Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency he has made a point expressing his hostility to the Constitution’s protection of the free press and to anyone who would challenge his supremacy as King of America. Trump has slandered the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the American people.” And he frequently calls out reporters by name to accuse them of being “fake news.” Of course, by his definition any news that is less than glassy-eyed adoration he regards as fake.
As the Trump-Kim Circus drew to a close this week, Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, parroted Trump’s loathing for the press in a Tweet that appears to imitate Trump’s own rancor. He said that:
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 12, 2018
That anti-American outburst drew an appropriate reply from CNN’s Acosta, who told Parscale that “Dictatorships take away press credentials. Not democracies.” Not that that will have any impact on the censorious attitudes of Trump and his minions. Earlier Parscale posted a similarly totalitarian notion in a tweet that said that “The media should be cheering @realDonaldTrump’s progress with North Korea.” As if it’s the job of the media to “cheer” for any politician.
Naturally, Fox News rushed to Parscale’s defense by delivering their own attack on Acosta. On Fox and Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced a segment with Trump’s Senior Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, by quoting the headline of an article from the ultra-rightist website, The Daily Wire: “Watch: CNN’s Jim Acosta interrupts historic signing ceremony, shouts at Trump.” Surprisingly, she then played the video showing Acosta to be rather demure and respectful, which contradicts the whole narrative of her reporting. That was followed by this exchange (video below):
Earhardt: So there are some critics, Kellyanne, saying that he was choosing the wrong moment, a historic moment, to throw out questions to the President. And then the 2020 campaign manager for President Trump, Brad Parscale, who’s been on our show before, he’s now calling for Acosta to lose his press credentials. He thought it was inappropriate. What are your thoughts, and what are the President’s thoughts?
Conway: Well, some people in the White House press corps do that routinely. I’m not naming any names cause why give it oxygen? They certainly want to make it about me, myself, and I. On Twitter they’re all a hot mess with all this snark and bark toward this president and those who work for him, including those at the White House, in the Cabinet and elsewhere. Things that would not pass editorial muster in the newspaper. I call it social media muscle, cable news cajones. Many of them demonstrate that but don’t have the courage.
Conway, of course, is an expert on hot messes and can snark and bark with the best of them. but if you’re paying attention you will have noticed that Conway failed to take issue with Parscale’s desire to see reporters get punished for being independent and aggressive seekers of truth. Rather, she affirmed the criticism that anyone who disagrees with the President is an annoyance and a coward who ought to be silenced. That’s the sort of philosophy practiced by tyrants like Trump’s new BFF, Kim Jong Un. And Conway elaborated on by adding that:
“People really need to figure out how to cover this president in a respectful manner. They can be skeptical. They can be probing. But there’s a time and a place. Be a polite house guest.”
Exactly. Treat Trump with the same measure of refined courtesy that Fox News and Conway treated President Obama for eight years. You remember. The constant allegations that he was a Muslim born in Kenya who associated with terrorists and hated America. That kind of “respectful manners.” Right?
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.