Today’s episode in journalistic kookiness comes from Andrew Feinberg, who writes for the “new” (not weekly) Newsweek and the online Independent newspaper from London, who is proud of himself for comparing Pearl Harbor (death toll 2,400) to June 1, 2020 protests in Lafayette Park across from the White House (death toll: zero).
Feinberg pinned it on his Twitter page:
Like December 7, 1941, Americans will remember the first day of June 2020 as the date of a sneak attack against their countrymen, but while that 78-year-old atrocity was perpetrated by a foreign government, this one came from within.
That afternoon, as hundreds of Americans protested peacefully outside the gates of the mansion that has been home to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt, its current occupant was plotting.
That man, Donald Trump, was incensed by media reports which revealed how he’d reacted to the appearance of a few hundred demonstrators outside the White House gates on Friday.
So he dropped bombs on thousands of people? Well, no. There was some dispersement of a crowd and then the president walked to a church across from the White House.
This is the same unbalanced individual who blamed the shooting deaths of five Annapolis journalists on Trump in 2018.
Feinberg mocked the president for being moved to a bunker when protesters gathered outside the White House:
They came from all over the Washington, DC area to protest the police brutality and systematic inequality symbolised by the late George Floyd, a Minneapolis, Minnesota man killed by police officers just one week ago.
As they massed outside the “people’s house,” they chanted Floyd’s last words, uttered as he gasped for breath as a white police officer’s knee pressed on his neck: “I can’t breathe”.
And how did Donald Trump react? He retreated to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, the Second World War-era bunker installed under the White House’s East Wing to protect FDR against a potential Luftwaffe bomber attack. Later expanded and hardened to protect presidents against nuclear explosions, it’s where then-Vice President Dick Cheney took refuge in 2001, as hijacked airliners brought down the World Trade Center and smashed a hole in the Pentagon.
Feinberg also turned to that unbiased expert Dr. Bandy X. Lee (of Trump Is Too Crazy to Be President fame) for analysis:
Dr Bandy Lee, a Yale University Medical School psychiatrist who studies violence, said the militaristic attack on protesters and the press — which occurred on Trump’s orders — reflected how he feels about most Americans.
“He probably views most of the American people as his enemy now, because of all the criticism, because of his falling polls, and because of the result of his own mishandling of the pandemic increasingly pressing in,” she said. “It's not a reality he can easily subvert with his own fantasy thinking.”
We've seen lots of terrible historical analogies in the media in our decades at this wheel, but this may be one of the worst!