Great discussion with Greg Corombos of Radio America Online News Bureau about Charlottesville, President Trump, and the media coverage of both.
Ugly violence rooted in bigotry broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, but media analyst and American Women’s Alliance President Gayle Trotter says the media instantly made the story about President Trump instead of the people responsible for the violence that left one person dead, two state troopers indirectly killed, and and many others hurt.
Trotter says it didn’t take long for political figures and the the media to demand a statement from Trump on Saturday as the violence unfolded. And they didn’t like what they got.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, one many sides, said Trump, Saturday afternoon.
The media and politicians of all stripes condemned Trump for not specifically condemning white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis. Trotter believes it was a cautious but clear statement in the midst of a developing crisis.
“He was condemning violence from all sources. He made a very strong statement about how he wanted to make America great again and we were going to make America great for all people. It was a very judicious statement, given right as events were unfolding,” said Trotter.
She says that statement led to wall-to-wall media condemnation.
“All you heard was criticism of him, that he had not specifically named names. If you were listening to CNN on Monday morning, every single panelist and the hosts were apoplectic that he had not ‘named names,’” said Trotter.
Monday afternoon, Trump got specific.
“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” said Trump.
“We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America,” he added.
Trotter says the criticism then continued but shifted in focus.
“You would think that would answer the accusations that President Trump did not name names. Yet, as soon as he issued that statement, the media continued to criticize him for being two days late,” said Trotter, who suspects the criticism would be just as intense if Trump “named names” on Saturday.
“Even if what he said on Saturday included specifically naming white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and fascists, it would not have been enough. he would have continued to have been criticized,” said Trotter.
What galls Trotter most about the media treatment of Trump is their assessment of why there’s so much coverage of the president’s response as opposed to the carnage on the streets of Charlottesville.
“I heard a Bloomberg reporter today saying that President Trump made this episode about himself. If anything, that charge should be laid at the feet of the media, because they turned it from being a news story where they were reporting on what was happening and they turned all of the focus over to President Trump and his reaction,” said Trotter.
By Monday morning, CBS was pushing the claim that since September 12, 2001, nearly three times more terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by “right-wing extremists” than Islamic radicals, although the attacks from radical Muslims still resulted in more deaths.
Trotter is appalled at the reporting for two reasons, first over the obvious manipulation of the data by starting the count the day after the worst terrorist attack in American history, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
“If this wasn’t such a serious topic, this would be so laughable. How can you possibly start any type of calculation about terrorism that doesn’t include that doesn’t include 9/11,” said Trotter.
Second, she says there is a clear political agenda afoot.
“When CBS and these other news stations make reports like this, they’re not making these reports to ensure that Americans are safer. They’re making these reports in order to support a political proposition that Republicans and conservatives are dangerous to the American experiment,” said Trotter.
While condemning the bigots in Charlottesville as possessing a “demonic ideology of white supremacy,” Trotter says there needs to be full rejection of all who would use violence to suppress constitutional rights, and she says this is a good time to call all of them out and repudiate them.
“It must be repeated over and over again that these groups: radical Islamic terrorists, Antifa, any white supremecists, the KKK, they are all part of the same type of ideology. They believe in violence to achieve political means. They do not believe in the rule of law,” said Trotter.
Trotter says discussing and exposing those tactics from all who use them is part of a “continuing conversation” that ought to proceed from the ugly events in Virginia on Saturday.