CNN’s Byers: Conservative ‘Anti-Media Rhetoric,’ ‘Incivility’ Caused Montana Incident

As part of the media’s hysteria-filled reactions to the disturbing event out of Montana Wednesday night in which Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly body slammed The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, CNN senior media reporter Dylan Byers blamed it on “anti-media rhetoric” and “incivility” from conservatives. 

Yes, you read that right. Let’s not stick to the person who’s alleged to have lost their cool and attacked a reporter. No, let’s attack people (like the ones on this site) that have pushed the issue of media bias for decades (without violence).

Byers offered this whiny compliant about who/what is to blame for the Gianforte incident with an injection of approval from CNN Tonight host Dona Lemon:

BYERS: There's so much anti-media rhetoric. There's such a feeling, certainly among conservatives, that the media is somehow the enemy of the American people —

LEMON: I wonder where they got that idea from, Dylan. 

BYERS: — obviously espoused by the President of the United States. 

Lemon then touted a tweet from faux Republican Matthew Dowd of ABC News in which he, like Jennifer Rubin, blamed the alleged body slamming on the President and the fight against media bias.

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Byers continued by conceding that this incident could have plausibly occurred within the last three decades. Immediately, Byers dismissed the point he just made to push his tyrannical claim that conservatives are lacking civility:

We can’t ignore the fact that civility and particularly civility between politicians, larger conservative Republican politicians, because of that sort of anti-mainstream media rhetoric, has sort of fueled a violent atmosphere. We saw it at the Trump campaign rallies. We’re seeing it here in Montana. There’s just a total absence of respect and sort of civility here[.]

In the world of folks like Dylan Byers, they’re firmly opposed to President Trump and anyone who stands in their way. Instead of looking at the incivility being promulgated by CNN, NPR, or The Washington Post, it’s sites like this one that are supposedly the problem for suggesting the media are not the angels they paint themselves to be.

Nevermind the reality that NewsBusters has been around for 12 years and not promoting violence (with parent organization Media Research Center being around for 30 years), but this space is here to argue it’s quite easy to be against physical assault and believe the media have a liberal bias.

Earlier in the segment, CNN’s recently-unhinged senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin sang the same tune, acting as though Donald Trump’s a congressional candidate in The Treasure State:

I think it's also not coincidental that this happened now. I mean, we have the President of the United States tweeting that reporters are enemies of the American people. It's one thing for, you know, for journalists to be booed, to be yelled at. All of which is fair game, but when you're starting to talk about physical violence and body slamming is no joke, this is a matter for law enforcement and it is not — it is not business as usual, or at least it shouldn't be and, you know, I hope he's okay.

Earth to Byers, Lemon, Rubin, and Toobin: Remember Michael Grimm’s incident with a reporter? That happened too because someone lost their minds and did something they shouldn’t have. Donald Trump didn’t tell Grimm to threaten a reporter and neither did Trump with Gianforte.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from May 24's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
May 24, 2017
10:02 p.m. Eastern

DON LEMON: This is outrageous. 

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Yes. 

LEMON: I've got say, Ben is a better guy than I, because we would have been fighting, seriously. 

TOOBIN: And, you know, I think it's also not coincidental that this happened now. I mean, we have the President of the United States tweeting that reporters are enemies of the American people. It's one thing for, you know, for journalists to be booed, to be yelled at. All of which is fair game, but when you're starting to talk about physical violence and body slamming is no joke, this is a matter for law enforcement and it is not — it is not business as usual, or at least it shouldn't be and, you know, I hope he's okay. 

(....)

10:11 p.m. Eastern

DYLAN BYERS: Everything that the candidate's statement says is totally out of step with what's on the audio recording and so, in fact, speaking of this press conference that's coming forward from the sheriff's department, I'm interested to know whether or not his campaign gave the same statement to the authorities that they did to the public because it seems here that either Gianforte is lying through his teeth, or Ben Jacobs doctored that audio recording and I'll just say, I don't know Gianforte, I do know Ben and I know that he would not doctor that audio recording. Look, I think the larger context that Jeff Toobin brought up here is an important one. There's so much anti-media rhetoric. There's such a feeling, certainly among conservatives, that the media is somehow the enemy of the American people —

LEMON: I wonder where they got that idea from, Dylan. 

BYERS: — obviously espoused by the President of the United States. 

LEMON: Here's what our colleague at a different organization wrote. It’s Matthew Dowd and he said: “When the president calls the press the enemy, hires thugs who man handles the press, befriends an authoritarian regimes, no wonder MT happened”, meaning Montana. What do you say? That’s where you were going with this. 

BYERS: And is there a chance that Gianforte running 10 or 20 or 30 years ago may have done this, sure, of course there is. But we can't ignore the larger context. We can’t ignore the fact that civility and particularly civility between politicians, larger conservative Republican politicians, because of that sort of anti-mainstream media rhetoric, has sort of fueled a violent atmosphere. We saw it at the Trump campaign rallies. We’re seeing it here in Montana. There’s just a total absence of respect and sort of civility here and, you know, the irony should not be lost on this either, that politicians are running on the basis of being strong leaders of their country and if they can't withstand the sort of most banal media scrutiny, questions from reporters that they should really have prepared and packaged answers for, I think that raises legitimate questions about how fit they are for office. 


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NBDaily Campaigns & Elections Congress Crime Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Tonight Video Don Lemon Dylan Byers Jeffrey Toobin Donald Trump
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