GOP war on media is revenge for media war on GOP
If members of the mainstream media are upset that President Donald Trump has called the media “the enemy of the American people,” the media have only themselves to blame.
Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” is not the first media figure to complain that he has received threats of violence in the wake of Trump’s attacks on the media. However, the media have been attacking Republicans and non-left-wing figures for years. The media is simply getting a taste of its own medicine.
For decades, Republican presidential candidates have been attacked in the media as fascist, racist, and misogynistic. It can hardly be surprising that some Americans believed they were under attack from a political party.
These attacks have led directly to violence.
In recent years, there have been violent attacks on the Family Research Council, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky). In the latter case, the attacker had posted to Facebook several virulently anti-Trump articles. In the former two cases, the attackers were reportedly fans of the Southern Poverty Leadership Center, a controversial far-left group known for smearing its political enemies as bigots.
What makes the attackers’ links to the SPLC more dangerous is that news organizations take its claims seriously. Recently, Chuck Todd’s NBC, as well as ABC and CNN, reported that the Alliance Defending Freedom, a civil-rights law firm, was a “hate group,” citing the SPLC’s description of the group. NBC did not add that the ADF had repeatedly defeated the SPLC in civil rights cases at the Supreme Court, with the SPLC defending the side accused of bigotry.
If Chuck Todd and NBC want the country to tone down its rhetoric, they can start with their own house. NBC employs Al Sharpton, whose anti-Semitic rhetoric inspired a mob to murder a young Jewish man during the 1991 Crown Heights Riots.
Perhaps the best compromise is for Chuck Todd to acknowledge the media’s role in promoting divisive attacks against those who don’t share its left-wing views. Then, Todd can credibly call on both sides to tone down the rhetoric.