S.V. Dáte is a senior White House correspondent with Huffington Post who went viral on August 13 after he asked President Donald Trump during the regular White House coronavirus press briefing if he regretted “all the lying” he has done to the American people.
Trump seemed unsure if he had heard Dáte correctly at first, but when the question was repeated, he ignored it and called on another reporter.
Liberals on Twitter erupted in virtual applause for Dáte, while conservatives and fans of Trump called it more evidence of the “fake news media” Trump so often rails against.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dáte Asked Trump, ‘After 3 1/2 Years, Do You Regret At All All The Lying You’ve Done to the American People?”
During Thursday’s regularly scheduled coronavirus press briefing, Trump called on Dáte after fielding questions on Israeli annexations and mail-in voting.
“Mr. President, after 3 1/2 years, do you regret at all all the lying you have done to the American people?” Dáte asked. “All the lying, all the dishonesties —”
Trump appeared unsure if he heard correctly, and asked Dáte, “That who has done?”
“That you have done,” Dáte clarified.
Trump immediately turned to another reporter, without answering the question. Dáte could be heard in the background, referring to the “tens of thousands” of false statements Trump has been accused of making by outlets including the Washington Post.
2. Dáte Has Been a Political Reporter for More Than 30 Years & Has Written Novels & Biographies of National Figures
Shinrish, or S.V., Dáte has covered politics for outlets including the Associated Press, Palm Beach Post, National Journal and NPR, according to his Huffington Post author page.
He wrote a book on Jeb Bush — one of Trump’s 2016 Republican rivals for the presidential nomination — called Jeb: America’s Next Bush, based on his local reporting on Bush before his presidential bid, according to Dáte’s website.
As the Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent, he has critically covered Trump’s actions in office, including most recently reports that Trump rarely has daily presidential intelligence briefings anymore.
3. Dáte Was Called a ‘Hero’ by Liberal Twitter, While Conservatives Said He Was a ‘Hack’ or ‘Grandstanding’
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) August 13, 2020
Dáte’s question earned him virtual applause from liberals and progressives on Twitter, with some calling him a “hero” and others wondering why the reporter Trump called on after him didn’t yield in an attempt to get the president to answer the question.
Aaron Rupar, who covers most of Trump’s public appearances for Vox, gave Dáte “kudos” for asking the question.
President refuses to answer if he regrets all the lying he's done. At least he didn't add another lie by saying he's never lied.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) August 13, 2020
CNN Political Analyst Joe Lockhart, meanwhile, wryly added that “at least [Trump] didn’t add another lie by saying he’s never lied.”
Neil Munro didn't come within a hair of badgering a US President like SV Date did and he was labeled a heckler by other journos. US Presidents should be badgered, but the reaction from the cool kid's table to both is fun.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 13, 2020
Conservative columnist Stephen Miller recalled Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro heckling President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden in 2012, when he shouted out, “Why do you favor foreigners over Americans?” during a press briefing, as reported by Politico.
“Neil Munro didn’t come within a hair of badgering a US President like SV Dáte did, and he was labeled a heckler by other journos,” Miller wrote. “US Presidents should be badgered, but the reaction from the cool kid’s table to both is fun.”
4. After the Viral Exchange, Dáte Tweeted That He Had Been ‘Waiting 5 Years’ to Ask Trump That Question
For five years I've been wanting to ask him that.
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) August 13, 2020
As his exchange with Trump lit up liberal and conservative Twitter, Dáte tweeted, “For five years I’ve been wanting to ask him that.”
In less than half an hour, his tweet had garnered 30,000 likes and nearly 6,000 re-tweets and comments.
Dáte’s pinned tweet directs users to a January article he wrote called “The Ministry of Untruth,” a lengthy piece making the argument that Trump is “regularly and aggressively dishonest” and that it is harming the country.
“Everyone knows the president lies,” he wrote in the tweet. “Most people understand he does it every day, about pretty much everything. We’ve gotten used to it. What we forget is just how corrosive it is to our democracy.”
Heavy reached out to Dáte for comment but did not immediately hear back.
5. Dáte, Who Was Born in India & Immigrated to the US, Is a Graduate of Stanford University
Dáte graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a political science degree, according to his LinkedIn profile. He lives in Northern Virginia and has two sons, according to his website.
Dáte was born in Pune, India, in 1964, according to a biography on his publisher’s website. He and his family moved to the United States when he was 3, and he grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts, Rochester, New York, and Anaheim, California, according to his publisher’s website.
Dáte enjoys sailing and wrote about his experiences in that area on his website. He wrote, “Between Tallahassee and Washington were some 15,000 nautical miles aboard Juno, an Alden 44 cutter. Dáte and his two school-aged sons crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Mediterranean as far as the Aegean islands. They spent just over two years exploring Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, the Caribbean and the Bahamas before riding the Gulf Stream north around Cape Hatteras and sailing up the Chesapeake.”