Erik Wemple wants “Fox & Friends” killed. That’s some violent language from a newspaper that takes political violence so seriously.
Wemple is the media reporter at The Washington Post. His employer has dedicated vast resources over the last 18 months to oppose Donald Trump, first as a candidate, then as president.
Some of their reporting has been excellent, such as David Fahrenthold’s dig into Trump’s (un)charitable giving, which earned a Pulitzer. Some of it has been simple echoing of NY Times reports, or repetition of anonymously-sourced “within the administration” bits. Just about all of it fits a narrative of painting President Trump as a bad man, damaged goods, who stole the election.
Listen, I know, and most people know that “kill” is the word for cancel in the television and movie industry. To “kill a show” is commonly used. But bans on violent words in rhetoric should apply equally. WaPo can’t attack Sarah Palin’s use of a “target” graphic in a political presentation but then condone Wemple’s use of the word “kill” even when the context of both is clearly not violent.
Connecting violence only to conservatives who use certain terms or imagery while giving the left a pass is simply unjustified bias. WaPo is one of the worst.
In August 2016, a WaPo opinion piece ominously intoned, “Political violence is a terrible inherent risk to any free society.” It was especially hard on Trump, comparing him to Sen. Joe McCarthy.
But what to make of a candidate who directly appeals to violence, smears his opponents and publicly bullies a Gold Star family, a decorated prisoner of war and a reporter with a disability, among others? To borrow the words of Army Counsel Joseph Welch, directed at another dangerous demagogue: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
On June 15 of this year, WaPo attempted to shift blame for the calamitous shooting of Republican lawmakers on a Virginia baseball field away from leftist rhetoric. They didn’t go as far as the NYT in connecting Sarah Palin’s “target” map to Rep. Gabby Giffords shooter, but they came close.
Even if Jared Lee Loughner had never picked up a gun and headed to the constituent meeting where he shot Giffords in 2011, that map would have had no place in reasonable American political discourse. No one needs to assert a totally unproven connection between a Facebook image and an assassination attempt to make that clear.
On the same day, Mike DeBonis opined in WaPo’s “PowerPost” blog that Democrats are “hardly ready to concede…that the issue is more prevalent on the left.”
But today, it’s okay for Wemple to headline a piece “Kill ‘Fox & Friends’ before it’s too late.” His complaint? That they’re too friendly to Trump.
Again, “Fox & Friends” and Trump prove what a noxious combination they’ve become. The former churns out questionable information or mere pro-Trump cheerleading, and the latter amplifies it. Thus far, this symbiosis has clarified just what “Fox & Friends” is — a propaganda mill — and the type of media coverage the president fancies — straight-up sycophancy.
After eight years of media sycophancy to President Obama, and all the virtue signaling done by the main stream media about using violent words, once again, WaPo and Wemple’s bias is showing.