Friday, 25 August 2017

Media Echo Chamber After Trump's Phoenix Speech: "We're So Afraid"

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President Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix on Tuesday has set off a new round in the Media Vs. Trump war. (A video of the full event can be viewed here.) “Journalists” and commentators of the establishment press are competing, it appears, to cast the president’s remarks in the most negative light possible, even suggesting that he is inciting violent attacks against the press. Not surprisingly, CNN (the all-Trump-all-hate-all-the-time network) has taken the lead in the crybully chorus, with anchors, hosts, and panelists all trading hysterical comments concerning the imagined threats implied in the president’s harsh criticism of the media. That criticism included calling some members of the media “sick people,” “bad people,” and "dishonest." 

Since the speech, CNN has featured one program after another, with pundits and guests declaiming against what they insist are President Trump’s calls to violence.

“It’s terrible,” CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told anchor Wolf Blitzer during a CNN panel discussion on Wednesday. “I mean, you know, someone is going to do something awful to a journalist. I feel for our colleagues who are sitting there as people yell and boo and chant ‘CNN sucks.'” Continuing, Toobin asserted that Trump is “knowingly” engaging in “clear incitement.” “This is a very near to a violent situation right now,” Toobin charged. “And if something violent happens, he’s going to say, oh, well I never told anyone to commit violence.”

CNN anchor Clarissa Ward opened her Wednesday commentary worriedly noting the “vitriol of last night's speech,” in which, she said Trump “unloaded his fury and defended his Charlottesville comments that inflamed racial tensions.” “Last night's remarks [were] so combative and divisive,” said Ward, that “former Intelligence Chief James Clapper publicly questioned whether President Trump is fit to hold office.”

In the same CNN segment, editor- at-large, Chris Cilizza told Ward and Brian Stelter: “But when you start saying things like the media doesn't want to make America great, they are not like us, they are rooting against the country, that's the insinuation there and not even really the insinuation, that is dangerous rhetoric. It is dangerous. Something is going to happen. You cannot vilify the media like this. I'm a reporter, but you cannot do this with any profession.”

CNN’s Sara Murray tweeted: “Trump knows what he's saying is false. Ppl close to him know it puts journalists at risk just for doing their jobs. He does it anyway.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted: “This is why I keep calling the president's words "poison." His attacks seep into the country's bloodstream.”

On and on it continues, 24/7. The same day, Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN’s daily Situation Room, brought on Rep. John Garamendi of California to once again remind viewers that Trump is following the Hitler playbook. “If one were to look at Nazi Germany,” according to Garamendi, a veteran leftwing Democrat, “that was the very early part of their tenure, ... to delegitimize the press. They constantly attacked the press.” Nevermind that the establishment press has been doing a pretty good job of delegitimizing itself quite apart from anything Trump has directed at them. Did Blitzer caution his guest, in the name of civility, to refrain from such hyperbolic and inflammatory rhetoric? Of course not; instead he urged him to continue — which Garamendi was only too happy to do. “This man is clearly not fit to be president,”  Garamendi charged, claiming he is “totally out of control” and “extremely dangerous.”

Jake Tapper, host of The Lead at CNN, used his entire program to blast Trump’s Phoenix speech. “Attacking the media by lying about the media,” he charged, “was a common theme last night.”

CNN anchor Don Lemon said the speech provided more proof that the president is “unhinged.” “What we have witnessed was a total eclipse of the facts, someone who came out on stage and lied directly to the American people,” Lemon charged.

CNN wasn’t alone in hurling forensic fusillades at the president, of course. At ABC News, Julia Vega, reporting from the Phoenix speech venue, told George Stephanopoulos that Trump's anti-media rhetoric is "incitement, plain and simple...it feels like a matter of time before someone gets hurt." Stephanopoulos responded that Trump’s statements are “Shocking!”

“To see this sort of attack coming yet again from the president is deeply disturbing,” said Courtney C. Radsch of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “It creates an environment in which attacks on the press, both verbal and potentially physical, could become common.”

Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for The New York Times, one of the media organizations specifically cited by Trump, said in a statement, “It is disturbing that the president would attack and encourage others to attack journalists for doing their jobs.”

The Crybullies’ Aggressor-Victim Tactics

For over a year now, the establishment media thought cartel has relentlessly lambasted Donald Trump and his supporters — meaning tens of millions of Americans — as a “racist,” “bigoted,” “white supremacist,” “white nationalist,” fascist,” “nazi,” “misogynist,” “xenophobic,” etc., etc. They have offered no apologies or mea culpas for enflaming and inciting anti-Trump violence, riots, and assassination threats. They have ignored, censored, and minimized the actual violent, physical attacks on Trump supporters, while blaming Trump and his supporters for violence in which they had no part and over which they had no control. And now, when the president calls them out for their massive deceit, duplicity, and lies, we are supposed to see in his remarks the dreadful image of Nazi brownshirts pummeling valiant journalists to the curb, or the Nazi Gauleiter sending courageous reporters off to Gestapo dungeons.

Will the American public buy this media-as-victim melodrama? It doesn’t look like it. There are too many independent sources of news now that daily expose the bias, distortions, lies, coverups, and propaganda of the “mainstream” media.

CNN, especially, it should be remembered, regularly features guest commentators such as Carl Bernstein, who calls Trump a fascist and a neonazi, and Professor (and professional race agitator) Michael Eric Dyson, who, among other outrages, called on black people to march on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with “revolutionary intentions” to stop Donald Trump, and engage in “confrontation,” even if it gets violent. Then, of course, there is CNN “comedienne” Kathy Griffin, whom the network was forced to sever relations with due to public outrage over her revolting mock severing of Donald Trump’s head.

The “journalist” provocateurs at CNN and the other “elite press” outfits dwell in a “Crybully Bubble,” where they reinforce each other in media group think, safely shielded (for the most part) from the violence and social mayhem they incite with their propaganda. They are most comfortable utilizing their powerful bully pulpits to mercilessly hammer opponents into submission. But, unlike most others they have encountered, Donald Trump doesn’t play that game, so they have switched gears, from being aggressor to playing victim. It’s not a particularly convincing act, especially to the millions of Americans who have already felt the lash of the crybullies’ whips. And that is why President Trump’s attacks on the “Fake News” media continue to resonate with so much of his base.

Photo of President Trump at Phoenix rally: AP Images

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