If there’s one thing the media doesn’t seem to specialize in, it’s originality. They all read from the same script. On five different programs broadcast Monday and Tuesday on three different networks, the media went off the rails; repeatedly calling President Trump a dictator and in some cases comparing him to Turkish Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At least they didn’t compare him in those cases to Hitler.
The latest montage of meltdowns comes in the wake of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ announcement that the President was looking into revoking the security clearances of former Obama administration officials. All of the hysteria came despite the fact that President Trump has not officially revoked security clearances yet and only threatened to do so.
It included Monday’s edition of MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, which aired shortly after Sanders made the announcement at Monday’s White House press briefing. Former Holder Department of Justice spokesman Matt Miller weighed in on the announcement:
If you look at what happened last week in that meeting, you don't have to go, you don't have to look very hard to see a direct parallel to what the President is trying to do now. Look at what Vladimir Putin proposed in that meeting. He proposed using the arms of government to retaliate against critics of him; to retaliate against Bill Browder and Mike McFaul. The kind of thing you expect to see from Vladimir Putin. The kind of thing you see from Erdogan in Turkey. The kind of thing you never expect to see in liberal democracies. That’s what the President is trying to do here.
On the Monday night edition of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, the eponymous host parroted out another dictator comparison: “So this idea of punishing your enemies or those critical of you, well, here’s the thing: it’s straight from the playbook of those the President admires, including strongmen like the Turkish President Erdogan.”
Hours later on CNN Tonight With Don Lemon, host Don Lemon reiterated the same talking points: “So here’s what he’s doing or wants to do. Silencing critics. That’s right. Even an effort, though, to distract everyone is worth reporting because it’s what dictators and want-to-be strong men do. They try to silence critics.”
Moving to Tuesday morning and ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg weighed in: “I’m not comfortable with vindictiveness because to me that’s very dictator.” Co-host Joy Behar, who suffers from an even more severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, told Goldberg “that’s his middle name,” referring to the word “dictator.”
On Tuesday’s Inside Politics, CNN host John King said that President Trump’s “threat sounds more like he leads Turkey or the Philippines, not like he leads the United States of America.” The behavior of the news media makes them sound more like they work as Democratic operatives, not like objective journalists.
The media covered the President’s threat to revoke the security clearances of the former intelligence officials as if it meant the end of American democracy, if not “the end of the world as we know it,” to paraphrase NPR’s Nina Totenberg. For all of the talk about how President Trump seeks to invoke fear in the American people, the media seems to have that turf covered quite well.