At a rally on Friday in Miami, GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump called out Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy on the right to keep and bear arms by calling on Hillary’s bodyguards to voluntarily disarm. Several former journalists crossed the line between reporting and editorializing in response.
“I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” Mr. Trump said. “I think they should disarm. Immediately. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It’ll be very dangerous.”
Trump was referring to Hillary Clinton’s well-known hypocrisy on firearms: the wife of the former President is on record as in favor of banning possession of various firearms by American citizens while ensuring that they would remain available for use by police, military and other security services, including the men and women who provide round-the-clock protection for the Democratic Presidential nominee.
Mrs. Clinton is also on record as favoring numerous steps to provide obstacles to the purchase of firearms by Americans, such as a wholesale federal ban on private sales of firearms. The openly pro-Clinton New York Times reported in May in an article written by journalist Amy Chozick that Mrs. Clinton had made this opposition to the right to keep and bear arms a centerpiece of her primary campaign, attacking socialist Bernie Sanders from the left on the issue.
If all that wasn’t enough, Mrs. Clinton herself declared that she considered advocates for gun owners to be one of the “enemies” she was most proud of having.
Despite these facts, the ‘hot take’ from some in the news/entertainment business to Mr. Trump’s speech bordered on hysteria. More than that – the ‘journalists’ simply abandoned their job and started engaging in open political advocacy in favor of Mrs. Clinton and spinning outright falsehoods.
On CNN.com, an
article editorial by reporter Jeremy Diamond stated:”Clinton has called for tightening access to guns, including instating universal background checks, but has never suggested she would seek to do away with the Second Amendment.”
Similarly, the Associated Press engaged in some electioneering on behalf of Clinton. The piece stated, in part: “Trump has long incorrectly suggested his Democratic opponent wants to overturn the Second Amendment and take away Americans’ right to own guns.” (The link to the piece defending Hillary quoted above goes to the Chicago Tribune for filler content, as usual, to make it look as though that paper has a much larger news staff with a much wider reach than it actually does.)
In the New York Times,
journalists opinion writers Nick Corisanti, Nicholas Confessore, and Michael Barbaro ignored the May article written by Ms. Choznick and Hillary Clinton’s own website and instead started making things up:
Mr. Trump suggested that the Secret Service should stop protecting Mrs. Clinton because, he falsely claimed, she wants to “destroy your Second Amendment,” apparently a reference to her gun control policies.
In addition to that, all of them falsely claimed that Mr. Trump was making a veiled call for violence against Clinton. You may judge for yourself; the link to Trump’s entire speech is here (the bodyguard comments come at around the 12:00 mark). I have quoted the relevant portion below:
We have decent American citizens who want to uphold our tolerant values and keep our country safe. People who support the police, who want crime reduced and ended and who are not prejudiced, they are concerned and loving citizens whose hearts break every time an innocent child is killed violently on the streets. Which is happening all over our country.
Yet while Hillary Clinton lives behind gates and walls and guards and raises millions from hedge funds — you know, look what she’s doing with these hedge funds – raising millions nad millions. I know so many of these people. give me a break. The hedge funds and the Wall Street donors, she slanders and smears with her statements last week working people who just want a fraction of the security enjoyed by our politicians and certainly enjoyed by her.
Now you know, she’s very much against the Second Amendment. She wants to destroy your Second Amendment. Guns, guns, guns, right? I think that what we should do is–she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think that they should disarm — immediately. What do you think, yes? Yeah. ‘Take their guns away!’ She doesn’t want guns, take their — let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It’d be very dangerous.
Her comments displayed the same sense of arrogance and entitlement that led her to violate federal law as Secretary of State….
I gather there was some sort of kerfuffle between the GOP Presidential Candidate and the media earlier on Friday — in fact, I kept seeing stories about him ‘punking‘ or ‘rickrolling‘ a bunch of hapless journalists who are apparently paid to follow him around and report on his doings. It appears that this sent a few of them absolutely out of their minds. It appears they’ve decided that they’re now all-in to write stories in the hopes that it will help him lose the election. Which is, of course, their right protected under the First Amendment.
That means, however, that whatever vanishing amount of value these folks and their employers had as reliable news sources have gone out the window; in this case the truth about guns, and the truth about the constitution appear to be little more than collateral damage in this campaign. Nevertheless, for a Friday that contained more lies and half-truths in the news and entertainment media than any Friday in recent memory, these statements stand out as particularly egregious.
No matter how hard they want to pretend, the words in our constitution are quite empty if people don’t fight for them. Would the First Amendment, for example, mean anything if the government allowed private bands of arsonists to burn down any newspapers that printed stories criticizing the President? What sort of craven liar would dare say that such a government actually protected freedom of speech. One would hope that journalists, whose livelihoods and careers depend most vitally on the explicit protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights, would understand that. But that seems to be the place these people are willing to go if it means beating the man who embarrassed them.
Real journalists might, I think, understand that. Advocates for corrupt politicians like Hillary Clinton might not even care.
(DISCLOSURE: I have discussed my own concerns about a possible Trump presidency here. I have also written that despite his flaws, I considered Trump to be a more acceptable alternative than Hillary. I have given rather small contributions to several different presidential candidates this year for various reasons; none of them have been named “Donald J. Trump”.)