Last week the CNN offices in Atlanta received a barrage of threatening phone calls by a man who claimed he was on his way over to “gun down” everyone at what he called the “fake news” network. His language was straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook for intimidating the media that he despises so much. Any objective person would recognize that the deranged caller was inspired by what he heard Trump saying for the past two years.
That said, it might be unreasonable to expect to find many objective persons at Fox News. And Sunday Morning on MediaBuzz proved that point. The program hosted by Fox’s media correspondent, and right-wing tool, Howard Kurtz, raised the subject of the threats against CNN with his panel of analysts (video below). Among them was Emily Jashinsky of the ultra-rightist Washington Examiner. When asked whether she thought Trump bore any responsibility for the threats, Jashinsky said that…
“I don’t think there’s anything specific that you can point to that Donald Trump himself has said or done that is directly inciting violence.”
SRSLY? Has Jashinsky been held in captivity in underground Idaho bunkers by Apocalyptic cultists for the past couple of years? If not, her ignorance exposes a profound cognitive fracture. There are too many examples of Trump’s overtly hostile rhetoric to list here. But a few of the more heinous ones include:
- Calling the media “the enemy of the American people.”
- Praising neo-Nazis as “very fine people“ after a march where a counter-protester was murdered.
- Posting a tweet of him body-slamming a CNN character in a video.
- Posting a tweet of a train running over a CNN character in a video.
- Speculating about whether he might kill reporters covering his campaign.
- Asking his supporters at a rally to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and promising to pay their legal fees.
- Yearning for the days when a protester would be “carried out in a stretcher,” and saying that he’d “like to punch him in the face.”
- When speculating about the possibility of Hillary Clinton nominating Supreme Court justices, Trump was comforted by the the thought that “the Second Amendment people” could stop her.
What’s more, Trump regularly refers to the press as “sleazy,” “dishonest,” and “the most horrible people.” He portrays the media, individually and as an institution, as corrupt and committed to destroying his presidency and the country. It isn’t hard to imagine that an unstable Trump supporter (are there any other kind?) might take those verbal attacks to the next level and be convinced that he’s carrying out Trump’s wishes.
As for Kurtz, he is a dyed-in-the-wool Trump sycophant who is no less culpable for this violent rhetoric. During the campaign Kurtz was aghast at what he incorrectly thought was negative treatment of Trump by the press. Kurtz said it was “almost like the press put out a mob hit on Donald Trump.” See? Nothing remotely violent in that kind of language. And nothing that would spur a Trump-worshiping nutcase to take matters into his own hands and “make America great again.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.