The controversy surrounding presidential attacks on the media has only continued to escalate this weekend.
After having viciously targeted NBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts, Donald Trump has made no attempt to extinguish the fire he has ignited — much the opposite. On Sunday, he attacked CNN, tweeting a video portraying him beating a man, where the man’s face was replaced with the station’s logo. The clip, interpreted as an incentive to violence toward journalists, is certainly shocking.
The U.S. president, who claims CNN should be renamed “Fraud News Network,” used images filmed from the sidelines of a wrestling match in 2007 to simulate a fight with pro-wrestling promoter Vince McMahon. CNN was quick to react with a simple message: “We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
Hostile in reaction to media criticism of his administration, Trump is fueling an all-out war, going as far as to shock members of his own political camp. Following the video, Trump’s animosity, which is damaging the credibility of journalists regularly accused of “fake news,” has stepped up a notch.
Since Thursday, Trump has been absorbed with making a series of aggressive comments against “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, branding the former “crazy” and “psycho,” and the latter “dumb as a rock” with a “low I.Q.” The co-anchor duo have denounced Trump’s comments as “schoolyard” insults, and referred to Trump as a “fragile” president with a “childish ego,” questioning his mental health. His sexist remarks about Brzezinski, whom he said was “bleeding badly from a face-lift,” are being repeatedly dissected and analyzed by the U.S. media, who are revisiting the plethora of below-the-belt comments made by Trump before and after the election.
For Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, enough is enough. “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office,” Sasse tweeted. Criticized for his nonpresidential attitude on social media, Trump is on the counterattack. As impermeable to criticism as a duck’s feathers are to water, Trump continues to believe that his behavior is “modern.”