On Sunday, the publisher of The New York Times — which constantly jostles with The Washington Post for the position of the official paper of #TheResistance — released a five-paragraph statement essentially accusing the Trump administration of inciting violence against the media.
Not mentioned in the story, however, is the over 500 times one conservative website has catalogued the left either inciting violence against conservatives or carrying it out before and after the 2016 election.
First, the story, ominously (and very objectively) titled “New York Times Publisher and Trump Clash Over President’s Threats Against Journalism.”
“President Trump and the publisher of The New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, engaged in a fierce public clash on Sunday over Mr. Trump’s threats against journalism, after Mr. Sulzberger said the president misrepresented a private meeting and Mr. Trump accused The Times and other papers of putting lives at risk with irresponsible reporting,” the article began.
Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
The tweet from the president read, “Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”
That, apparently, was not Mr. Sulzburger’s recollection of the meeting.
“My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” Sulzberger wrote in response to the tweet. “I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.
“I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.
“I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press,” the statement continued.
“Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.”
Unmentioned in Sulzberger’s statement were examples of the president’s thoughts on the media “being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists” or “putting lives at risk.” I can guess at a few that Sulzberger might mention (and why I would disagree with him), but in the absence of any firm commitment on this matter, my mouth shall remain closed and my arguments go unheard.
However, if “divisive” language can become “increasingly dangerous,” one can certainly look to how The New York Times and the rest of the liberal media establishment have viewed the Trump administration and its supporters. The former is viewed as a real danger to American democracy and the latter as uninformed, authoritarian rubes who simply refuse to listen to their betters in the media when it comes to what’s good for them.
So, what has this engendered? Well, Breitbart compiled a total of 538 incidents where Trump supporters were literally attacked by individuals or figuratively attacked through rhetoric.
Speaking as members in good standing of the right wing of American politics, The Conservative Tribune can say we do not take these attacks on our movement lightly.
Breitbart’s compilartion starts in September of 2015, when a Texas teen reported he had been attacked at a bus stop because of Donald Trump. It goes all the way up to last week, where Sen. Cory Booker called the president “complicit in evil,” Trump’s Hollywood star was destroyed for the second time and the The Denver Post ran a letter to the editor that arguably suggested the president’s execution.
There were also the sundry attacks because the victim was wearing a MAGA cap, exhortations to physically confront Trump administration members, actual confrontations with Trump administration members, the minimization and rationalization of those confrontations and behavior of that ilk.
And it’s not just Trump-related, either — keep in mind the incident earlier this month where a former Clinton staffer thought it was okay to say it was “tempting” to beat up Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul. You know, months after Paul was actually attacked.
Now, is The New York Times complicit in any of this? There’s actually no way to judge that — the same way that there’s no way to judge whether or not the president’s rhetoric is “being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists” or “putting lives at risk.” But I can certainly say it, right? Even if I don’t give definitive examples directly linking something The New York Times reported to one of these incidents, it sounds true enough, so why not?
Oh, except there are actually Times figures alluding to violence that are listed in Breitbart’s compilation. Take earlier this month, when a Times editorial urged Democrats to “take a page from ‘The Godfather’” and “go to the mattresses” over any Supreme Court nominee put forth by the Trump administration. (“The Godfather,” you may recall, involved just a soupçon of violence and maybe an errant assassination or 37.) In February of 2016, Ross Douthat — one of The Times’ token conservatives — joked on Twitter about Trump’s campaign ending in an assassination attempt. (The tweet was later deleted, according to the New York Post.)
Where is the condemnation of this violent rhetoric? A.G. Sulzburger’s baby is putting lives at risk. The left is using their words to justify sweeping crackdowns on dissenting opinion. I mean, sure, they’re free to tell the world what they want, but I would implore him to reconsider his broader attacks on conservatives.
Given its virulently anti-Trump stance, The New York Times has no place to talk in this discussion. Aside from the fact that no one, not even politicians, ought to be compelled to treat the media with the kid gloves they’re demanding to be treated with, their conduct in the matter precludes any reasonable discussion on the matter.
If Mr. Sulzburger wishes to remove the log firmly lodged in his eye, maybe we could take this splinter seriously. Alas, no.
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