On CNN, Boston Globe columnist Indira Lakshmanan blamed President Donald Trump for creating a culture in which candidates like Montana’s Greg Gianforte can allegedly body-slam left-leaning reporters like the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs.
Appearing on the network’s “Reliable Sources” program on Sunday, Lakshmanan, an institutionalist who has titles like the “Newmark chair in journalism ethics at Poynter Institute” said Trump’s attacks on the media have “paved the way for this” because Trump has “normalized hatred of and denigration of the press by calling us the enemy of the people.”
“And by saying we’re some of the most dishonest people, he has normalized hatred towards journalists, and that is wrong,” she added.
Lakshmanan said it was “wrong” for Trump to use “this kind of violent language against people in the audience or against the press.”
“I think you’ve got a real problem, that normalization of violence is wrong,” she continued.
For the sake of argument, guest-host Frank Sesno, who also wondered whether the bar for hostility is lower under Trump, wanted to take another position and asked, “given the low esteem and trust that the media earn in survey after survey these days, it’s been happening for years, how about the media doing their jobs differently?”
Perhaps Sesno was recognizing that everyday Americans who do not live among the media elite in places like New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles hate and distrust “journalists” who not only ridicule and look down on them as if they are rubes but also try to mask their activism by claiming to be “objective” or “nonpartisan.”
“How about recognizing there is something to this loss of trust and maybe we shouldn’t be so obnoxious?” Sense asked.
Lakshmanan immediately wanted to “push back” on the notion that activist mainstream media journalists could even be “obnoxious.”
It is also worth noting that, just like with talk about Trump’s impeachment, the usual suspects on the “right” rushed to blame Trump for Gianforte’s actions, giving mainstream media journalists license to pile on Trump even more. For instance, Jennifer Rubin, the Never Trumper who also is the Washington Post’s resident useful idiot when it comes to all things concerning “right,” immediately blamed Trump, saying the “fish rots from the head.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who constantly seeks affirmation from the mainstream media elite, said “you can draw a straight line” from Gianforte’s actions to Trump.