A crazed leftist attempts to kill Republicans on a baseball field, a congressional candidate beats up a reporter, and an increase in traffic deaths. What do these all have in common? Liberal journalists managed to blame all of these incidents on President Donald Trump.
In the days after the baseball field shooting of Congressional Republicans there was much talk about violent political rhetoric inciting the Bernie Sanders-supporting shooter, but former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, perversely blamed Trump and the GOP because they benefit from “a kind of rage machine.” Huffington Post writer Jesse Benn disgustingly tried to justify the act: “What’s more harmful: Putting millions already on the margins more at-risk via draconian policies, or shooting a racist lawmaker in the hip?”
And Trump wasn’t blamed just for the shooting. When Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly assaulted The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, it wasn’t an isolated case of a politician losing his temper, it was because he was inspired by the president. CNN’s Dylan Byers cited Trump’s “anti-media rhetoric” and The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin blurted “The fish rots from the head.”
Over on CBS This Morning a host managed to discover the “downside” of a recovering economy under Trump, as CBS’s Norah O’Donnell reported: “A new report says that the improving economy has a downside: more traffic deaths.”
Celebrities were being triggered by Trump as well. The Wire creator David Simon warned his comrades it may be time to pick up a “brick” and actress Olivia Wilde called on her fellow liberals to “resist.” Meanwhile, comedian Kathy Griffin lost gigs because she posed with a fake bloody Trump head.
The following is a collection of worst media and celebrity outbursts from the past few weeks:
Bernie Supporter Shoots Republicans, So Let’s Blame GOP
“I do think that both sides are not equally at fault and that there’s been a bit of a false equivalency at work, especially in the discussion of the past couple of days. I think that, in terms of political leadership right now, that both President Trump and the congressional leadership on the Republican side are extremely divisive, and that they are really benefitting from a kind of rage machine that operates in this country.”
— Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramason during a discussion about civility in the wake of the Rep. Steve Scalise shooting, as aired on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, June 18. The shooter advocated left-wing causes on his Facebook page and was a supporter of liberal presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
“What’s more harmful: Putting millions already on the margins more at-risk via draconian policies, or shooting a racist lawmaker in the hip?”...
“For violent resistance to work it’d need to be organized. Individual acts can be understandable, but likely counterproductive/ineffective.”
— June 14 tweets from Huffington Post writer Jesse Benn. Posted on the same day a shooter attempted to kill Congressional Republicans, including Rep. Steve Scalise, at a baseball park in Alexandria, VA.
“There was a time, I will be very blunt, when I came to Washington, when the legitimacy of your opponent was never questioned. You questioned their judgment. You questioned their opinions or their arguments, but you never their legitimacy. And that changed.....And one of the reasons it changed is that a man was elected from the state of Georgia who ran on the book, and the book was, you use these words. You use sick. You refer pathetic, traitor, liar, corrupt, shame, enemy of normal Americans. This was Newt Gingrich’s Bible! It wasn’t an idea of a policy. It wasn’t a program. He used it and he became successful. He became Speaker of the House. Donald Trump is a clone of Newt Gingrich.”
— Political analyst Mark Shields on PBS’s NewsHour, June 16.
We Could Be Talking About Gun Control, If It Weren’t For Heroic Acts
“One of the things about this shooting is, usually there’s a lot of discussion about tougher gun laws. There wasn’t this time. Do you think that had to do with the fact that you had the Capitol police officer there – the security detail who really did stop this from being a much more tragic event?”
— Correspondent Martha Raddatz on ABC’s This Week, June 18.
Should We Let Shooting Get In The Way of Calling Him a Hater?
“Obviously it’s a delicate thing because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history....we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race. He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event – which he says he didn’t know what it was. He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He voted for the House health care bill which....would gut health care for millions of people, including three million children. And he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semi-automatic weapons. Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside at the moment?”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s AM Joy, June 17.
Worried About the Mental State of Trump...
“Well, I think he’s such a narcissist, it is possible he is mentally ill in a way and that this is on the table. I said it months ago and now everybody is starting to say it like it’s new and it’s okay to say, he’s not well. At the very least he’s not well. And he’s so narcissistic he does not believe the rules apply to him and that’s where the ignorance label may apply because this is a man who says he can grab women anywhere because he’s famous.”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinksi on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, June 8.
“[Donald Trump] doesn’t behave as an adult. He behaves in a juvenile way....I truly fear how he’d behave in a crisis....I don’t think he’s a stable person.”
— New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on CNN’s The Situation Room, June 6.
“We haven’t had a president this psychologically troubled – I’m trying to use my language real carefully. We haven't had a president this psychologically troubled in this way since at least Richard Nixon.”
— Disgraced former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, June 1.
