Anyone who doesn’t live under a bridge has seen the disgusting way Donald Trump supporters speak to and about women. If you’re a reporter, it’s even worse. It’s so bad now that women reporters from different networks and perhaps different ideologies are uniting against the hate aimed their way by Trump supporters.
Here was Katy Tur of NBC’s tweet describing the situation at a Trump rally in Virginia:
Trump trashes press. Crowd jeers. Guy by press 'pen' looks at us & screams "you're a bitch!" Other gentleman gives cameras the double bird.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) February 21, 2016
Fox’s Megyn Kelly retweeted Tur:
Enough. Seriously. https://t.co/PT13rqR0pp
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) February 21, 2016
Kelly also defended CNN’s Sara Murray after Trump called her absolutely terrible:
What is “enough”? Vocativ did a chart of slurs aimed at Megyn Kelly, which they summarized as, “Their language was largely gendered, using phrases like “dumb blonde” and other words derogatory to women. “Bitch” appeared the most—a total of 423 times in tweets from the last 24 hours—followed by “bimbo.”
Things are so bad for Kelly that she can no longer go on Twitter. In the wake of the Trump feud, Kelly told Jimmy Fallon, “I can no longer go on Twitter,” she said. “It’s been a surreal six months.”
These gendered insults all look very familiar from my own incomings on Twitter, with a few threats/ expressions of a desire to assault. If you report something that doesn’t paint Donald Trump out to be the second coming, prepare to be treated this way.
Now rabid Trump supporters doing it face-to-face as well. While gendered insults are certainly not limited to the Trump supporters, no other group is so relentlessly and aggressively hateful.
Even Chuck Todd agrees that this is dangerous and outrageous:
The campaign rhetoric needs to be ratcheted back. This is outrageous and dangerous behavior https://t.co/Qi4eAQxkgb
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 21, 2016
Donald Trump is leading this charge, with his references to the “p” word, calling women “pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals”, musing on how he would like this woman to drop to her knees, sneering about Hillary Clinton using the bathroom – the list of Trump’s hatred for women is seemingly endless. Add his hatred of the press (aka, anyone who might report the things he says and does and thereby hold him accountable) and he is rabid.
Trump’s cult followers have coalesced around Trump’s hatred of the other, so this is just another way that he encourages them to be their worst selves, publicly no less.
I have defended Megyn Kelly on several times, from the men on her own network to this latest episode with Donald Trump. It does us no good to deny the poison of gendered insults on women reporters. This has been a political tactic used silence women up throughout the ages. And it works often enough in the world of journalism, a field that much like tech loses a lot of good talent because they don’t want to be harassed and threatened, that it must be called out and united against.
Donald Trump is uniting women reporters against him with these tactics, and showing what an irresponsible, dangerous leader he is just as a candidate. Can you imagine if he had more power?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.