The Vile, Anti-Semitic, ‘Brownshirt-y’ War of Trump Supporters Against Journalists

Trump’s had issued repeated threats against freedom of the press, and has even inciting violence against journalists, like Katy Tur, who had to be protected by the Secret Service. Taking their cue from him, his supporters regularly issue death threats against reporters who say something critical about their hero.

Katy Tur, who had to be taken under the protection of Trump’s own Secret Service detail after he whipped up the crowd against her, threatening her safety, has told her story to Marie Claire:

The wave of insults, harassment, and threats, via various social-media feeds, hasn’t stopped since. Many of the attacks are unprintable.
 
“MAYBE A FEW JOURNALISTS DO NEED TO BE WHACKED,” tweeted someone with the handle GuyScott33, two weeks after Trump lashed out. “MAYBE THEN THEYD STOP BEI[N]G BIASED HACKS. KILL EM ALL STARTING W/ KATY TUR.”

Newsweek‘s Kurt Eichenwald had the temerity to speak truthfully about the national security threat of Donald Trump’s overseas business entanglements. He tweeted about the immediate reaction of Trump followers, and that has continued:

In another tweet, Eichenwald highlighted the neo-Nazi tenor of this hate:

He is quick to assure his readers that “neo nazi crap does not scare me.”

Journalists regularly have insults hurled at them during Trump rallies. As Jared Sexton, who heard people at a Trump rally in Charlotte “talking beating the shit out of reporters,” tweeted in August, “If you thought Trump couldn’t be more terrifying, welcome to The Age of Breitbart.”

In February, we are told by The Daily Beast, “Conservative essayist Bethany S. Mandel, who has been awash in a deluge of social media abuse since she began denouncing Donald Trump, finally purchased a handgun over the weekend.” She has been told things by Trump followers that “you deserve the oven,” and “Missed one, you slimy Jewess.”

When Jewish journalist Julia Ioffe wrote in GQ about Donald and Melania Trump this spring, her inbox and phone were flooded with anti-Semitic hate and death threats. “They said I’d make a good lampshade,” she said.

CNN’s Sara Murray told Cosmopolitan “Before Donald Trump, it was rare for a presidential candidate to be attacking individual reporters.” She described his attack on her:

“He was unhappy with some story I had done and he did a little impression of me on stage, and started talking about this terrible CNN reporter. Then he called me out by name. The next thing I knew, I had thousands of Trump fans turning around [and] jeering at me.”

Unlike Katy Tur, she didn’t feel physically unsafe and she did not need to be rescued by the Secret Service, but she issued what is possibly the most damning statement of all about Trump’s hostility to those who question him:

“I think any reporter who has asked Trump a tough question has gotten the Trump treatment.”

Katy Tur told Morning Joe that Trump realizes he needs the media, but he has a strange way of showing it. It hardly matters how gracious he can be on an individual basis when he is inciting crowds against you, and those Trump rallies are beacons to white supremacists and anti-Semites.

The real hero here isn’t Donald Trump. And while the mainstream media has been justly criticized at both an institutional and personal level (looking at you, Matt Lauer) for taking it easy on Donald Trump, the real heroes are those among the press corps who have the courage to stand up to Donald Trump and ask him the difficult questions he neither wants to hear, nor answer, will endure the abuse, and, like Katy Tur or Kurt Eichenwald, keep asking those questions.