“I think people are finally starting to come to grips – as we must come to grips – with the notion that we have a dangerous individual in the Oval Office who is a national security threat, and he needs to be removed from office....He’s unfit, and he needs to be removed....When the history books are written about this period....there are only going to be two sides. There are going to be patriots, and there are going to be partisans. There are going to be true Americans, and there are going to be those engaged in behavior – and I would throw Donald Trump into this category – engaged in behavior that can only be described as ‘treasonable.’”
— MSNBC political analyst Ron Reagan Jr. on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 22.
...and His Supporters
“Today, about a third of the nation’s population seems to be suffering from a reality discernment malfunction. Have they been ingesting mushrooms plucked from bull dung? Drinking water spiked with credulity-enhancing chemicals? Thus, when President Trump speaks in his fourth-grade, monosyllabic, syntax-challenged verbiage, they hear lyrical lucidity. When he brags that he has accomplished more than any other president, save for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his starry-eyed minions nod their approval....As Trump himself said, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they’d still love him. This is the definition of reciprocal madness.”
— Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker in June 13 article “Is Trump Making America Mentally Ill?”
Matthews: Trump Worse Than Nixon, More Like Dictator
“This whole mess is a tragedy of errors a President who refuses to accept the limited powers of his office. Presidents are not dictators. You get elected to the office in this country. You are not Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. You don’t ask people to kneel before you. You don’t demand loyalty pledges. You don’t tell the country’s chief law enforcement executive to drop cases because they might reach too close to you.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, June 8.
“John Dean said there was a cancer on the presidency and President Trump said there is a cloud over the presidency. Different mind sets. Nixon and his people were thinking about the institution of the presidency. Whatever you think of Nixon, he was trying to protect his presidency. Trump is trying to defend his butt personally against bad PR. It’s the cloud versus the cancer. Nixon really wanted to be a good president. He wanted to succeed in his public policy which was pretty moderate, actually, politically, even liberal in some cases. He wanted the institution of the presidency, while he was running it, to succeed. Trump wants to protect himself personally. and that was all about it in these conversation with [James] Comey as I read them.”
— Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC Live, June 8.
Trump Abandoned The World
“This is the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world. It’s nothing short of that. The irresponsibility of this act is breathtaking.”
— CNN host Fareed Zakaria after live coverage of Trump’s Paris Accords pull-out announcement, June 1.
Tripping Out Over Trump’s Typo
“If something like that [Trump typo] can stay on Twitter for six hours, what does that say about who controls the information coming out of the White House? And what if somebody hacked into Twitter and posted a message that could have global implications? Saying something like...‘I’m going to launch nuclear weapons’....This kept me up last night! I was up until two in the morning wondering when this tweet was going to go away.”
— Correspondent Katy Tur reacting to Donald Trump accidentally typing “covfefe” in a tweet, as aired on MSNBC Live, May 31.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski: “You said it’s [Sean Spicer’s defense of Trump typo] like a kid pooping their pants and then saying I meant to do that.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough: “Well, yes, it would be like somebody pooping their pants and then people looking at it and saying that’s modern art, don’t you understand?”...
Brzezinski: “That’s what covfefe, if anybody wants to know, that small group knows what covfefe is, poopy pants.... He does a verbal version of that every day, but it’s not just him. Unfortunately, now Donald Trump has people doing that rhetorically in their pants every day.”
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe, June 1.
“This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.”
— June 3 tweet by former CNN host Reza Aslan about Donald Trump’s post-London attack tweet. On June 9, the network announced “CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series Believer with Reza Aslan.”
“If he [Donald Trump] took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.”
— Host Anderson Cooper to political analyst Jeffrey Lord during a discussion about President’s discussions with Russians, as aired on CNN’s AC360, May 19. Cooper later apologized.
Local Candidate Assaulting Reporter is Trump’s Fault?
“You can draw a straight line from Republican candidates thinking that sort of behavior is okay when you have Donald Trump berating reporters throughout the entire campaign, suggesting terrible things, calling them – using the Stalinist term ‘enemy of the people,’ a term so offensive even in the Soviet Union that Khrushchev outlawed it after Stalin died....This is not a big leap from what the head of the Republican party is saying every day and what happened last night in Montana....The fish rots, again, from the head....At what point does our party say enough? I will tell you this is not the party I grew up in and I’m not just talking about now, I’m talking about the brutish behavior from the top.”
— Host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 25.
Reporter Dylan 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 — ”
Host Don Lemon: “I wonder where they got that idea from, Dylan.”
Byers: “Obviously espoused by the President of the United States.”
— CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, May 24.
“The fish rots from the head. The tone of the politics of the country is set by the President the United States.”
— Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin discussing Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte’s alleged assault on The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs as aired on MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes, May 24.
