Donald Trump has stirred a hornet’s nest with his cries of “fake news” and the angry hornets are starting to leave the nest in search of victims. In the current polarized political climate, with tempers running high, it is nothing short of criminal negligence for Trump to tweet and yell “fake news” on a daily, if not hourly basis, further adding to the divisiveness and angst. Worse, endangering the lives of the very people who we rely on to keep us informed.
Yesterday, a young man named Brandon Griesemer from Novi, Michigan, was arrested after threatening to murder numerous CNN reporters.
One day last week, the man called CNN no less than 22 times, issuing threats:
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down.”
“I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.”
“I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f—ing gun every single last one of you.”
Fortunately, the FBI were able to trace the call and arrested the man over the threats. But this may be only the beginning, as Trump’s supporters seem willing and eager to believe his every word, and may be convinced that the legitimate press is, indeed, ‘the enemy’.
In addition to calling out CNN, The Washington Post, and the New York Times repeatedly for the past two years, remember when Trump tweeted a gif of himself tackling a man with the CNN logo?
To be sure, Mr. Griesemer obviously had some mental/emotional issues, but … that does not excuse Trump. If the man had not heard the person at the helm saying ‘shoot the whales’, he would not likely have had the idea to shoot the whales. Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker says she has frequently received death threats after writing an article critical of Trump, and that she is not alone in this.
Why is it against the law to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, or “Bomb!” aboard an airplane? Because people will take it as a call to action and somebody will get hurt, or worse. When Trump yells to a crowd that they should “get him out of here”, referring to a protester, it is seen as a call to action and the protestor is as likely as not to be injured. When Trump yells “fake news!”, there are those who see this as a call to action, a directive from the president himself, to eradicate those who would be so cheeky as to denigrate the man they adore.
Trump has had a running feud with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of NBC’s popular Morning Joe talk show, as evidenced by this tweet:
“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!” – 8:20 AM – 1 Jul 2017
Come on, people, really? Is this the language of an adult? Any adult, let along the leader of a nation of 330 million people? It is ridiculous, yes, but as we see from the CNN case, it is also gravely dangerous.
Trump’s position gives him immunity from many things that you and I would be sitting in a jail cell for right now. But there must be standards of accountability, even for those at the highest levels.
Did you ever hear President Obama, Bush, Clinton, Carter or Reagan refer to the press as “fake media”? No, you did not, for while each of those leaders sometimes had issues with the press, was often frustrated with the reporting, the ‘bad’ press, they understood the value and necessity of our free press. And they were all professionals, while Trump is naught but an amateur dressed up to look like a leader.
62,984,825 adults voted for Donald Trump on 08 November 2016. Surely they thought they were voting for an adult, but more and more they must be starting to realize that they, in fact, put an obnoxious teenager in the White House. If a single journalist is maimed or murdered because somebody took Trump’s cries of “fake news” seriously, then Donald Trump is complicit and should be held accountable. Must be held accountable, else we are edging ever closer to the Turkish and Russian models. Those of you who are still supporting Trump must make your voices heard and let him know in no uncertain terms that you, his base, will not tolerate the demeaning of our Constitutional rights, of our right to a free press. He listens to you … he does not listen to me.
I do not want to see even one journalist or writer murdered because of Trump’s foul mouth, for if so much as a single journalist is murdered, then our free press will also have been murdered. Think about it.