Billy “Piano Man” Joel recently claimed that he wore a yellow Star of David onstage to trash President Donald Trump after the 2017 clash between the violent Antifa and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The “Movin’ Out” singer recently told CBS that he wore the symbol made famous by the Nazi’s Holocaust against the Jews to attack Trump for saying there were “good people” among the white nationalists who gathered and eventually engaged in brawls with the violent left-wing Antifa protesters in August of 2017.
“The president said, ‘There’s some good people … that did that.’ No, Nazis aren’t good people,” Joel insisted.
Joel was referencing comments the president made in the aftermath of the riots in the sleepy Virginia college town. Trump initially noted that there were “good people on both sides” of the debate in Virginia.
“It really enraged me. My old man, his family, got wiped out. They were slaughtered in Auschwitz. Him and his parents were able to get out. But then he was in the U.S. Army during the war and fought with Patton and was shot at by Nazis. My family suffered. And I think I actually have a right to do that,” Joel exclaimed.
But Joel is incorrect about what Trump said. The president was not praising Nazis and calling some of them good people. Trump was referencing the initial reason that crowds were gathering in Charlottesville. The original rallies surrounded the removal of several hundred-year-old Confederate statues. The first protesters were gathering over that issue. It was later that the white nationalists and the dangerous Antifa groups arrived in Charlottesville to level up on the vitriol.
Democrats complained that the president refused to criticize the white nationalists but that is also not true. Trump criticized the racist groups several times and in no uncertain terms. But one of his points was that the media was not reporting the riots truthfully.
Vice President Mike Pence also slammed the media for its fake news reporting of the Charlottesville melee.
“I will say I take issue with the fact that many in the national media spent more time criticizing the president’s words than they did criticizing those that perpetrated the violence to begin with,” Pence said not long after the riots ended.
“We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” Pence added.
“The president also made clear that behavior by others of different militant perspectives are also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse,” Pence said, hinting that the Antifa groups are also culpable for the violence.
The fact is, the riots at Charlottesville were instigated by members of the left-wing Antifa groups that waded in among the white nationalists and initiated the violent confrontations. Unfortunately, media coverage focused solely on the white nationalists who were provoked by the leftists.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.