Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 32, 01 Year, Trumpland: Vicious Attacks

I firmly believe that I have no right to soundly complain in my blog day after day without listening to both sides of issues. I listen to conservative talk radio on the way to and from work, 40 minutes each direction, at various times of day determined only by client schedules. I listen to The Answer, which means I'm subject to talk show hosts like Mike Gallagher and Larry Elder. I have to tell you, it truly underscores the different universes occupied by the right and left ends of politics. This morning Larry Gallagher attacked Greta van Susteren. Having heard her statement last night, I was startled by the talk show's vehemence. Here's what Greta had to say:

Greta calls for cool heads on both sides, despite the ugly press bashing Lil' Donald appears to delight in. Recall that last week, Lil' Donald ripped into the press at a press conference. He also tweeted the following:

Saturday, in Melbourne, FL, Lil' Donald again when on the attack:
I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news. The dishonest media which has published one false story after another with no sources, even though they pretend they have them, they make them up in many cases, they just don't want to report the truth and they've been calling us wrong now for two years. They don't get it. By they're starting to get it. I can tell you that. They've become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln and many of our greatest presidents fought with the media and called them out often times on their lies. When the media lies to people, I will never, ever let them get away with it. I will do whatever I can that. They don't get away with it.
To be honest, President Obama also racked up his share of complaints regarding the press. Here's what Breitbart (cringe: never thought I would bring myself to quote this blog) has an article entitled "11 Times Barack Obama Abused Press Freedom". Please know I have not fact checked this article. However, let's take it face value. This article accuses Obama of abusing the press, but it never accuses him of accusing anyone of being "fake news", or offering "alt-facts". Nor was he accused of any worse disrespect of a journalist outside this one example:
When a Major Garrett of CBS actually asked a tough question — about why the administration seemed not to be trying hard to free Americans held by Iran, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian — Obama scolded him: “Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
President Obama rarely chastised anyone in the press individually. However, he obviously was frustrated with major in this example. Moreover, President Obama never indicted the media as a whole, nor questioned their integrity. Indeed, most presidents shied away from the press whereas Lil' Donald seems to thrive on media attention. And let me state the obvious. That comment in no way compares to the extreme abuse Lil' Donald throws at the press in the briefing room, on twitter or at his rally. Let me give one example from his rally:
They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said, “nothing can be believed which is seen in a newspaper.” “Truth itself,” he said, “becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle,” that was June 14, my birthday, 1807. But despite all their lies, misrepresentations, and false stories, they could not defeat us in the primaries, and they could not defeat us in the general election, and we will continue to expose them for what they are, and most importantly, we will continue to win, win, win. 
Greta's a big girl, and she can surly handle criticism, whether it's deserved or not. Nevertheless, I was horrified to turn on the radio this morning and hear the horrific criticism leveled at her for calling on both sides to act like grown-ups and be responsible in what they say, whether it's the press or the president. Mike Gallager called Greta and those like her "nasty, vicious, lying scum doing everything they can to abandoning every pretense of objectivity to stop Donald Trump from governing." He went on to call MSNBC the enemy of the people. Holy cats! I've heard both sides become angry, frustrating, accusing. But that is a fowl and personal attack that is uncalled for. And it is that kind of name calling that continues to make reaching across the divide between liberal and conservative impossible. Much to the tragedy of both sides.

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