Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric Leads to an Attack on a Member of the Press

Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric Leads to an Attack on a Member of the Press February 12, 2019

These are the very things about Donald Trump and his faithful MAGA devotees that should both concern and enrage every other decent American.

These are the very things I keep pointing out as a reason to reject and fight back against the cancer of Trumpism.

Honestly, I don’t care what your views are on the media. I know that most mainstream media leans left and their coverage of the news, whatever it may be, is always slanted from that angle.

I also know there are networks like OANN and American Pravda (Fox News, for those who haven’t picked it up, yet) who are no better, only differently slanted.

What we cannot allow is for a would-be authoritarian despot to continue to label a free press the “enemy of the people.”

The enemy of a free people is one who would attempt to shut down any voices of dissent and funnel any information through his own, pre-approved filter.

That is what Donald Trump has wanted, from the start.

His inability to control the press – beyond Fox News, that is – has driven him to whip up the negative energy of his fan base, in order that the “Lügenpresse” might be intimidated into silence, if not completely shut down.

What Donald Trump says, his base responds to.

On Monday night, the president was in El Paso, Texas holding one of his rallies. He’s had enough of these by now that everyone knows the shtick.

He yammered on about things he’s done that haven’t actually been done (such as building the wall).

He lied about random people approaching him in tears, thanking him for his glorious service.

And of course, he attacked the media and whipped up his adoring, unthinking fans to turn their ire on the press members assembled to the back of the room.

I, and others have been saying that it was only a matter of time before one of those red capped acolytes took their liege’s rhetoric to the next level.

On Monday night, we saw just that.

During one riff on Monday, Trump complained of coverage of his administration, saying that “no matter what we do, they figure out a way to make it” negative. Booing ensued from the crowd.

In another segment, Trump claimed that “some of the most dishonest people in media are the so-called fact checkers.” The crowd rained down additional jeers.

It is common for crowds at Trump rallies to turn toward the press pen in the back of the venue and heckle journalists and cameramen, or break out in chants such as “CNN sucks.”

The usual, and it is shameful.

Then, of course, one man took it too far, jumped into the press pit, and attacked a member of the press.

BBC cameraman Ron Skeans was, per a BBC spokesman, “violently pushed and shoved by a member of the crowd while covering a President Trump rally in Texas last night.”

“F— the media,” the man, who was not immediately identified but was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, could be heard shouting in footage from the incident.

“The man was removed by security and Ron is fine,” the statement continued. “The president could see the incident and checked with us that all was OK. It is clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job.”

To his credit, President Trump did, indeed, ask if the cameraman was ok, after the fact. That doesn’t excuse the fact that his rhetoric was the impetus for the attack, in the first place.

It was a loathsome display, and only a small taste of what could happen.

So to what end?

A people who would rather control the press, by violence and fear, if necessary, are not a people who can be trusted with the future of our republic.


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  • IllinoisPatriot

    So with Trump constantly attacking and attempting to delegitimize the Free Press while claiming their reporting was “unfair” during the primaries and then non-stop ever since, who did NOT predict that sooner or later there would be a direct line between Trump rhetoric and violence against the press at a Trump rally ?

    What remains to be found out is what consequences will occur from Trump’s attempts to delegitimize the courts. Same question for Congress. Same question for the Mueller Probe. Same question for anyone that does not bow down and worship him (see recent Trump-inspired political blackmail of Jeff Bezos).

    We’ve already seen Trump supporters positioned (planted?) within the RNC attempt to cancel primary elections in S. Carolina. We’ve also seen Trump supporters within the RNC change the rules (or at least attempt to do so) to make any primary challenge to Trump impossible from within the GOP. We’ve seen Trump supporters within the GOP “soften” the Party Platform language against Russia at the 2016 convention. We’ve seen Trump supporters at the GOP convention ignore the RNC’s own by-laws and strong-arm (even threaten) non-Trump-aligned representatives for not “kissing Trump’s … (ring)”.

