WASHINGTON — Allies of President Donald Trump have ramped up attacks on the mainstream media, following the lead of a president who has dismissed those news outlets as "fake news" and "enemies" out to get him, but not without strong pushback from media defenders.
A chilling "parody" video showing Trump shooting and stabbing people representing major media outlets and political opponents worshipping inside the "Church of Fake News" took the demonization of Trump critics to a new level. It was reportedly shown at a conference in Miami attended by Donald Trump Jr. and former press secretary Sarah Sanders.
"Given the ongoing threats and incendiary rhetoric targeting the media, and in light of last year's shooting at the Capital Gazette that killed five, such a video sends a dangerous message that could encourage violence against journalists," Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon said.
Donald Trump Sr. condemned the video sight unseen, according to current White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, but as The Washington Post editorial page pointed out last week, "Mr. Trump has set the tone for it with language and ideology that encourages hate, disrespect and violence."