When an otherwise pleasant fall morning is interrupted by heinous acts of political terrorism, there is a tendence for public figures and the press to rush out statements of sympathy and determination to confront and eliminate such threats. That’s understandable and appropriate under the circumstances. But when certain people and organizations prior bad behavior is considered in the mix, it’s impossible to ignore the hypocrisy.
That’s what we are facing with the statements released by Donald Trump and Fox News in response to the mail bombs sent to the Clintons, the Obamas, CNN, and others. We can expect fringe characters like Alex Jones to whine about “false Flag” operations (which he did – And Rush Limbaugh too). Let’s begin with the statement by Fox News that sought to empathize with the threat to CNN. Fox said that:
“We condemn all attempted acts of violence against media organizations and our thoughts are with CNN for the safety of all of their employees.”
Really? Why didn’t Fox News condemn the act of violence committed by Republican congressman Greg Gianforte, who body slammed a reporter for merely asking a question at a public event? And why didn’t Fox condemn Trump when he praised Gianforte and said that “Any guy who can do a body slam, he’s my guy”? If Fox News were sincere about their condemnation today, they would be more consistent in their expression of it.
What’s more, Fox wouldn’t tolerate their contributors making statements that dismiss the seriousness of these mail bombs. And they wouldn’t allow them to blame the victims. Like their FBI expert saying that “It could be someone who is trying to get the Democratic vote out and incur sympathy.” Or their contributor Candace Owens whose tweet (now deleted) said that:
“I’m going to go ahead and state that there is 0% chance that these ‘suspicious packages’ were sent out by conservatives. The only thing ‘suspicious’ about these packages, was their timing. Caravans, fake bomb threats – these leftists are going ALL OUT for midterms.”
As for the President, he spoke briefly at a White House affair (video below) where he said that “In these times we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” Once again, this is the same person who heartily endorsed a candidate who pleaded guilty to assaulting a journalist. And that’s only the tip of Trump’s iceberg of incendiary hate speech.
If either Trump or Fox News really want people to believe they mean it when they condemn political violence, they will have to demonstrate that their opposition isn’t given only when it is politically convenient. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. It’s a pretty safe bet that Trump will resume his toxic dialogue at his next cult rally. And it’s similarly safe to presume that Fox will defend him after the fact.
That’s because they don’t really care about toning down their inflammatory rhetoric so long as they think there is a political advantage in it. That’s the core principle of their campaign strategy. And if they think it’s working two weeks before an election, they’ll keep using it. No matter how many more people might be put in danger as result of their recklessness.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
The safety of the American People is my highest priority. I have just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service… pic.twitter.com/nEUBcq4NOh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018