Journalists are blaming President Trump for Republican candidate Greg Gianforte’s decision to body slam a Guardian reporter.
According to Fox News reporters, who were in a room interviewing Gianforte when Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs entered, Gianforte became enraged when Jacobs asked him a question and proceeded to tackle and punch him.
However, according to several prominent journalists on CNN and MSNBC, President Donald Trump is to blame for Gianforte’s behavior because of his negative rhetoric towards the media.
“I think it’s pretty clear that Donald Trump has contributed to what I would call a hostile work environment for reporters,” CNN political contributor Matt Lewis said Thursday morning. “My fear was that there might be some person out there, like an unstable person, who might hear what Donald Trump was saying, hear this rhetoric, and do something stupid.”
“We can look at [the incident] as sort of growing aggression against the press,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota suggested.
“You’ve got this kind of culture, you know, the reporters are the enemy going on…you see a lot of Democrats pointing the finger at the president right now saying you’ve created this culture where people consider reporters to be the enemy,” Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian confirmed.
“It creates a culture where there is somehow okay,” she finished.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough joined in on the action, arguing “you can draw a straight line” between Trump’s rhetoric about journalists and Gianforte’s body slam.
“When you have Donald Trump berating reporters…using the Stalinist term ‘enemy of the people…’ it’s dangerous for CNN reporters!” Scarborough exclaimed.
“Trump is whipping people into a frenzy. This is not a big leap from what the head of the Republican Party is saying and what happened last night in Montana.”
MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle agreed, saying, “it leads inevitably to something like this.”
CNN host Don Lemon exploded on his guest Paris Drennard Wednesday night when Drennard refused to assign blame to Trump.
“All of a sudden we’re having incidents like this now…you think it’s just a coincidence?” Lemon said of the assault.
Drennard tried to explain that reporters have been assaulted since before Trump was a politician, but Lemon was having none of that.
“I’m telling you I am [making a connection with Trump]. I’m just saying I can’t believe that you believe the words that are coming out of your moth,” Lemon snarked. “You feel that you have to defend everything about this particular person in office.”