MSM: Trump’s Campaign of Fear. Reality: But What About Dems?
Fear-based campaigning is bipartisan. The mainstream press frequently ascribes this motive to President Donald Trump.
They’ve refused to give the same attention to Democrats who rely on fear. And the press has initiated quite a bit of fear itself.
CNN Pushes Fear
A CNN opinion piece was headlined “Trump is trying to whip up fear about the browning of America”. The author wrote that Trump promotes “racism.” It claims “little evidence” exists that the Central American migrant caravan “is filled with dangerous people.” However, a CNN article from October notes that “many migrants from the caravan appear to have circumvented authorities” in Mexico.
Additionally, there are real concerns about illegal immigrants. They commit serious crimes more frequently than legal immigrants and native-born Americans.
CNN’s Don Lemon likewise endorsed the hypocritical and fear-based view that “demonizing” is wrong…but that “white men” are “the biggest terror threat” in America.
“So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban,” he said.
Lemon has not apologized for saying we shouldn’t demonize people … just 10 words before demonizing “white men.” He has defended his claim.
CNN’s S.E. Cupp had two segments this past Saturday on Trump’s campaigning. She focused on Trump’s campaigning in an almost entirely negative fashion. No mentions were made of Democratic rhetoric which endorses violence. No condemnation of Democratic race-baiting took place.
In a perverse hypocrisy, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and others said harassment of senior Trump officials was not mob action. They refuse to blame Democratic leaders who have pushed for harassment and aggression against Republicans and Trump officials.
These media voices seem to agree with Planned Parenthood and The Women’s March that getting arrested on Capitol Hill is “democracy in action”.
Finally, CNN declined to run a Trump ad about the migrant caravan. CNN claimed the ad was racist. When The Hill covered this controversy, it made a fallacious claim that “as immigrant populations in the U.S. have grown… violent crime in the country has declined.” Those two facts may be true, but they are not necessarily related.
The Hill closed its article with CNN-level fear-based messaging:
Trump has been invoking the migrant “caravan” to stoke anti-immigration fears ahead of the midterm elections. Critics have accused him of using racist and xenophobic imagery to galvanize his base and boost the GOP.
Stoking Fear After Synagogue Shooting
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, claimed that attacks on liberal mega-donor George Soros are “anti-Semitic” after the recent Synagogue shooting in Pennsylvania. A Washington Post piece claimed the same. As a Washington Free Beacon article noted, however, the attacks on Soros are standard political fare. Those same attacks are leveled at Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson by Democrats.
Yet comedian Samantha Bee linked Trump to the shooting. She also said attacks on “Hollywood liberals” and Soros are part of anti-Semitic political language. And while this piece in The Atlantic acknowledges that the alleged synagogue shooter didn’t like Trump, the author says that attacks on Soros and “globalists” are anti-Semitic. This despite Trump’s daughter and son-in-law being practicing Jews.
Pipe Bomb Crazy Tied to Trump
Remember how nobody on the Left blamed Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for last year’s attempted massacre which nearly killed a GOP Congressman? The shooter was a Sanders campaign volunteer.
Many campaigning Democrats blame Trump for the man who allegedly sent pipe bombs to prominent liberals. The man was a Trump supporter, but he has a long history of various crimes…including a prior pipe bomb threat. Blaming Trump for the man’s actions is clearly both false and fear-mongering.
Racism Attacks On GOP Governor Candidates
Trump isn’t the only target of fear campaigns. Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has been accused of racism over voter fraud issues. Kemp claims that he’s enforcing the state’s laws regarding voter registration.
Critics say that because blacks have had more trouble than other demographics following the state’s error law regarding name misspellings and other similar errors, Kemp’s enforcement disenfranchises blacks. A judge ruled over the weekend that 3,000 of those 53,000 people should be allowed to vote. That judge said the law was a significant burden for voters. NPR reports she ordered Kemp’s office to issue a press release explaining how citizens can produce the proper ID to vote.
Politico reported that 53,000 Georgia voters whose voter registration was suspended, many due to minor errors, should be able to vote today if they have the proper ID.
Criticisms from Vox and state Democrats are on better ground when slamming Kemp’s newly-announced probe of the state Democratic Party related to an alleged hack. They point to a lack of evidence behind the investigation and its timing. They also say Kemp shouldn’t oversee a probe related to an election he’s in. Kemp says the matter is now being handled by the FBI.
Another governor race is heavy with race accusations. Florida gubernatorial democratic candidate Andrew Gillum is linked to a FBI corruption investigation into Tallahassee. He is mayor there. He has denied connections to the alleged fraud.
He has, however, pulled the race card:
“First of all, he’s got neo-Nazis helping him out in this state,” he continued, referring to a white supremacist group that is running racist robo-calls against Gillum in the state (DeSantis’ campaign has disavowed the calls).
“Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist,” Gillum said.
His Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, said Florida voters should not “monkey this up,” meaning the election. That phrase was declared by Gillum and others to be a racist dog whistle. Gillum is black. DeSantis is white.
Obama Gets Involved
A USA TODAY article looked at how fear is inspiring both parties’ voters. It’s pretty balanced. The exception is when it exclusively declares Trump’s language as “dark.” Obama said “the character of our country is on the ballot” while Trump said “if you don’t want America to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans, you better vote Republican.”
Neither message is particularly optimistic. And Obama didn’t mince words in his fear-based attack on Trump. Via Townhall.com:
“In 2010, they said Bill and I were setting up death panels to kill your grandma. Remember that? In 2014 they said Ebola is going to kill all of us, shut the borders,” Obama explained. “In 2016, it was Hillary’s emails. They were all wound up about that. Now, in 2018, they’re telling you the existential threat to America is a bunch of poor refugees a thousand miles away. They’re even taking our brave troops away from their families for a political stunt at the border. And our men and women deserve better than that.”
Let’s Take A Breath: Fear-Based Campaigns Are Normal
Fear-based campaigning is normal and effective. Otherwise, Obama would not have claimed that Mitt Romney would bring America back to 1850.
Fear is also often based upon truth. That’s why pro-lifers show the horrors of abortion.
The national and Georgia-based media deserve credit for holding Kemp accountable for his weekend investigation. And Trump’s frequently false statements must be held to account. For example, contrary to his claims, the economy was not “going down” under Obama. The recovery was the slowest in decades, and Obama’s policies were harmful. But the economy was gaining ground when Trump took office.
Yet many media outlets act as partisan cheerleaders. The New York Times accused Trump of engaging in “a blistering message of nativist fear” last Friday. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw noted, the timing of a similar article is no coincidence. The Times covered Antifa favorably despite the group being a domestic terrorist organization.
Fox and others are largely the same. They choose partisanship and vitriol instead of substance. This has consequences. The public is woefully underinformed about many public policy issues. But too many of our “leaders” care more about beating the other side than solving problems.