On Saturday, August 13, Donald Trump told his supporters that he’s “running against the crooked media.”
Now, journalists covering Trump events are reporting increased threats against them.
Trump’s Threats Against The Press
Thin-skinned Trump simply can’t stand negative press. He revoked the press credentials of the prestigious Washington Post back in June. Though they were perhaps the most well-known agency to be banned, they were not the first. Additionally, just this weekend, CNN’s Jake Tapper shut down former Arizona governor Jan Brewer in one fell swoop, saying,
“How dare we cover comments he makes?”
Now, the New York Times is in Trump’s crosshairs. He stated at his rally,
“I’ll tell you, in particular, lately, we have a newspaper that’s failing badly, it’s losing a lot of money, it’s gonna be out of business very soon: The New York Times … They never call me. It’s going to hell … Maybe what we’ll do, we’ll start taking their press credentials away from them.”
And then, today, Trump tweeted this gem:
It is not "freedom of the press" when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2016
Threats From Trump Turn Into Increased Harassment From Supporters
In light of all this vitriol from Trump, it’s not surprising that the troglodytes at his rallies are starting to ramp up their harassment of the press. Of course, the harassment didn’t start this weekend.
Katy Tur penned an amazing essay for Marie Claire describing the hate she was seeing from supporters, which led to a Secret Service escort from one of the events. Trump regularly calls her out at events.
NBC’s Ali Vitali tweeted this short video from inside the press pen at a Trump event:
A slice of what it's like in the pen post Trump rally. Keep in mind, we sit in a campaign mandated fish bowl. pic.twitter.com/xCf2G1uGrq
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) August 14, 2016
And then there was this old man, who decided to tell the press at a Trump rally what he really thought of them. Bear in mind that these are the types of people who think they should be able to carry a gun everywhere they go.
Threats Will Likely Only Get Worse
Trump’s threats against the media will likely only increase as the election nears, if his campaign stays on its current track. Hillary Clinton has a healthy lead, and even some states that would have never been in play before might be up for grabs. Trump cannot stand losing (and I think it’s particularly galling to him to be losing to a woman), and so he needs to grasp at straws to remain relevant in his own addled little mind.
It’s frightening, though, that the man who is running to be the President of the United States thinks it’s OK to just ban the press when he doesn’t like what they’re saying about him.
Featured Image via screen grab from video.