    It is starting to look like Trump is attempting to stage a revolution within the US intended to install himself as permanent Emperor of the US – no more elections, no more checks either from Congress or from the Courts on his decrees (power) and with an informal set of “nobility” in the form of favored cronies, “fixers”, and long-term “associates” like Roger Stone, Sean Hannity, Greta Carlson, Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon, …. Let us not forget that during the primaries in 2015/2016 Trump repeatedly referred to the US as a “democracy”, demanding “one person / one vote”, and also demanding an end to the Electoral College substituting the popular vote for the Republican system of representation we know today. Trump also suggested (red-cappers now say he did so in jest) that the country should dispense with the primary process altogether and just nominate him as President by acclamation.

    I wish I was wrong in believing that Trump is attempting to facilitate a coup within the US Government, but his continued defense and worship of dictators like Putin and Kim Jung Un and Xing (from China) is beginning to spook me.

  • JASmius

    I’m not sure why Trump inquired if the BBC cameraman was okay, as I can’t believe he really cared what happened to the guy. I do notice that he did so privately rather than on stage. That suggests that it isn’t necessarily that Trump wants to see media members physically harmed, but merely muzzled either by executive order or via surrogates’ blackmail and extortion . If any reporters do get shoved or choke-slammed, hey, he didn’t TELL his cultists to do that (recently), and after all, it’s the press’s “cost of doing business”, right?

    What this latest episode illustrates is that he absolutely lives for these beer hall/Nurembergesque “rallies”. He detests every other aspect of the presidency – you know, reading his PDBs, summits with allies (not enemies – he lives for those, too), meetings with his Cabinet and congressional leaders, getting regularly pantsed by Nancy Pelosi, NOT being a delusional lunatic, etc. – which is why over half his “work”days are taken up with goofing off on Twitter trying to “right every wrong”, avenge every perceived slight, and otherwise being his own “press secretary” (Miss Piggy is probably crushed about that). Oh, and Robert Mueller isn’t on his CHRISTMAS, BLAST IT card list. But those idolatrous quasi-riots? If he didn’t have his cult, he really might take his I-phone and waddle, or drive his golf cart, back to Manhattan. Oh, yeah, I forgot about all the weekend golf. Don’t forget those nine billion holes and cheating like Judge Smails on every scorecard.

    The point is, when he’s in front of his crazed, frothing Redcap hordes, he’s in his element. Full performance mode. Mountains of composted word salads. Streams of demented consciousness. The voices in his head escape and run amok. Or basically what he does wondering the halls of the White House every day except with an audience. Since he allegedly doesn’t drink or do drugs (anymore, at least), it’s his lone addiction. It’s why his Twitter TL got so pathetically morose during his shutdown fiasco. No audience. No worshipful crowds. No ego affirmation. Like forcibly putting Bill Clinton in a monastery twenty years ago. And when was Trump’s last rally hit? Early November? All that backed-up oral BS threatening to erupt; who says the man has no self-control? And if a foreign cameraman has to be hospitalized to get that fix, well, so be it, right? The “show” must go on, after all.

  • JASmius

    Our saving grace in the above is that Trump has neither the brains nor the self-discipline to make himself into the American Putin/Xi/Kim/Whomever. He definitely has dictator-envy and would love to fully join their ranks, but he’s a dilettante and a pretender. The real dictators know this, which is how and why they effortlessly manipulate him. They regularly humiliate him and his narcissism literally renders him too stupid to realize it.

    The other thing Trump lacks to install himself as president-for-life is a cadre of fellow-travelers a lot smarter, more ruthless, and more competent at coups than he is. Heck, most of them are in jail by now or soon will be, because they’re just as arrogantly in over their heads. And Senate Republicans are being practically driven away from him on the Khashoggi murder, his Obamaesque foreign policy, and the shutdown debacle; repeat that mistake, or bull ahead with the phony “national emergency” stunt, both of which they’re loudly warning him against, and he might not have that minimum of 34 acquittal votes if the “i” word becomes a reality.

