It was a mammoth swing and a miss.
Gady Epstein, the China Affairs Editor for The Economist, seemingly attempted to tie Vice President Mike Pence to “white supremacists” over a photo of him eating lunch with Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia’s first lady, Marty Kemp, in a restaurant with a thin blue line flag hanging on its wall Friday, Red State reported.
Here’s what Epstein tweeted, according to journalist Andy Ngo:
Image source: Twitter
“Pence and Kemp dining in front of a flag favored by white supremacists at Charlottesville,” he tweeted.
The pro-police thin blue line flag has been a source of controversy for years — and as recently as earlier this month San Francisco’s police chief banned his officers from wearing thin blue line face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. In short, detractors say the flag is part of the Blue Lives Matter movement, which is allegedly racist because it’s a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement.
But wherever the truth lies, Epstein apparently trying to tie Pence to “white supremacists” because the image showed the thin blue line flag on a wall of a restaurant — where people of multiple races were eating — got the editor “thoroughly dragged,” Red State said.
So much so that he deleted his tweet and offered up a decidedly sorry-not-sorry explanation:
“Deleted a tweet about Pence and the ‘thin blue line flag’ because RIP my mentions,” Epstein wrote. “But know this: symbols take on meaning far beyond what you might wish for them. It’s important to acknowledge that.”
WXIA-TV reported Pence’s get together with Kemp at the Star Cafe in Atlanta — and the station seemed interested only in what social distancing was taking place:
Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Brian Kemp eat at Star Cafe in Marietta