This morning, Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos from Jayda Fransen, a leader of the far-right “Britain First” movement. One of the videos appears to be an ISIS snuff film; it purportedly shows a mob pushing a boy off a roof and beating him to death. Another shows a bearded man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary. The third shows a man identified as a “Muslim migrant” bullying a “Dutch boy on crutches.”
This is straight-up hate-mongering from Trump, meant to foment hostility and hatred toward Muslims in America. The man who murdered MP Jo Cox in the run-up to the Brexit vote shouted “Britain First” before stabbing Cox to death. According to The Guardian, Fransen was found guilty of harassment earlier this month for abusing a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
Is Trump throwing bloody chunks of red meat to his base to keep their attention off the plutocrat wish list masquerading as a tax bill? Maybe. But a U.S. president using his platform to gin up religious-based hate and bigotry is important nonetheless. Then there’s this:
It was in response to this tweet by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in which she reacts to the news that CNN won’t be attending the White House Christmas party:
Cast your mind back to a simpler time and recall how Jake Tapper, then with ABC, reacted to Obama admin press secretary Robert Gibbs’ suggestion that Fox News isn’t a real news organization. Media hack Steve Krakaur reacted as follows:
It is almost incomprehensible that an administration would put themselves out on a limb so much that they would diminish the livelihood of, as Tapper notes, “thousands of individuals who work” at Fox News in some capacity. The White House is irked by a few dozen people at most – the opinion hosts, the execs, maybe a few anchors. That’s enough to throw the entire organization under the bus?
This is a dangerous path being taken by the White House – one that is wrong, and raises serious questions about their motive here. There are not undercutting Fox News and their viewers, they are undercutting their own credibility on this issue. Expect Tapper’s line of questioning to be just the beginning of the backlash, albeit delayed, at this press intimidation tactic.
Think we’ll get anything resembling that level of outrage now that a U.S. president and his press secretary are openly trying to delegitimize every news organization that doesn’t kiss Trump’s ass? Trump also used the news of Matt Lauer’s firing to take a shot at other media companies:
All news organizations should boycott the White House Christmas party now if they’ve got a shred of dignity left. Let the Fox News and Breitbart toadies have it all to themselves.
Some folks are saying this latest assault on the media is a distraction from upcoming Trump-Russia news. I hope devastating indictments are on the way. But regardless, it’s not a distraction to focus on an assault on the First Amendment.
I’m calling my senators about the shitty fucking tax bill. And net neutrality. But I’m watching the attempted destruction of the First Amendment by the bigoted demagogue in the White House too. We’re going to have to learn to walk, chew gum, traverse a tight rope over boiling cauldrons of acid, juggle chainsaws and keep our eyes on the ball — all at the same time.