In almost two days, Donald Trump -- the presumptive front-runner in the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign -- has used his Twitter account to regularly call Megyn Kelly, the popular host of The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel, “crazy.”
In an article on the TV Newser website, Mark Joyella explains “Why We Shouldn't Accept Donald Trump Calling Megyn Kelly 'Crazy,'” especially after Tuesday night, “when he rolled to victories in Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois.”
Trump started his Twitter barrage by stating: “Highly overrated & crazy @megynkelly is always complaining about Trump, and yet she devotes her shows to me. Focus on others, Megyn!”
Next, he asserted: “Crazy @megynkelly is now complaining” that Bill O'Reilly on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor “did not defend her against me -- yet her bad show is a total hit piece on me. Tough!”
“Crazy @megynkelly supposedly had lyin' Ted Cruz on her show last night. Ted is desperate, and his lying is getting worse,” Trump said before claiming that “Crazy @megynkelly is unwatchable,” and “Ted can't win!”
Along the same line, Trump later complained: “Can't watch Crazy Megyn anymore. Talks about me at 43% but never mentions that there are four people in race.”
Finally, the presidential candidate posted that “@megynkelly is trying hard to bash @realDonaldTrump” so much that “it's ridiculous.”
“Don't worry,” he continued. “Everyone is wise to Crazy Megyn!”
After relaying Trump's Twitter barrage, Joyella stated:
Considering what Trump has said about his political opponents, about 1.6 billion people who are Muslim, and about women, calling Megyn Kelly “crazy” would seem somewhat mild.
But it’s not, and it speaks volumes about the man’s character and what having him in the White House might mean not just for women, but for the one in four Americans … affected by mental illness.
Like “psycho,” “deranged,” “lunatic” and “wacko,” “crazy” is a disparaging term that reinforces stigma, the journalist stated.
“These are precisely the words the Associated Press Stylebook warns journalists to avoid, comparing them to racial and ethnic epithets,” he added.
“Do not use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story," the Stylebook warns.
Nevertheless, “Trump seems to enjoy using words like 'loser' and 'stupid,'” Joyella noted. “But it’s significant how many of the words Trump includes in his go-to collection of putdowns have their ties to mental illness.
Colby Itkowitz, while writing in the Washington Post, noted that Trump “has called Jeb Bush a ‘basket case,’ Bernie Sanders a ‘wacko,’ Lindsay Graham a ‘nut job’ and Ted Cruz ‘nuts’ and ‘unstable’ and has repeatedly referred to Ben Carson’s ‘pathological disease.'”
Joyella then noted:
It’s worth remembering here that the only thing Megyn Kelly did to warrant Trump’s unrelenting campaign of insults was to look the candidate in the face and confront him with his own disparaging words about women.
For that offense in the first Republican debate, Trump has concluded Kelly must be diminished, degraded, destroyed.
“For Trump’s high-value targets, he selects one insult and uses it over and over and over again,” the website reporter stated. “Marco Rubio becomes 'Little Marco.' Ted Cruz becomes 'Lyin’ Ted.'”
“But why can’t he get over Megyn Kelly, and why did he choose 'crazy?'” Joyella asked.
“Harris O’Malley, a dating coach, says 'crazy' is one of 'the five deadly words guys use to shame women into compliance.' The others: Fat. Ugly. Slutty. Bitchy. They sum up the supposedly worst things a woman can be.”
“A woman who stands up to Donald Trump, then, must be crazy,” the reporter noted.
“This kind of bullying is unacceptable -- and so deeply revealing,” Joyella stated. “It tells us just what Trump is afraid of: strong women. And it tells us how he fights: He thinks it’s worth resorting to epithets and stereotypes if it means hurting someone who has hurt him.”
“In Trump’s mind, crazy also means dangerous,” the reporter stated. “He said in October 2015 that gun-free zones are ‘target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill.'”
“Studies have shown that the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, and experts say most people who are violent do not suffer from mental illness,” Joyella noted.
“That Donald Trump can’t -- or won’t bother to -- distinguish between a woman who asks uncomfortable questions and an outdated, insulting cliché should be troubling to the millions of Americans working to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness in this country,” he charged.
Finally, Trump might do himself and his blood pressure a favor by not watching programs hosted by people he dislikes. Perhaps he doesn't do that because it wouldn't in any way damage The Kelly File, one of the highest-rated programs on any cable channel.