Yesterday, shortly after a bomb threat forced evacuation of CNN headquarters in New York, President Trump sent another vitriolic Robert Mueller investigation tweet, "FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!".
It was yet another attack on journalists who are doing their job, reporting to the American people on important developments that affect their lives and the nation at large. And as he continues these attacks, he puts more lives in danger as he encourages the nut jobs out there to physically attack journalists because they either buy into their hero's views or they will do just about anything to please him.
In so many ways, this president reminds me of the actions of real dictators, who I am convinced Trump seeks to emulate. This Washington Post article points out that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong all regularly used the term to attack domestic enemies — particularly scholars and reporters whose only offense was to tell the truth.
But, says the article, "That hasn’t stopped the president from regularly trotting out the slur on the campaign trail to thunderous applause from supporters and mounting concern from journalists covering his rallies."
I can tell you that, as a journalist, it is a scary thing to be threatened by an angry mob. It happened to me many years ago when I was working for United Press International. "That's him," evangelist Dr. Carl McIntire yelled through his bullhorn to demonstrators in the streets of Trenton, NJ, as he pointed to me. "That's the left-wing liberal reporter who's called all this trouble."
But being threatened by little old ladies with umbrellas, as I was that day, is nothing compared to the danger facing today's journalists as rabid Trump supporters are encouraged by the terrorist-in-chief. Crazies with guns and bombs are just a bit more dangerous.
Yesterday's bomb threat to CNN, one of Trump's favorite "enemy of the people" targets, is just the latest such incident.
Last June, five journalists were murdered in a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD, when a gunman barged into the newsroom and started shooting. Jarrod Ramos, who has been charged with five counts of murder in the case, reportedly was intent on wiping out as many journalists as possible.
“This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people,” Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf said. “His intent was to cause harm.”
Why did he do it? Was he encouraged by Trump's constant labeling of the media as the "enemy of the people"? Who knows. But such irresponsible rhetoric by the man who is supposed to set an example for Americans could not have helped.
When CNN's Jim Acosta was temporarily stripped of his White House credentials by Trump because he did not like his news conference questioning, Acosta worried that the president's rhetoric toward him "will result in somebody getting hurt." Looks like they are still out there, those wackos who continue to be inflamed by Trump.
Who really is "the enemy of the people?" Trump should look in the mirror.