    I somewhat feared such a presidential coup at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency (we did get Al Gore’s election theft attempt, so that concern was justified); I downright expected one from Barack Obama. But Trump? He’s a small-time gangster who was a big fish in his own little pond but is now thrown into a “deep end” the size of the Marianas trench. He lacks both the ability and the means to pull off something that unthinkably seismic. To modify a famous phrase, Trump’s dictator spirit is willing, but his dictator flesh is weak.

  • The malicious spirit which permeated the French Revolution has found residence inside the Trump movement. Lest we forget what happens when nationalists becomes emboldened, France’s Reign of Terror started with Robespierre’s insistence on associating terror with virtue. Which was his effort to make the republic a morally united patriotic community that resulted in mass bloodshed.

    Where Trumpists go from here is dependent on what they believe they can get away with. And with President Trumpespierre being the de facto leader of this confederacy of dunces, this faction of neo-Jacobins are beginning to believe they can get away with their own reign of terror.

    To be clear, a faction is according to Webster’s Dictionary: a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

    George Washington warned of all this in his Farewell Address:

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

  • Stephen

    “A people who would rather control the press, by violence and fear, if necessary, are not a people who can be trusted with the future of our republic.”
    Which is why we have to organize and out vote them. I get most of my news and even opinion from the printed news. There are papers and magazines that range the political spectrum but basically tow the truth. You can subscribed online to the best news papers and magazines on the planet. The most left leaning one I read is the NYT and the right leaning one is The Wall Street Journal. Both excellent papers. In total I subscribed and read 7 news papers and magazines. You can be informed if you want to be.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I would agree with you if it were not for the coaching he is undoubtedly receiving from Putin at every private meeting, excuse for “private summit”, or even during his “executive time” from intermediaries (associates) Trump calls just before he goes down to report for work in the afternoon.

    As it is, there are FAR too many opportunities for Trump to have imported the expertise he Putin needs to accomplish the takeover while playing Trump like a marionette dancing for the MAGAs.

    We should not make the mistake of underestimating Trump’s associates now that Putin (master chessmaster?) has been identified as being in the game.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I submit that there is something FAR MORE important than reading the news or reading news with different biases: ANALYZING everything you read: detecting (and rephrasing) the bias you find in the articles into your own words. You will find that they can be made to fit into a common narrative (whether the “news” originates from the left or from the right. ALL news (left or right) originates with objective actions. It is the job of the reader to ANALYZE the disparate sources and to deduce the original actions that originated in the news, then to put those ACTIONS into context as to importance and relevance to the health of this country and to the beliefs of the individual. By reading from different biases, you have the opportunity to obtain facts that one side or the other chooses to hide or ignore (through omission) and you can easily spot specific areas where the political beliefs of the different authors collide. By reading about the same events from different sources, you can find that some authors (*COUGH* Byron York *COUGH*) are (on different days) both FOR and AGAINST the very same actions depending on who in government takes those actions.

    A good start for those not used to this exercise is to take virtually any article and remove all adjectives and adverbs, then re-read the contents (sans adjectives and adverbs) – rephrasing every sentence into your own words – DO NOT USE THE AUTHOR’S WORDS as doing so allows some of the author’s intent and bias into your mind to color your perception. ALWAYS rephrase everything you read sentence by sentence. Repeating the sentence in your own words (out loud if necessary) – and adding a hefty dose of doubt – will often show the incongruities and attempts to bias your opinion the authors are making (but trying to hide) through the use of emotional or political “tone” (adverbs, adjectives, and word choices) that are designed to distract your intellect from the content and to stimulate / guide your emotions down the path of hatred / envy / greed / outrage / (any other easily-stimulated base or destructive emotion).

    The above process can be considered a form of “critical thinking” that far too many people either know nothing about, have never tried or do not know how to do. However, the above process CAN be used to filter out much of the opinion and bias that now permeates every news outlet in the US – at least now that objective coverage is no longer either considered a goal of journalism nor even a desirable practice of “journ-o-lism”.