Finding the Downside to Good Economy, Now That Trump is In Office
“A new report says that the improving economy has a downside: more traffic deaths. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says a stronger economy fuels more driving. The National Safety Council predicts more than 400 people could be killed in crashes this Memorial Day Weekend.”
— Co-anchor Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning, May 25.
Trump Voters Upset That America Dated a Black Guy for 8 Years
“America is, at its core, a nasty, venal, selfish and racist culture....By and large, though, the long arc of history has generally bent toward crushing the necks of poor, weak and, especially, African-American citizens....Trump supporters still believe that America is ruined, soiled, tainted and irredeemable. No matter what America says to Trump now, his voters know that she dated a black guy for eight years and she liked it, and she still thinks about him....[Trump is] a temper tantrum from an electorate that votes out of spite, not hope; anger, not ambition; disdain, not destiny. They just want to make sure they go down swinging, and if that drives the rest of the world off the cliff, so be it. At least the black guy won’t be at the steering wheel.”
— MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson in a May 24 article for The Root.
They Didn’t Know How Lucky They Were, Living In the USSR
“The government last year said nearly twenty million Russians lived below the poverty line on less than a $139 a month. It wasn’t always like this. In the Soviet era, most villagers worked on huge collective farms. Life wasn’t easy but the government provided for the people. All of that came to an end when the Soviet Union collapsed. Areas like this never recovered. Nadezhda, whose name translates to hope, has little of it left. ‘It would be so good to live like before,’ she tells me, ‘Under communism, there were plenty of jobs and plenty to eat.’ Today, she collects cranberries to sell on the side of the road. There are few customers and many hungry nights.”
— Correspondent Lucy Kafanov on NBC Nightly News, June 11.
GOP = The Taliban
Co-host Joy Behar: “How is [removing birth control employer mandate from ObamaCare] it different from the Taliban I’d like to know?”...
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg: “I said this before. I'm going to say it again. With all these rollbacks and all the things we hear, what's the difference between us and the people we’re fighting?”
Goldberg: “What's the difference?”
Behar: “That’s what I’m saying. It’s to keep women down also. Let’s not forget they are trying to keep women in their place. Barefoot and pregnant.”
— ABC’s The View, June 1.
C’mon! Everybody Knows the Media Loved Donald Trump
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg: “I recall from the time the gentleman [Donald Trump] came down the escalator until the time he won, he was 24/7 on every television on every network forcing – making one of the head of the networks saying, ‘yeah, it wasn’t good for America but it was great for us.’ It [coverage] was all positive until people started asking questions.
Newt Gingrich: “It wasn’t all positive!...It was all noisy but it wasn’t all positive.”
Goldberg: “No, no. 98 percent of it was positive, Newt.”
— ABC’s The View, June 13.
It Can’t Be Incendiary Rhetoric, If It’s Factual
“People on the right said ‘Well you know, when you say things like global warming is gonna kill people and repealing ObamaCare is gonna kill people and Donald Trump is a traitor, then this [Congressional baseball shooting] is gonna happen.’ Except what am I supposed to do as a commentator. Global warming – denying it – is going to kill people. Repealing ObamaCare is going to kill people. And Donald Trump is kind of a traitor. So what, what am I supposed to do?”
— Host Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time, June 16.
How Dare I Have to Pay For Beheading Trump?
“I don’t think I will have a career after this....He [Donald Trump] broke me. And then I was like, no this isn’t right. It’s just not right and I apologized because I knew it was the right thing to do and I meant it and then I saw the tide turning and I saw what they were doing and I went, oh, they’re trying to spin this, so they’re making it about Barron [Trump] and obviously, that was never my intention. I would never want to hurt anyone, much less a child. But I started to see what was really happening and then it was a mob mentality, pile on and so many people have expressed to me, across country at my shows, they’re scared....I don’t know. But I have to stand up.”
— Comedian Kathy Griffin at press conference, after she took a photo of her holding up a bloodied, and severed fake head of Donald Trump, June 2.
Time to “Pick Up a Brick” and “Resist” Trump
“I do get a little nervous about it sometimes, when it suddenly becomes clearer that we are buying into the surveillance. But it worries me less than, you know, it worries me less than the idea that, of collusion. It worries me less than accepting lies coming directly from the press secretary. It worries me less than the president claiming the former FBI director is a liar. There are some things that worry me much more. I think that it’s something to be considered as a whole that we just have to make sure that we are questioning what we’re accepting and we have to just remember that it’s our job to be curious citizens and to just take back the power as much as we can and to resist!”
— Actress Olivia Wilde on the CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert, June 13.
“If Donald Trump fires [special counsel] Robert Mueller and is allowed to do so, pick up a goddamn brick. That’s all that’s left to you.”
— June 12 tweet from the creator of HBO’s The Wire and former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon.