President Trump did a wide-ranging interview on Sunday during a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News, and which was conducted in front of the stunning backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial.
One of the questions asked by a viewer during the interview was regarding his adversarial relationship with the mainstream media. Here’s what Carolyn Perkins, described by Fox News’s Martha MacCallum as a “a retired nurse and an elementary school guidance counselor”, asked Trump:
Perkins: President Trump, my husband and I thank you, your family and your staff for your great dedication to our country. We pray for you every day. The question I have is about your manner of presentation. Why do you use descriptive words that could be classified as bullying, and why do you not directly answer the questions asked by the press, but instead speak of past successes and generally ramble? The U.S.A. needs you. Please let go of those behaviors that are turning people away from you. Please hold onto your wonderful attributes that make you our great leader and let go of other characteristics that do not serve you.
Here’s how Trump responded:
“I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen,” Trump said, sitting in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. “The closest would be that gentleman right up there. They always said Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”
“They come at me with questions that are disgraceful, to be honest. Disgraceful,” he continued. “Their manner of presentation and their words. I feel if I was kind to them, I’d be walked off the stage. I mean, they come at you with the most horrible, horrendous, biased questions.”
Here are two video clips from that segment:
In response to a supporter asking why Pres. Trump speaks to the press the way he does, he says "If I was kind to them, I'd be walked off the stage." pic.twitter.com/O5FtsL6KpA
— Haleigh Hoffman (@HaleighHoffman) May 4, 2020
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media immediately ran with a false narrative and took the quote out of context by falsely insinuating he was talking about Lincoln’s presidency in a general sense, but we’ve learned not to expect anything better of the White House press corps.
Shockingly (not), disgraced former CBS News anchor Dan Rather jumped on the bandgwagon this morning, also conveniently leaving out the context of Trump’s remarks while trying to dunk on him for making the comparison:
One rule of American politics: don't compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 4, 2020
Considering Rather’s well-established history of perpetuating fake news, his tweet did not go over well at all:
One rule of political journalism: make sure your fonts match when forging papers. https://t.co/sh6adERetL
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) May 4, 2020
Second rule … don't promote forged documents.https://t.co/p8716hlhrt
— David Henry (@imau2fan) May 4, 2020
One rule in Journalism, don’t file a false report close to a presidential election. And when it’s found out to be bogus, dont keep insisting the report was true.
— Jeff Dunetz (@yidwithlid) May 4, 2020
One rule of journalism: don't fabricate stories and peddle them as news (it will cost you your career)
— Mark Serrano (@MarkVSerrano) May 4, 2020
Another rule – don’t call yourself a journalist when you’re nothing but a Leftist hack
— Rogan O’Handley 🇺🇸 (@DC_Draino) May 4, 2020
Not only that, but I don’t seem to recall Rather expressing the same sentiment when Barack Obama ran for president in 2007-2008. Virtually his entire campaign was based on making comparisons to Abe Lincoln, including his campaign launch and his inaugural address and beyond. Not only that, but the media ran right along with him in making the comparisons throughout his presidency.
Mr. Rather probably should have sat this one out, but he didn’t, and this was the predictable result…
Update: A reader provides this timely reminder:
“Lincoln — they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”—Barack Obama, 2011. https://t.co/IXw8a8lpKW 👀
— Tom Kattman (@TomKattman) May 4, 2020