In this file photo Mika Brzezinski waits for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. President Donald Trump has used a series of tweets to go after Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who’ve criticized Trump on their MSNBC show “Morning Joe.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
This has been one of the most hectic and disturbing news cycles I can remember.
It started off with three mass shootings within a 24 hour period, one in El Paso, one in Dayton, and one in Chicago. Because the latter two didn’t fit the narrative, they were essentially memory-holed right away. I don’t think the shooting in Chicago even made national news for the most part.
While acts of evil are distressing enough, it was the response to those shootings which has brought such a unique dread to the public sphere. Bad things have happened throughout our history, but the venom with which one side is attacking the other over things they had nothing to do with has reached a new level in the modern era. It really does feel like we are coming apart at the seams, with near majorities of the country being accused of “white supremacy” by some major figures simply for supporting a politician.
Driving the division, broad brushing, and hatred this week has been the liberal media. Whether it’s newspapers amplifying the disgusting rhetoric of people like Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren or the constant stream of divisive, racially tinged editorials that are being pushed out, there’s no question of their role. The cable news beat has been even worse, with one MSNBC host actually saying that Donald Trump wants there to be mass shootings while another threatened business owners as complicit in white supremacy who donate to the GOP.
I never thought I’d say this during the Trump era because things are always so crazy, but this week was different. A line was crossed by the media and there’s no going back.
Here’s a sampling of some of the insane and incredibly dangerous rhetoric that’s been bandied about.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace falsely claims that Trump is “talking about exterminating Latinos”
This is a complete lie and is extremely dangerous rhetoric in today’s volatile atmosphere pic.twitter.com/S5Yda6MUQR
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 6, 2019
— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) August 6, 2019
Opinion: Trump’s speech would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 5, 2019
On "Morning Joe" this morning, Mika Brzezinski actually accused the President of the United States of WANTING mass murders to happen.
This is not some random fringe internet news outlet. This is our mainstream media, and one of the most-watched morning shows in the country. pic.twitter.com/NlmWpV1Fw0
— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) August 6, 2019
Meanwhile, you had outlets like The Daily Beast making up quotes in order to further incite hatred toward Mitch McConnell. That hatred manifested in a protest outside his house where people actually screamed that they wanted to stab the Senate Majority Leader in the heart. Twitter decided to scrub the video from their platform for obvious reasons, but here’s another source.
Things escalated further when Joaquin Castro decided to publicly post a chart containing the names, addresses, and employers of Trump donors. This was obviously done to spurn harassment of those individuals, who included retirees and a homemaker among the list of non-public figures. There would be no other reason to do what Castro did, even though he’s attempting to claim otherwise now.
While the press continues to blame Republicans for their “rhetoric,” there’s no question that the vitriol we’ve seen from the left this week dwarfs anything anyone on the mainstream right has ever said or done in a political setting. Period. Calling entire voting blocks white supremacists, doxxing donors, yelling for the death of a Senator, asserting Republicans want mass shootings to occur, threatening people for their political activities, asserting the President wants to exterminate a race – these are not the rantings of sane people looking for de-escalation of rhetoric. They are the drivers of escalation in our rhetoric and it’s reaching dangerous levels.
There’s no coming back from this for the media. There will never be a time when a majority of the country trusts them again. They will always now be looked on with scorn by far more people than those who approve of their actions. No amount of rehabilitation post-Trump is going to save this current generation of journalists and cable news pundits from the credibility death spiral they chose to enter.
These people have lost it. They are so caught up in their bubbles that they can’t even function with any sense of rationality. As the press as an institution finally burns to the ground, they have no one to blame but themselves and things are only going to get worse.
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