As the Democratic presidential race gets more crowded and frantic, the rhetoric is rising. As with some of President Trump’s comments, one can dismiss much of these comments as irresponsible efforts to trigger a base of voters. However, some comments raises more troubling issues. That was the case with Beto O’Rourke’s comments on the media. O’Rourke accused conservative media of being the mouthpieces of terrrorism — an attack every bit as chilling as Trump’s calling the media the “enemy of the people.”
O’Rourke was pushing the effort to tie Trump and conservatives to the recent massacres. I have previously criticized that effort, but this goes beyond other candidates by a great measure.
“When President Donald Trump describes Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “bringing crime,” or refers to undocumented immigrants as individuals who “infest our country” — he speaks not as America’s President but as an emissary of hate. And his vilification and fear-mongering connect with those who are open to receiving it.
The seeds of terror we saw that August day are transmitted day and night on Fox News, the most watched cable news channel in the country. They are amplified by right-wing websites like Breitbart, and in messages forced onto local news broadcasts by Sinclair Media.”
It is equally concerning that the media has not responded as it has (correctly) to Trump’s attacks on the media. This is an effort to attack a part of the media viewed by Democrats as hostile to their platform and candidates — just as Trump has tended to attack media viewed as hostile to his side (though he has been attacking Fox News recently as well). This is not about the “seeds of terror” but the seeds of demagoguery in the United States.