One of the reasons the press have been so quick to squeal in outrage over President Trump’s treatment of them is that it’s essentially their own medicine. They can dish out heaping helpings of fiction and accusation every day, calling Trump every name in the book and spreading every unsubstantiated rumor about him (no matter how absurd or thinly sourced)… but the moment he calls them out on their behavior, they lose their minds. Press briefings at the White House, and press coverage of the White House, is never about obtaining and disseminating information. It is always about hurling invective at President Trump and, honestly, I don’t blame him for getting tired of it.
Recently, Trump took to Twitter to spread a bizarre new accusation: Joe Scarborough may be a murderer. It seems that back in 2001, a young woman named Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, died in Scarborough’s Congressional Office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Scarborough, at the time, was still engaging in the pantomime of being a Republican (I think I can remember when his television show touted him as some manner of conservative). There’s some faint speculation that Scarborough might have been involved and that the woman’s death was less than sufficiently investigated. I recall seeing an article to this effect (perhaps the very same one Trump saw) sometime before this became Trump’s latest controversy.
Scarborough’s paramour, Mika Brzezinski, was quick to demand to speak to the manager of Twitter, Karen-haircut and all on full display. She went so far as to proclaim on air that Twitter would be hearing from her — the implication being that they should be very, very afraid for having offended her so. Trump’s crime, in this instance, is freedom of speech — of engaging in the same idle speculation in which the media engages about Trump every single day.
Not a moment goes by on MSNBC when some horrific crime is not laid at Trump’s feet. The other networks, including CNN, are little better. Trump’s character is impugned every minute on the minute; he is accused of being a racist and of implementing “White Supremacist” policies at the slightest excuse. Certainly every one of the major news networks have accused Trump of having murdered someone or other, whether those “victims” be COVID-19 deaths, war dead, or the countless other people who die every day in the United States and whom reporters across the country (and around the world) are convinced were somehow done in by the Evil Orange Man Who Is Bad.
Is it absurd to float a two decades-old conspiracy theory about Joe Scarborough? Certainly. Is it in any way different from what the media do to Trump on a daily, hourly, and by-the-minute basis? Not hardly.
Brzezinski and countless other “liberals” are constantly demanding that Twitter revoke Trump’s account. The grounds are the usual ones for those on the left: Any opinion Trump utters, with which the libs disagree, are automatically “lies.” Any position Trump takes which libs dislike is “hate.” Any policy Trump implements with which the libs take issue is “racist.” The demand is always the same: Deplatform Trump. Take away his means of speaking to the people. Revoke this channel of communication between Trump and those with whom he communicates.
The same people who demand that Trump not block anyone on Twitter (on the grounds that he is a public official and his Twitter account is government communication to the populace) also want him to be unable to use Twitter. And Twitter, as biased and poorly run as it is, has done everything possible to make Trump look bad. They have given select left-wingers the ability to turn off replies to their tweets; they have banned conservatives for made-up “violations” of the site’s deliberately vague “Community Standards;” they have made sure only negative responses to Trump are first to display under each of his statements. They’ve done so because they hate the thought of Trump being able to speak his mind.
There are only two reasons Jack Dorsey and Twitter have not banned Trump. Either they fear that whatever platform to which Trump migrates would become a viable competitor to their site… or they fear Trump’s vindictive response should they give him reason to attack the site. I’m certain that if he were banned from Twitter, Trump would immediately call for an investigation into how the site is run.
Liberals hate many things, but they hate free speech most of all. This was not always the case. The Left once understood the importance of free speech, and fought ardently to defend even the most offensive examples of it. Today, the Left has discovered how much more satisfying it is to silence all those who oppose them.
Given that “liberals” have unquestioned control over all of the most popular social media sites, they have not been shy about abusing this power. Even as they behave as publishers, picking and choosing the opinions that will be allowed in the public square, they still hide behind the legal shield of being “platforms,” enjoying indemnity for third-party content. The fact that no one in power has stopped Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites from eating their cake and having it, too, is one of the great socio-political mistakes of our era. Giving Trump a reason to focus on that mistake would be an even bigger misstep, from the perspective of the “liberals.”
I don’t pretend to know whether Trump’s accusations have merit in Scarborough’s case. I do know, however, that as long as he’s upsetting reporters, he’s doing the right thing. The news media have proven themselves only too willing to lie in service to their politics. They rarely even bother to hide it anymore. If they are going to be so naked in their hostility to conservatives and libertarians, the least we can do is oblige them in kind. Let us tell them what we think of them every day… and let us applaud President Trump when his own attacks make them apoplectic with rage.