President Donald Trump’s disdain of CNN and other cable news media outlets —he considers them “fake news” while the rational public considers them objective and reliable — is well-documented. Now, it seems his supporters have garnered the same opinion — and they are ready to do something drastic about it.
On Friday, a man — who identified himself as “Don” from State College, Pennsylvania — made a call to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” hosted by Great Brawner, and falsely complained on-air about CNN hosts Don Lemon and Brian Stelter calling all Trump supporters “racists.”
“It all started when Trump got elected…Brian Stelter and Don Lemon from CNN called trump supporters all racists. They don’t even know us. They don’t even know these Americans out here and they’re calling us racist because we voted for Trump… They started the war. If I see ’em, I’m going to shoot ’em. Bye,” “Don” said before quickly hanging up.
Stelter shared the segment on his CNN show, “Reliable Sources” and said inthe segment that neither he nor Lemon has ever called all Trump supporters racist. However, he did make a point to say Fox News’ host Sean Hannity recently broadcasted an old clip of Stelter discussing “racial anxiety” over the president’s election.
“Obviously, researchers have proven that, yes, racial anxiety and resentment was a factor. But that’s not the same as calling all Trump supporters racist,” Stelter said on Sunday. “I don’t know if the C-SPAN caller watched Hannity. I’m not blaming Hannity. I just thought the timing was odd.”
Lemon, who hosts CNN Newsroom, also become a recent target of Trump’s ire after an interview he did with legendary NBA player LeBron James where the athlete criticized the president for using sports to the divide the nation.
Trump later tweeted Lemon was the “dumbest man on television.”
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Since he started campaigning for the presidential elections, Trump has adopted an increasingly violent rhetoric against the press that has been the cause for a spike in threats against journalists and lawmakers, so much so that The New York Times reported last week the media outlet had placed armed security guards outside its offices.
In June, a shooter attacked the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland and killed five people; however, the deadly incident did nothing to quash Trump’s animosity against journalism and the president has attacked the media numerous times since then.
A recent Pew research study showed an ever-increasing distrust in news media outlets, with 68 percent of Americans claiming they were “worn out” by the constant news on the same sort of issues. Only 17 percent said they think nationals news organizations were doing a good job of keeping Americans informed about the major issues in the country.
“I’m not asking for sympathy,” Stelter said Sunday. “I don’t think I’m in extreme danger. I know some of my colleagues get much worse threats than I do. CNN has a great security team and we know how to handle this stuff. But these kinds of threats are coming in more often.”
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