validating is the key. Trump’s target with this stunt is, as always, his base. It lets some of them (those who care) say, “See, Trump’s no racist,” and that therefore, by implication, they’re not racists either. If this is the point of the exercise, then the supposed “ingratitude” is a bonus feature, since it helps fan racial resentment.

  19. 19
    cope says:

    Wow, this Rocky person is a “reality television megastar”? I had never heard of him until this sideshow played out. Guess I need to watch more TV.

  20. 20
    LAC says:

    Well, we had our monthly blackidy black folks monolith meeting about this and no, we are still not impressed with Trump. Thanks to sister mabel for bringing the fried chicken and we will meet again in an urban center. 🙄

  21. 21
    StringOnAStick says:

    I agree with both of Sm*t Cl*de’s comments. Grifters all the way around; I’d ghost everyone involved too.

  22. 22
    BroD says:


  23. 23
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LAC: LOL!! Which is a feat of comedy gold, considering I’m still on my first cup of coffee!

  24. 24
    LAC says:

    @Miss Bianca: you are welcome. I am pretty sure Orangina thinks that this actually happens with us.
    Btw, i couldn’t name a song this dude does.

  25. 25
    Librarian says:

    I also had never heard of Rocky until this whole thing happened. I wish it had stayed that way.

  26. 26
    JDM says:

    So they played Trump. Trump got played again, as he usually does (that’s how he overpaid for property after property, and bankrupted business after business), which would be okay with me except that now when Trump gets played we’re all paying.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Uncle Toms all the way down.

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