    Finally, consider outlets like AMI: we know have legal proof that they intentionally participated in covering up and killing stories to aid Donald Trump. Can we really put much faith in anything they have to say after they’ve admitted breaking the law (which has resulted in a non-prosecutorial agreement that they may well have violated with the Bezos blackmail attempt ?) Some outlets are best simply ignored if they have proven to be actively political as (unless widely reported elsewhere) anything they print may well be a compilation of lies and outright disinformation intended to be pointed to by others as ‘source material’ as long as no one ever does a careful analysis of WHAT they are reporting and (just as important) what they are NOT reporting, had to have known about.

  • Ronald Langdon

    The so-called free press is merely puppets for the democratic party. I think anyone would react to the totally unfair and bias attacks beginning at the nominations for the President in 2016. The daily bombardment of lies and inuendoes fired at Trump were evil in every way.. There was no truth to be found in the msm even to the polling that was totally lies and in support of Hillary Clinton. There has been no let-up in their lying attacks on Trump to this day. The press has lost its way and purpose for their existence. Just a bunch of socialists-communist with an agenda.. Free press gives Trump the right to attack and criticize the press just as they do continually to him.

  • Ellen Elmore

    I am not surprised that a MAGA hat wearing cult member attacked the press. It’s what Trump has been pushing for since the beginning of his presidency. It is his dream come true. I don’t know if any of the other comments come from Democrats or Republicans. I am a Christian, constitutional conservative with no political home. I am always and forever #NeverTrump AND #NeverDemocrat.

  • Hi Ronald

    You seem to harbor some degree of hostility towards socialists-communists. If so, why then do you support Trump whose campaign platform included:

    Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability;

    Provide 6 weeks of paid leave to new mothers before returning to work;

    Fix Our Broken Mental Health System

    Besides being socialist, can you cite the enumerated powers in the Constitution which authorizes the federal government to make law and spend the tax-payers money on those objects?

    By the way did you know providing paid leave for families to take care of new babies is officially part of the Democratic Party Platform? During the campaign Trump insisted his plan would only include mothers just as his campaign platform stated, but in the Trump’s Administration’s ‘Analytical Perspectives BUDGET OF THE U. S. GOVERNMENT Fiscal Year 2018’, his proposal to Congress now includes fathers and adoptive parents. The only difference now between the two plans is whether it will be six or twelve weeks. Trump has already compromised even before the matter has been taken up before the Congress, so I think it is safe to say that he will do so again. Even if Trump does hold out at six weeks, the unconstitutional precedent is set for the Democrats to quickly raise it to twelve weeks and beyond.

    May I assume by your disdain of communism and socialism that you are familiar with their doctrines, such as:

    “I believe we need a civil rights agenda for our time, one that ensures the rights to a great education, so important, and the right to live in a good-paying job and one that you love to go to every morning.” ~Donald Trump, speaking at Great Faith Ministries International Church (9/3/2016)

    Fwiw, back in 2000 Trump was wanting to amend the Civil Rights Amendment to include sexual orientation (i.e. protect and impose a deviant lifestyle on the public at the cost of religious liberty).

    Moving on… In March of 2016 in a interview with Anderson Cooper, Trump was asked what he thought the federal government’s top three roles are, here was his answer.

    “I say all top three are security, but health care, education, would be probably three that would be top.”

    Anderson Cooper tried to clarify. “So in terms of federal government role, you’re saying security, but you also say health care and education should be provided by the federal government?”

    Trump replied, “yeah, those are two of the things. Yeah, sure. there are obviously many things, housing, providing great neighborhoods—”

    Again, where in the Constitution does it permit the federal government to make laws concerning those objects and why would anyone want the federal government involved in those matters in the first place?

    Remember these are not opinions but facts, so I will leave you with this quote by John Adams while you reevaluate your admiration of Trump..

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

  • Fmontyr

    You are wrong on so many scores that I won’t say anything about your ridiculous comments. Let’s just leave them hanging out there and allow viewers to decide where the ignorance and bias are.

  • John225

    Violence is unacceptable period. Everything you said is just making excusses for it.