Trump’s Assaults on Journalists, Once Verbal, Have Become Potentially Lethal
After years of being tarred as “enemies of the people,” reporters describe a crescendoing fear that Trump-inspired threats to their personal safety have only just begun.
Journalists working in the United States, nominal bastion of the First Amendment, are now “soft targets” for violent mobs—thanks, it seems, to President Donald Trump.
“Remember, ALL JOURNALISTS are soft targets, and are fair game in the coming revolution!” a Trump loyalist posted this past weekend on the suspended social media platform Parler. “Don’t be afraid to take reporters down by any means necessary!” (Politico congressional correspondent Olivia Beavers, who tweeted a screenshot of the alarming post, redacted the identity of the Parler user “bc I don’t want ppl rallying behind this idea to be able to easily find each other/band together,” she explained.)
Before @realDonaldTrump’s Twitter account was permanently banned on Jan. 8—a belated corporate response to his barrage of toxic lies, smears, and conspiracy theories that culminated in last Wednesday’s lethal mayhem at the Capitol—the 45th president had posted at least 2,520 tweets defaming members of the press and the media as a whole as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” among other epithets, according to U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which catalogues threats and attacks on the Fourth Estate.