On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, April Ryan listened while Washington Examiner (yeah) columnist Salena Zito laughed off Trump’s war on the media as a “schtick.” (BTW there’s a great article about Zito’s history of straw man arguments at The Pittsburgh Comet, check it out.)
Trump’s war on the media is not a schtick, is not just to get ratings or cheers. It’s deliberate.
Transcript via Media Matters:
BRIAN STELTER (HOST): It is quite a contrast. So I wonder, Salena, when you’re there at the rally, is it ever uncomfortable when “the fake news media” is being booed?
SALENA ZITO: It’s part of the shtick. I don’t think anybody felt unsafe when it happens. I think it — I don’t — so it’s hard to unpack in that it’s part of his deal, it’s sort of like the “Lock her up.” You can’t lock her up anymore because he’s not running against her. So this is a continuation of reminding his voters that people are against him and he is there for them. And also, he speaks in such a stream of consciousness —
ZITO: — it’s all these things are strung together. People just keep clapping no matter what.
STELTER: April, I see you wanting to react.
APRIL RYAN: I’m sorry, Salena, I totally disagree. This is not shtick, it’s not comedy. This is real and it’s dangerous. During the campaign, this president talked about kicking people out, beating them up. People did get beat up, and the problem is now, you know, when you make the press the enemy, which he has, there are people out here who are crazy enough to really feel that, and to act on it, and some of my dear colleagues who are going to some of these rallies, some of these rallies have been so tense, they’ve been fearful for their safety at times. All the president has to say is act on it, and people will turn.
This is someone who has the power of life and death in his tongue and in his pen, and also the fact that people will turn on the press in a moment’s notice. So this is not shtick. This is real for us, and we are covered by the founding fathers, these white men, who covered all of us not knowing that there would be social media or people like us covering the White House. So this is a dangerous game, and this president vowed to uphold the constitution, and the free press is part of that, and he’s going against his vow when he was inaugurated.