Donald Trump’s anti-journalist rhetoric has been criticized by many as being dangerous for the press, especially abroad. When journalists go to other countries without our laws protecting them, they depend on the United States government to protect them. Trump’s words sound like he’s giving a free pass to those who want to do journalists harm, and it’s all based on criticism of him. Notice that he never specifies exactly which stories or facts are “fake” when slamming objective news organizations as “fake news.”
Yet apparently, journalists aren’t even safe on our own soil. A campaign official of Roy Moore’s just attacked a videographer at a rally he organized for the alleged child molester candidate, who is supported by Donald Trump.
Here’s the video:
Raw video: Man wearing Roy Moore sticker physically attacked a cameraman attempting to film Moore's arrival outside campaign rally a few minutes ago here in Henagar, Alabama. Another man w/ Moore sticker verbally assaulted a second cameraman. pic.twitter.com/faJVV8YpE0
— Connor Sheets (@ConnorASheets) November 28, 2017
According to the reporter who posted the video, the man who attacked the videographer is the DeKalb County coordinator for Roy Moore’s senate campaign, and organized the rally:
Conner Sheets is a reporter for The Birmingham News, which has been in circulation for well over 100 years. Here’s the link pictured in the above screenshot.
The video is igniting a firestorm of responses on Twitter:
This attack immediately calls to mind the assault earlier this year on a journalist from The Guardian by Republican candidate (and now congressman) Greg Gianforte.
That incident is not yet over, either. After reports surfaced that the police caught Gianforte lying to them, Gianforte denied it, continuing to mischaracterize the events that led to him body slamming a reporter to the ground. Just a few days ago, attorneys for the assaulted reporter, Ben Jacobs, were forced to send Gianforte a cease-and-desist letter for that reason. Here’s more from Montana Public Radio:
‘The letter demands Rep. Gianforte and members of his office stop making “false and defamatory statements” about Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.
‘The congressman’s spokesperson, Travis Hall, recently told news outlets that Gianforte never misled police in the immediate aftermath of his assault on Jacobs, and anyone who thinks otherwise is mistaken.
But according to documents released earlier this month, the congressman did indeed mislead investigators about the assault, saying the “liberal media” was trying to make a story and claiming Jacobs initiated physical contact.’
Both of these incidents echo rhetoric used by Trump on the campaign trail, where he directly called for violence against reporters. Since his election, he’s mostly stuck to hinting at violence, attempting to de-legitimize the press and undermine the First Amendment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Or the time that a reporter was choke slammed for no reason by Trump’s security detail:
This latest attack on a journalist is yet another incident which Republicans own. It’s not enough to undermine factual reporting – after all, Republicans have already decided that facts are something you pick and choose according to how well they suit your preconceived worldview. They’re out to physically intimidate and attempt to remove journalists.
It’s only going to escalate from here, unless something is done.
Greg Gianforte received a slap on the wrist for his physical attack on a journalist. Hopefully, without the protections afforded to someone who’s been voted into Congress, this guy will be made an example of.
Featured image via screenshot from Twitter