On Tuesday in Phoenix, the US president took to the stage to lambast a group of “bad” and “sick” people.
Not neo-Nazis, terrorists or Russian hackers, but … journalists.
This is what he said: “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that. These are truly dishonest people. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters, you have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, these are really, really dishonest people.
“They’re bad people and I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that. And I don’t believe they’re going to change and that’s why I do this. If they would change, I would never say it. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news.”
“These are sick people. You would think they want to make our country great again and I honestly believe they don’t. If you want to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media, which would rather get ratings and clicks than tell the truth.”
Unbelievable, cynical, dishonest.
Of course, we all know what he’s up to. Diverting attention from his own actions, words and failings. As the special counsel’s net closes in and some of his wilder campaign promises hit the buffers, the rhetoric and scapegoating will get even more unhinged.
Tempting to laugh, but this is dangerous stuff. Putting aside the possible incitement to violence, he is engendering unwarranted distrust in one of the great pillars of democracy – the free press.
The media will be living with the consequences of this deeply dishonest president for years to come.