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Donald Trump Can’t Stop Attacking Media Even in Wake of Bombs Being Sent to CNN

This is abominable behavior.

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Words have consequences. That’s something that we learn in kindergarten. What we say matters and can have a large effect on people. The bigger your platform, the more cautious about what you say you should be, because with great power comes great responsibility to not hurt people using your words. Apparently, President Trump either skipped that lesson or he simply does not care.

Hours after bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and to CNN, Trump spoke at a rally urging unity and civility, and then turned around to say: “As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories. They’ve got to stop, bring people together.” This comes on the same day that CNN was evacuated on air due to a bomb threat. The media is not the enemy.

Of course, because Trump refused to have any sort of self reflection (which no one expected) and because he also found a way to weave in an attack on the media, his supporters have found a way to delegitimize the bombs and even blame the left for them. #FalseFlag was shown as a related trend to hashtags about the bombs, and we’ve already got the slogan “Fake News, Fake Bombs” being trended by conservative conspiracy theorists who refuse to consider that they’re on the wrong side of history.

It might also be time to whip out this supercut of all the times Trump has encouraged his followers to commit acts of violence against political opponents. As he says that “No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control,” we have visual and audio proof that he has not only encouraged violence but wanted to commit it himself. This is unacceptable behavior.

And that’s not even touching on the multiple accounts of vitriol and hateful rhetoric he has spewed at those who were threatened by the bombs yesterday, from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton. He has referred to the press as the enemy of the people, so it seems to be a natural progression that his supporters would then seek to get rid of their perceived enemy. What happened yesterday was a mass terrorist attack inspired by this rhetoric.

Normally, here is where we call for an apology, but we won’t get one. That would require a level of self awareness that so far, Trump has not shown he possesses. These bombs are a reminder of the potential dangers of such rhetoric, and part of me fears that this will not be the only attack aimed at the free press.

At this point, there seems to be no clear answer going forward except to vote like your life depends on it in the midterms, even with voter suppression tactics being used. Seriously. And then we need to talk about enacting some serious change because this kind of behavior can not stand. But when the man at the top is the one causing these problems, we have bigger issues at hand.

(via The Huffington Post; Image: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.