Violent threats against the president are OK now?
By Kristin Tate, Opinion Contributor
Turn on TV or browse your newsfeeds on social media, and you will be bombarded with polemics about the sky falling and credible threats of violence against conservative figures.
The FBI investigated a threat to kill Milo Yiannoupolis for the audacity to want to speak on a college campus. Threats against former Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder’s wife caused him to withdraw himself from consideration. Multiple intimidatory remarks haunted members of the Trump-voting Electoral College. President Trump has been the target of declarations of violence on a near daily basis.
And yet, when it comes to this constant flow of threats, there seems to be little outrage from the nation’s leading journalists and pundits.
Social media shines almost every day with a new dimwitted threat against Trump and his presidency. “Comedienne” Sarah Silverman called for a military coup. Madonna told protesters she “thought” about blowing up the White House. Violence seems to break out every time a conservative comes to speak at a college campus. Rosie O’Donnell talks about “stopping” Trump on Twitter.
Snoop Dogg has done his best to get back on people’s radars since 1998 with his new music video in which he assassinates a clown dressed as Trump. Even if it was just a stunt by the 45-year-old rapper to stay relevant, it was still completely crass and unacceptable.
The media has largely glossed over these serious threats with a shrug. A simple Google search on Snoop Dogg’s assassination video, for example, yields virtually no mainstream editorials expressing disgust. It’s almost as if there’s an overarching belief among the media that Trump brought this upon himself.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 14, 2017
All of these actions underline what’s been obvious for a while now: The calls by President Obama for “civility” after the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were never genuine. The left only uses such efforts as a cudgel to silence their political foes, then turns around to call them Hitler when needed.
The selective outrage is deafening. Obama was certainly the target of vicious remarks, but the calls for outright violence from the left have received nowhere near the same attention in the press as conservatives received during the Obama years.
Every time a threatening, disrespectful, or unflattering comment was made about the former president, a national shaming storm sprung up. A staffer for an obscure congressman was forced to resign after stating that Obama’s daughters don’t show enough “class.” Ex-congressman Joe Walsh was slammed in nearly every major outlet after he tweeted, “This is now war. Watch out Obama,” after five cops were fatally shot in Dallas. Even Tea Partiers were regularly called neo-Confederates.
Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
Selective outrage gets tiring, even in the Trump years.
Both sides of the political spectrum seem to understand the concept of “outrage fatigue.” An Huffington Post op-ed asked its readers if they suffered from protest fatigue — the author wrote, “Daily I am poised to do something to ride the emotional tsunami.” Fortunately for those of us constantly seeing crises on Facebook, we already have a term for such an ailment: The boy who cried wolf. Heck, the Onion was on this over a decade ago.
Political tensions are reaching a boiling point and the mainstream media, pundits, and “analysts” do nothing but fan the flames. The American people are quick to pick up on coverage patterns. Many are still making up their own minds about President Trump but understand that he is doing his best. They know (and maybe support) that the Democrats are the opposition party. They don’t want the media to be another.
These are serious times requiring serious attention – not just adoring coverage of Pussy Hat protesters. At the end of the day it’s going to be the members of the traditional press gaggle left pointing fingers.
Kristin Tate is a conservative columnist and author of the book “Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride And What You Can Do About It.” She was recently named one of NewsMax’s “30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30.”
The views of contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.