On Thursday morning, CNN’s New Day linked President Trump’s frequent criticism of the liberal media to Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte’s violent incident with a reporter Wednesday evening. Appearing on the morning show, The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian whined: “You’ve got this kind of culture of, you know, reporters are the enemy going on and it depends. You see a lot of Democrats pointing the finger at the President right now. Saying you created, you helped create, at least, this culture where people consider reporters to be, you know, a fifth column or something.”
Anchor Alisyn Camerota lent her a helping leftist hand by interjecting: “An enemy of the people.” Demirjian continued: “But it certainly creates an environment in which this is somehow okay to hate reporters and sometimes fists fly.” As if calling the media out for its dishonest reporting is causing violence.
All this outrage over Trump's rhetoric came a day after CNN contributor Phil Mudd declared on the same broadcast that Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) should “have his ass kicked,” for simply asking tough questions of former CIA Director John Brennan during a recent congressional hearing. Neither Camerota nor her co-host Chris Cuomo chastised Mudd for his incendiary comments.
During Thursday's panel discussion, The Daily Beast’s Editor-in-Chief John Avlon piled on against the President:
It’s about creating an atmosphere consciously stoking those fires of fear and anger and resentment. This isn’t subtle. The President of the United States calling the press the quote,’ enemy of the American people.’ A lot of rhetoric in his rallies over the course of the campaign where people at the rallies expressed a lot of anger and hostility to the press and reporters and it’s part of a larger pattern that we should be aware of.
This was not the end of their hysteria. They would revive the subject later in the show.
The media began creating this link immediately starting last night. In fact, there have been plenty of Newsbusters stories revealing such behavior.
The crew then began to actively lobby for people to vote for the Democrat in the Montana race -- a clear violation of journalistic ethics. Avlon demanded: “Now it is up to the people of Montana to send a message.”
CNN political analyst David Gregory stated that he agreed, leading the way for Demirjian to suggest that the election of said candidate will lead to chaos on Capitol Hill:
So this is just a little preview of what life is gonna be like if he wins. And you can't body slam the reporters. I never have had that happen in the Capitol and it would be remarkable and Capitol Police would rush in if it happened.
Camerota agreed: “There you go. Great point.”
The suggestion that Trump or anybody else, besides Gianforte, is in anyway responsible for violence against reporters is ridiculous.
See below for a more complete transcript of what transpired on the May 24th and May 25th transcripts:
MAY 24 6:56 AM
ALISYN CAMEROTA: In fact, it got a little heated with Congressman Trey Gowdy. So let me just play this for you and then you can respond. Watch this.
[VIDEO OF HOUSE INTELLIGENCE HEARING PLAYS]
TREY GOWDY: Did you have evidence of a connection between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?
JOHN BRENNAN: As I said, Mr. Gowdy, I don't do evidence.
GOWDY: I appreciate that you don’t do evidence, Dr. Brennan. You and I both know word for word evidence means. It’s a really simple question. Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts?
BRENNAN: I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. Persons involved in the Trump campaign.
CAMEROTA: See Phil, that is what’s so frustrating. Did collusion exist? That's the burning question everybody wants answered. And then Brennan says, well I know of contacts and communication.
PHILIP MUDD: Well, Trey Gowdy oughta have his ass kicked. He knows the difference between intelligence and evidence. Let me tell you something, Alisyn, if you are an American citizen and the National Security Agency collects intelligence that is intercepts of Russians who report what you have said, do you think it’s fair to go to a court and say that is evidence that you did something wrong? That’s why the FBI is gonna take a year or more to investigate this because the American citizens involved in this have a right to have evidence presented in a court beyond a conversation of a Russian official reports. In my world, this distinction is black and white. It’s a hard line. I know It is frustrating for the American people. But I hope they don't want evidence to be perceived as something that a Russian official says and that’s it you can be convicted on that.
MAY 25 6:07 AM
ALISYN CAMEROTA: And is there some sort of larger story or message we should take away here? Is this just isolated incident? A candidate snapped and we can look at it that way or we can look at it as growing aggression against the press?
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN: I think certainly Gianforte is going to say it is an isolated incident and others that have been experiencing these sorts of things that the accused assailants would be saying say they are isolated incidents. But we have seen this happen, I believe earlier this week or just a few days ago. Another one of my colleagues in Congress, John Donnelly, got roughed up, pushed against a wall in the FCC trying to ask a question. You’ve got this kind of culture of, you know, reporters are the enemy going on and it depends. You see a lot of Democrats pointing the finger at the President right now. Saying you created, you helped create, at least, this culture where people consider reporters to be, you know, a fifth column or something--
CAMEROTA: An enemy of the people.
DEMIRJIAN: Exactly. Right and so saying like, you know, that doesn't mean go out and assault a reporter, but it certainly creates an environment in which this is somehow okay to hate reporters and sometimes fists fly.
CHRIS CUOMO: The flip side, John, is it fair to blame the President for the actions of one dope in Montana?
JOHN AVLON: No. There’s not a direct connection, but it’s about creating an atmosphere consciously stoking those fires of fear and anger and resentment. This isn’t subtle. The President of the United States calling the press the quote enemy of the American people. A lot of rhetoric in his rallies over the course of the campaign where people at the rallies expressed a lot of anger and hostility to the press and reporters and it’s part of a larger pattern that we should be aware of. This guy clearly flipped off the handle. He’s got some anger management issues.
JOHN AVLON: This is happening the day before the election. Yes, there is early voting, but as we all know and keep learning, the only poll that counts is on election day. The fact that three papers in Montana overnight withdrew their endorsement is a big deal. And now it is up to the people of Montana to send a message.
DAVID GREGORY: I agree
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN: He is going for a seat in Congress right now and I don't know how familiar your viewers are with how reporting works around Capitol Hill, but reporters walk up to lawmakers. That’s one of the beautiful things about covering Congress. You can go straight up to the lawmakers, House members, Senator, put a microphone in their face and ask them a question. This is how it works. It happens like this all the time. So this is just a little preview of what life is gonna be like if he wins. And you can't body slam the reporters. I never have had that happen in the Capitol and it would be remarkable and Capitol Police would rush in if it happened.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: There you go. Great point.