The Media’s Trump Derangement Syndrome

July 8th, 2017 4:00 PM

The liberal media doesn’t like the President. For that matter some in the conservative media don’t like the President either…yes, that means our friends at National Review and The Weekly Standard and doubtless a few others.

There’s plenty of room for honest disagreement. 

But it is all too obvious that the Trump candidacy and now the Trump presidency has produced what can only be called Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) among Trump critics both in and out of the media. As noted here previouslyTime magazine devoted its “Person of the Year” cover in 2008 and 2016 to the new presidents-elect. Obama was handsomely and heroically portrayed. Donald Trump? He was seen scowling at the camera and labeled the “President of the Divided States of America.” No Trump phobia there!

You just can’t make it up. This TDS appears everywhere in the liberal media. Perhaps the most vivid example from this past week was the reaction of a Vox writer to the President’s speech in Poland. The Trump speech was extremely well-received across the board as a defense of the West and Western values, a speech comparable to Ronald Reagan’s famous 1982 speech to the British Parliament in Westminster in which Reagan spoke of the values of freedom and democracy. Yet Vox? Vox, foaming with a particularly rabid case of TDS, headlined the Trump speech this way: 

Trump’s speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto
“For family, for freedom, for country, and for God.”

Over at Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire the Vox story was understandably cause for jaw-dropping. The Daily Wire noted this example of TDS this way: 

“The subtle redefinition of terms as best suits their immediate agenda is one of the Left's favorite tactics. That redefinition has clearly happened with the already too vaguely defined term "alt-right." According to leftist political opinion site Vox, "alt-right" now apparently applies to those who express a dedication to "family," "freedom," and "country" and believe Western values and culture are actually worth defending.  Here's The Part Of Trump's Poland Speech Vox Says Sounds Like An 'Alt-Right Manifesto’:   

“This morning in Warsaw, Poland, President Donald Trump issued a battle cry — for “family, for freedom, for country, and for God" — in a speech that often resorted to rhetorical conceits typically used by the European and American alt-right. It sounded, at times, not just like the populists of the present but the populists of the past.

Drafted by Steve Miller, the architect of the travel ban, Trump’s speech used the type of dire, last-chance wording often utilized by the far right on both sides of the Atlantic: "The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”

“Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?” Trump asked. “Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”  

The Daily Wire points out the obvious here: “So, yes, having ‘confidence in our values’ and being willing to ‘defend them at any cost’ now puts you in danger of being included among the ‘far right.’” 

You read that right. So far gone is Vox with TDS syndrome that a President of the United States standing up for “family, for freedom, for country, and for God” is now seen as something akin to a Nazi. 

And speaking of Nazis and TDS? Over at the Washington Post one of my favorite left-wing sparring partners, Erik Wemple, spent an entire column taking after me on the matter of that Trump CNN wrestling video.  I had said — and note well that I said it on CNN air without a whiff of censorship in First Amendment friendly CNN — that the idea that the video could result in violence against journalists could easily be reversed. As in: does giving air time to all those Democrats saying the GOP health care plan will kill thousands of Americans serve as incitement to attack Republicans? Said Brother Wemple:

“There’s no logic whatsoever in Lord’s argument. Was he really trying to cite a fake, hypothetical argument on a nexus between the health-care debate and the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in June at a baseball practice? We may never know.”

Well Erik, here’s your answer. James Hodgkinson was in fact, we now know —  thanks to reporting in, among other places, The Washington Post —  “highly critical of President Trump and other Republican leaders.” In fact, your paper reports that “Hodgkinson left a trail of political rants against Republicans and the “super rich,” and he had adopted a photo of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as his Facebook cover image.” There is nothing “fake news” about this. His local GOP congressman is quoted as saying that “Every issue that we were working on, he was not in support of…” One of those issues, much in the news, was health care. So clearly there was in fact “a nexus between the health-care debate and the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise.” The Post specifically reported this:

“Hodgkinson posted regularly on Facebook, as often as three or four times a week, typically linking to a cartoon or article that was critical of Republicans. In January 2015, he linked to a cartoon about Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the people he shot Wednesday, writing the headline, ‘Here’s a Republican that should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.’”

That there was in the shooter’s mind a “nexus” between health care and a whole lot of other issues and his violent attack could not be plainer. In fact, Erik, it was your paper that ran a piece comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. To use your logic, what could be more provocative of violence towards the President and Republicans in general than to suggest the President of the United States is a copy of arguably the most evil leader in all of world history? 

What’s also plain, as I noted, is that James Hodgkinson and James Hodgkinson alone bears the responsibility for the Scalise shooting. Not CNN, not The Washington Post, not The New York Times or Bernie Sanders etc etc. Hodgkinson had a severe case of TDS - but his actions were his responsibility and his alone.

I stand accused by Wemple of “sycophancy” — this without irony from a columnist who is paid by a liberal newspaper to defend liberalism at every turn, which is what the Post itself does every day of the year and Erik Wemple does with mindnumbing routine. It is always interesting that my friend Kayleigh McEnany and I get attacked for being Trump sycophants by people who, using their own standards, are themselves liberal sycophants. Never, for example, are my liberal CNN commentator colleagues attacked for staunch defenses of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders or Nancy Pelosi or whomever is the liberal figure in the news of the moment. It doesn’t happen. All of which says one thing and one thing only: Wemple’s ire at my presence is just one more example of a liberal media figure with Trump Derangement Syndrome. But he certainly isn’t alone.

Over at New York magazine Eric Levitz said of my presence on CNN: "The network literally pays Trump associates Corey Lewandowski and Jeffrey Lord to lie to its audience on the president’s behalf…”

This is flatly untrue. I e-mailed Levitz to please tell me what “lies” I was telling. Predictably? No response. That would be, of course, because I am not in the business of telling lies - on CNN or anywhere else. (And newsflash: Corey left CNN months ago.)  Like countless others on television and in print or on the Internet I am in the business of opinion journalism.  And Mr. Levitz and any number of lefties like Erik Wemple foam with TDS when anyone defends the President with their opinions. And as evidenced by Levitz, some of these lefty critics make it their business to lie about my telling lies. Have I ever disagreed with the President? Aside from my disagreeing on the subject of changing libel laws, none other than Erik Wemple has noted he called it a “miracle” - that in fact I have disagreed with the President. Maybe Erik Wemple should read… Erik Wemple?

The bottom line here? The liberal media and others (hello Maxine Waters!) are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Some suffer more acutely than others. The Vox example is particularly telling as it illustrates a leftist outlet that is willing to throw over the side the very value that allows Vox to exist in the first place — freedom. 

As I have said many times, both on air and in print, I am a First Amendment fundamentalist. I want everybody - Vox, Erik Wemple, the Post, Eric Levitz, New York magazine, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and everyone else with access to print or television, radio or the Internet - to have that most essential freedom of all: the right to free speech. The right to speak their mind.

That also includes some 300 million-plus always opinionated Americans. Including, of course, the President of the United States.

Imagine that!