Media to blame for the violent intolerance, Trump charges

Herb Boyd | 11/1/2018, 11:05 a.m.
In a nation reeling from an anti-Semitic massacre, prominent Americans targeted with pipe bombs and the right-wing animus of white ...
President Donald Trump CNN photo

In a nation reeling from an anti-Semitic massacre, prominent Americans targeted with pipe bombs and the right-wing animus of white men, for Trump the media is to blame. “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”

The mainstream media, Trump added, “must clean up its act. Fast!”

Citing the media as the culprit is nothing new in the Trump universe. It is something first heard when he charged that the press is “the enemy of the people.” He recently praised a politician for body slamming a reporter and all of that is consistent with his derisive mantra about “fake news.”

He pushed this accusation further during a speech at a rally in Wisconsin. After calling for “unity” and saying that Americans must all “come together,” Trump soon left the request for peace and harmony behind, pointing the finger at the press and insisting that it had the responsibility for “civility.”

“The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” he told an appreciative audience.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, one of the 14 recipients of the packages with explosive devices, said that instead of “blaming others,” Trump should “look in the mirror.” Brennan added, “Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies…encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act…Try to be presidential. The American people deserve better.”

As if accepting Brennan’s comments, Trump at another recent rally told the crowd he was going to tone down his rhetoric, which was nothing more than a ploy to draw the expected reaction from his faithful. “If you don’t mind,” he said, “I’m going to tone it down just a little bit. Is that OK?”

The crowd cheered its disapproval.

Like an earlier response to a heckler during his presidential campaign when he promised to pay the legal fees of anyone charged with assault for defending him, and his double talk after the Charlottesville fiasco, Trump seems to always find a way to fuel the resentment, rather than offering words of calm and reconciliation.

These recent tragic incidents, including the one in which two Black people were killed outside a grocery store in Kentucky by a white man who failed to gain entry to a Black church, will almost certainly be followed by other copycat attacks, many of them motivated by the violent rhetoric that flows from the top down in our government.