Today, President Trump said that "Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.
Honestly, I have real issues with President Trump uttering those words.
The words that ring through my mind and memory are “FAKE NEWS” whenever it seems that a media report questions his ethics, his commitment to the United States vs. Putin, or his almost daily false claims.
The words that ring through my mind and memory are when he cites the media as the enemy of the people. As I have said before on numerous occasions, “fake” is defined by the necessary scienter of deception. Media might get things wrong as CNN, Fox News and all of the major media channels and papers have done before and since Trump made his political entry by repeating a false claim for years about President Obama’s birth. All of the media makes mistakes on many issues for numerous reasons including receiving misinformation and repeating bad facts. Might journalists lie or deceive? Sure. Yet ask yourself how many times can you actually cite and prove a specific falsehood uttered by any media person. I’m not talking about mistakes and sloppiness. I’m referring to lies and deceit. My guess, is very few occasions from both the right and the left-leaning media outlets. Yet, President Trump’s comments and public statements and tweets are full of distortions, lies, exaggerations. Both the NY Times and Washington Post have chronicled the false statements since inauguration and the number is now over 3000. The fact checkers reports of Pinnochios and pants on fire are off the charts.
Yet Trump and his surrogates have the indecency to call the media, fake?
Worse, and actually much worse, the President has frequently employed that phrase that runs terror down my spine. He boldly claims that the media “enemy of the American people”, even the “biggest enemy of the American people”. He must mean, the media is more of an enemy than North Korea with its nukes, Russia with its invasion into our elections, terrorist who gun down the innocent.
Frightening, he utters this while pointing towards the media during his rallies, calling them evil and hateful.
Sorry, that type of rhetoric simply is profoundly dangerous in an already boiling-hot hate-filled atmosphere of suspicion, blame disgust and recriminations.
It is no wonder that Milo Yiannapoulos recently said that he looks forward to members of the media being gunned down.
Let me be very clear—Trump is not alone in contaminating and polluting the American discourse. Maxine Waters promoted action that is protected by free speech but in my opinion is simply uncivil, harassing and potentially dangerous.
Michael Moore just said he feels the only way to get rid of Trump is to put your body on the line. How pathetic.
I could go on with examples of statements made by others on the left who absolutely deserve to be rebuked.
But, none of those people are the President of the United States. None of those people commands the authority, demands the allegiance as done the man in the Oval Office.
When I think of Trump and others engaging in such violent epitaths, I think of my deceased and distant relatives being called “vermin”, “criminals” by another demogogue who led the charge to take away the media from the German people.
He would call the media names at similar type rallies. As he began to control the media and outlaw outlets who had different views, his devoted followers would often feel justified for taking actions in their own hands.
Donald Trump and his cohorts did not pull any trigger of any gun. However, he has pulled the trigger of extreme hate towards members of the media doing their jobs to reveal what they consider to be the truth.
Hopefully, the next time the vile impulse flows through his body, he will remember that members of the media, like all Americans “should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job"..
As I see him red-faced while screaming “fake news”, “enemy of the American people” while pointing directly at those journalists as he calls them the most evil people, I hope the crowd reminds him of the fear these members of the media will likely feel that his very words will result in a violent attack against them, if not then, one day in the future.
I only hope he is reminded so.