When President Trump tweeted “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the media quickly went ballistic.
Wolf Blitzer, speaking on behalf of CNN, replied: “A lot of his supporters believe that we are the enemy of the American people, and that is really an awful situation. We are not the enemy of the American people. We love the American people.”
The media loves the American people?
The media may love some Americans, but certainly not Trump voters. How else to explain the increasing frequency with which Republicans, and Trump voters specifically, are described on air as racist, Nazis, and undeserving of common courtesy (such as eating a dinner without being harassed)?
During the most recent controversy over family separation at the border, CNN and MSNBC have become a platform such hyperbolic attacks. And while these criticisms often come from guests on these programs, an anchor has yet to step in to try and temper the rhetoric.
MSNBC's Donny Deutsch said Trump supporters are the "bad guy" in America and are akin to Nazis.
"If we are working towards November, we can no longer say Trump’s the bad guy," Deutsch said during a recent appearance on Morning Joe. "If you vote for Trump, you’re the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you are ripping children from parents’ arms."
He continued: "If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis going, ‘You here, you here.’ I think we now have to flip it and it’s a given, the evilness of Donald Trump. But if you vote, you can no longer separate yourself. You can’t say, ‘Well, he’s okay, but ...’ And I think that gymnastics and that jiu-jitsu has to happen.”
When news hit that some elderly Americans inadvertently shared a Facebook meme originally created in Russia, CNN tracked down one such senior citizen and harangued her on national TV. CNN likewise threatened to "dox" or publish the address, of another Trump supporter who had created a meme mocking CNN.
"All" Trump supporters are racist, CNN contributor Michaela Angela Davis, recently said: "Tens of millions of people voted for him after he showed his cards for years." When the anchor, John Berman, asked her to clarify if she's calling all Trump voters racist, she replied, "Yes, yes." Labeling almost half the country bigoted did not earn her a rebuke from the hosts or other panelist.
Filmmaker and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Moore went further, likening Trump voters to accomplices to rape. "If you hold down the woman while the rapist is raping her, and you didn't rape her — are you a rapist?"
"Anybody who enables, anybody who votes for and supports a racist is a racist," Moore added. "You are culpable, white America, I’m sorry."
Frequent MSNBC guest and Hollywood filmmaker Rob Reiner said "those people who are supporting" America's immigration policy are "racist — PERIOD!"
The frequent media invocations of "racism" and "Nazi" to describe conservatives and Republicans is leading some to worry that the media is needlessly stoking division in America, perhaps risking increased episodes of harassment and violence.
When the Virginia restaurant, The Red Hen, on Saturday kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family due to her affiliation with the Trump Administration, some in the media defended the provocative act. CNN's Symone Sanders, for example, endorsed the Red Hen's actions and said people "calling for civility need to check their privilege."
"I believe movements and people talking and speaking up for things, whether we're talking about the civil rights movement, whatever else," Sanders continued, "those movements should be nonviolent but not nonconfrontational."
MSNBC contributor Zerlina Maxwell likewise endorsed refusing service to conservatives.
"These policies that this administration is putting forth are intentionally cruel," she said Monday. "They are racist. It is our job as citizens to speak out against that. Now, does that mean that we are going to be violent? No. But does that mean that Sarah Sanders can have a nice quiet dinner with her family when she is taking our tax dollars to implement this policy? I don’t think so.”