Donald Trump’s now-infamous call to arms against Hillary is what’s known as stochastic terrorism. Suggesting the assassination of your political rival is about as far as the envelope can be pushed. So was the national media’s response befitting of the moment? Of course not. It was so cavernously insufficient that, somehow, Joe Scarborough has become the voice of integrity.
Under the blunt headline “The GOP must dump Trump,” Joe Scarborough penned a piece for the Washington Post strongly condemning, in no uncertain words, Donald’s incitement of violence against Hillary. “A bloody line has been crossed that cannot be ignored,” he writes. “At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens.”
This put Scarborough firmly on the same page as iconic journalist Dan Rather, who said in a powerful Facebook statement: “No trying-to-be objective and fair journalist, no citizen who cares about the country and its future can ignore what Donald Trump said today. …This cannot be treated as just another outrageous moment in the campaign. We will see whether major newscasts explain how grave and unprecedented this is and whether the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers do it justice.”
Suffice it to say, we are in a rather strange moment when former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough and liberal newsman Dan Rather are on the same page.
Scarborough followed up his call to action with an extended segment on Morning Joe, where the whole panel was unanimously critical of Donald’s reprehensible comments, treating with contempt all attempts by Republicans to minimize or justify what he said.
Scarborough was particularly frank, noting that he has long resisted labeling Donald as a fascist, but: “I always brushed it back, because the key element in fascism was a call to violence. I’d say, ‘He never crossed that Rubicon.’ There was never a call to violence, never a call to an armed uprising. This is the suggestion that, if she’s elected President of the United States, the one thing that Second Amendment people [can do] is to kill her.”
The entire segment is below:
When Joe Scarborough, whose coverage of Hillary has been abysmally bad, becomes the media’s conscience, things have officially derailed.
The Morning Joe roundtable is the best coverage of Donald’s horrendous comments that I have seen on cable news. And yet.
During that entire 22-minute segment, virtually the entire focus is on Donald and what his comment means for the Republican Party.
None of the panelists express concern for Hillary. The person against whom the incitement was made.
None of the panelists express concern for the Secret Service agents tasked with her protection. Nor for Tim Kaine, who often shares the stage with her. Nor for her family, or Kaine’s family. Nor for her supporters, who could be harmed if someone tries to harm her at a campaign event.
None of the panelists say that Hillary does not deserve to be the target of such vicious, reckless hatred.
None of the panelists give voice to the reality that, after her opponent called for her assassination, Hillary had to wake up this morning, and get ready, and hit the campaign trail again.
None of the panelists even wonder, in passing, what it might mean for her that Donald said these things; what it might be like to have to carry on with this new and exponentially escalated threat hanging over her.
None of the panelists mentioned that Donald has now obliged Hillary to face in three debates (provided he has the courage to show up) an opponent who has openly called for her to be killed.
Even though all of these panelists condemned Donald’s words, they never actually explored what they mean for the person who was their literal target.
And this is the best we’ve got in the media. People who will condemn Donald’s exhortation to an assassination, but show zero compassion for the woman whose life he tacitly admonished someone to end.
That is not good enough. It is not good enough at all.