Trump Is Going Nuclear on the Media With Ugly Personal Attacks and Crazy Conspiracy Theories
Trump’s incessant war on the American press has grown more extreme as his presidency has gone on, and recently that pattern has further escalated. Not only has Trump continued to smear journalists with ugly hyperbole—despite clear evidence his words have provoked violent threats against Americans working in newsrooms—he is now also seeking to whip up a conspiracy theory about the Democratic Party and the news media and position the press as a scapegoat for a potential economic recession.The president inveighed against journalists as “degenerate Trump haters,” using a label that historically has connotations of eugenics and Nazi propaganda.
In early July, the president inveighed against NBC and MSNBC journalists as “degenerate Trump haters,” using a label that historically has connotations of eugenics and Nazi propaganda. (Previously, Trump used “degenerate” to refer to ISIS terrorists, but also Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein.) As outrage blew up later in the month over Trump’s attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and other Democratic women of color in Congress, the president blasted the “crazed” news media and claimed it had “either officially or unofficially become a part of the Radical Left Democrat Party.” He called it “a sick partnership.”
“The Mainstream Media is out of control,” Trump fumed on Twitter a few days later, specifically targeting “The Amazon Washington Post” for its coverage of his battle with Omar and others. “They constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out their [sic] for all to see. It has never been this bad. They have gone bonkers, & no longer care what is right or wrong. This large scale false reporting is sick!”
After a major report exposed appalling conditions at a migrant detention center near the US-Mexico border, Trump unleashed on the press corps on the White House lawn. “The New York Times is a very dishonest newspaper,” he said, adding “what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country. They are truly the enemy of the people, I’ll tell you that. They are the enemy of the people.” A couple of days later, he berated reporters personally during a press gaggle broadcast on national television.
This is what fascists do in their rise to absolute power.