Following the reports Wednesday of numerous “suspicious packages” that contained what appeared to be rudimentary pipe bombs which were addressed to several prominent Democrat figures, the liberal media excoriated President Donald Trump for his “violent rhetoric” which they viewed the cause of the mail bomb scare.
The New York Times was right at the forefront of the liberal media chorus against Trump that demanded he tone down his rhetoric, apologize for inflammatory things he’d said in the past, and urged everyone — but Trump especially — to adopt a more civil tone in discussing political disagreements.
That was rather ironic and hypocritical of The Times, though, considering that just one day prior they had published a short story on their online Book Review page that can only be described as “assassination fantasy,” part of a “Trump’s Next Chapter” collection of five stories about “what might happen next” for Trump from five different crime and spy novelists.
One of the short stories, titled “How It Ends” by Zoë Sharp, detailed a Russian plot to assassinate Trump as the president was on the verge of being impeached, so as to conceal the fact that Trump had been “handpicked” by the “highest levels” of the Russian government to win the 2016 election.
The Russian assassin disguised himself as a porter at Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel and attempted to kill the president with a silenced Makarov pistol as he walked through the lobby — only to have his Russian-made pistol misfire. Expecting instantaneous death from the surrounding Secret Service agents, the assassin was instead surprised when one of those agents politely handed over his service-issued Glock so the assassin could finish the job.
Fox News reported that the real Secret Service took great exception to the portrayal of them as being complicit in an assassination attempt on the man they are charged to protect, even as the agency acknowledged it was just in a piece of fiction.
“While we understand this is a work of fiction, the insinuation that the U.S. Secret Service would participate in the assassination of a President is outrageous and an insult to the men and women of this agency,” a spokesperson for the agency told Fox.
“The U.S. Secret Service prides itself on being an apolitical agency with a long and distinguished history of protecting our nation’s elected officials,” the spokesperson added.
The statement from the Secret Service on Friday came just one day after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had brutally slammed the assassination story as “absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful.”
Nor was Sanders alone in decrying the “assassination fantasy” piece as appalling, disgusting and just about every other descriptive word that could be used to label the collection of words as entirely unhelpful in toning down violent rhetoric or lowering the temperature of the current heated debate on civility, or more accurately, a lack thereof.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who knows first-hand what it is like to be on the receiving end of a would-be assassin’s bullets, told The Daily Caller, “The media needs to take accountability for the role they are playing in promoting dangerous rhetoric and division in this country, particularly against President Trump and his supporters.”
“The decision by The New York Times to run this piece is irresponsible and offensive, and they should remove it and apologize,” Scalise added.
The Daily Caller reached out to The Times with Scalise’s statement, only to receive a reply from a spokesperson for the paper, who said, “This is a bad faith inquiry, part of an attempt to manufacture a story. It’s very clear what this is: a work of fiction, commissioned by editors of the Book Review as part of a package of five stories penned by a range of spy and crime novelists — in the Halloween edition.”
But that rather dismissive excuse from The Times comes across as exceptionally lame — especially in light of the outraged uproar among the liberal media about how Trump’s rhetoric directly led to the mail bomb threats against prominent Democrats.
You can’t blame Trump’s rhetoric for inciting violence while dismissing one’s own dangerous and divisive rhetoric — rhetoric that fantasizes about assassinating the president, with the help of the Secret Service, no less — and expect to be taken seriously.
The brave and selfless men and women of the U.S. Secret Service have every right to feel “insulted” by the implication that they’d set aside their oaths and violate the main premise of their job, and The Times should be ashamed for publishing and promoting such disgustingly divisive crap in their pages, regardless of what Trump might have said or how anyone at The Times may feel about his presidency in general.
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