Hell hath no fury like Donald Trump accurately portrayed.
The Republican presidential frontrunner might—as he constantly claims—love, cherish, and respect women, but woe betide the female journalist who dares report that protesters at a Trump campaign rally prompted the candidate to cut short his speech.
NBC News correspondent Katy Tur, who decamped from the network’s London bureau this summer to cover the Trump campaign full time, got a sour taste of the candidate’s grievances and belligerence Monday night, notably his rather disturbing attempt to incite the mob against her, at a rally in South Carolina.
“Little Katy, third-rate journalist,” Trump declared during a bitter peroration about the “absolute scum” who allegedly populate the news media and report “dishonestly” on his triumphal march to the White House.
The real estate mogul/reality show star punctuated his insults by calling out “Katy Tur!” and pointing her out to the crowd gathered in a cavernous space inside the USS Yorktown, a World War II-vintage aircraft carrier docked in Mount Pleasant.
Some members of the Trump faithful, their faces contorted in anger, could be seen during live coverage of the event turning around and glaring at Tur, positioned in the back of the hall on the camera stand. They lustily booed.
Tur, for her part, observed that not everyone at the rally was foaming at the mouth against her. “Awww. Women in the crowd are giving me sympathetic looks,” she tweeted amid the catcalls.
Trump’s attack on Tur occurred after a young woman in the crowd kept shouting “Black lives matter!” during his speech. The candidate ordered her escorted out of the hall, although he instructed, “Be very gentle.” When the protester was permitted to return and shouted again, the candidate complained vociferously, with a great deal of shrugging and Trumpian eye-rolling, about the incompetence of the people handling security at the rally.
The 32-year-old Tur—who like other media types on the Trump campaign bus has had an occasionally combative relationship with the thin-skinned candidate—provoked his latest tantrum with her reporting on last Friday’s Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.
A contingent from Black Lives Matter figured at that event, as well.
Tur had tweeted from the Dec. 4 rally that the candidate “ends speech abruptly and leaves stage” after he was repeatedly interrupted by boisterous Black Lives Matter protesters. Her tweet was seconded by CBS News’s Trump reporter, Sopan Deb, whose detailed story appeared under the headline “Black Lives Matter protesters cut off Donald Trump in North Carolina.”
Deb’s story on CBSNews.com recounted: “Trump maintained his composure initially. After the first protester, a woman, interrupted his speech, Trump told the crowd, ‘Make sure that young lady is in beautiful shape.’
“However, soon enough, the rally had a different feel as crowd members, campaign staff and press alike were actively on the lookout for more protesters.”
In remarks similar to Monday night’s whining, “Trump blamed the media for giving the protesters coverage,” the story went on, quoting that candidate as saying, “‘You know the shame is that it’s one person and the dishonest media. They are dishonest. You don’t believe how dishonest. They are the most dishonest people... They will make that one person into the headline.”
On Monday night, Trump cited approvingly a broadside from The Gateway Pundit, a right-leaning media critic who called Tur and Deb “liars” for their reports on his North Carolina speech.
Linking to the Gateway Pundit attack, Trump himself tweeted: “@KatyTurNBC, 3rd rate reporter, and @SopanDeb @CBS lied. Finished in normal manner and signed autos for 20 min. Dishonest!”
After Monday night’s attack, fellow journalists immediately came to Tur’s defense on Twitter.
“Congrats @KatyTurNBC,” tweeted Huffington Post White House correspondent Sam Stein.
The New York Times’s Michael Barbaro called Tur “highly respected.”
The Nation’s Joan Walsh retweeted HubScout: “Trump turns his dogs on @KatyTurNBC,who has patiently, professionally & accurately reported on this jerk. Nothing good will come from this.”
Walsh added that Trump’s attack was “‘gross.’ And maybe dangerous.”
The National Memo’s Harold Itzkowitz tweeted: “Trump encourages mob to turn on NBC reporter @KatyTurNBC. Scary. He’s the scum.”
Taking the high road, Tur and NBC News didn’t respond to a request for comment, and aside from her brief tweet, Tur ignored the incident during her live standups for MSNBC from the rally.
“Are you used to that kind of trash talk from Trump?” Chris Matthews asked her at one point.
“I can’t hear you, Chris,” Tur replied with a smile and proceeded to talk about Trump’s new policy idea of banning all Muslims from entering the United States.