Last night, Vice-President-elect Mike Pence attended the Broadway performance of “Hamilton.” At the curtain call and on behalf of the entire cast, Brandon Victor Dixon (who plays Aaron Burr) read a respectful, 90-second statement to Mr. Pence.
Before reading any further, watch it: https://twitter.com/HamiltonMusical?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
This morning, President-elect Trump mischaracterized the episode in a way that should frighten anyone who cherishes the First Amendment. Here are his two tweets:
“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!”
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
What “should not happen” is precisely what President-elect Trump has done: misstate facts and attack free speech. As the tape proves, the cast of Hamilton did not “harass” Mr. Pence. Nor was it “rude” him. To the contrary. Brandon Dixon urged audience restraint as he read the remarks. The only apology should come from Mr. Trump — for his twitter assault on the First Amendment.
As I said in my first Open-Letter to the President-elect: “We watch and wait for any sign of disquieting conduct matching the words that helped propel you into office. When you err, we will speak.”
The battle is joined.