Media Rhetoric On Trump Administration Becomes Increasingly Violent


Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
Font Size:

Despite the establishment media’s claims that President Donald Trump is inciting violence against them by calling them “fake news,” journalists have only ramped up their own violent rhetoric in regards to the Trump administration.

CNN’s Jim Acosta told Variety Magazine in April that he believes Trump’s criticisms of the press could cause people who “don’t have all their faculties” to physically attack a reporter, asserting, “a journalist is gonna get hurt one of these days.” (RELATED: Acosta: Americans ‘Don’t Have All Their Faculties’) 

CNN media analyst Brian Stelter and anchor Brooke Baldwin dedicated an entire segment to Trump’s “dangerous speech” prior to the election in 2016, claiming, “If there is unrest and violence after election day, I think we now know why.” (RELATED: Trump Rally Leaves Media Fearing For Safety)

Meanwhile, their own colleagues at CNN have threatened Trump supporters live on-air and even joked about getting into fist fights with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Anti-Trump Republican Rick Wilson, who is a frequent guest on the network, threatened in January to “gut” a fellow pro-Trump panelist “like a fish” after the panelist defended Trump’s infamous “shithole” comment. (RELATED: Rick Wilson Melts Down, Threatens To ‘Gut’ Panelist ‘Like A Fish’ On CNN) 

“John, I will gut you like a fish on this show, if you want to keep this up,” Wilson said during the interview. “You don’t have a substantive argument, your argument is based entirely on the fact that these people are brown!”

April Ryan, an official CNN analyst, joked about getting into a street brawl with Sanders last week after the press secretary told Ryan “you actually don’t know much about me” during a press briefing.

Ryan insisted that Sanders’ remark constituted fighting words, arguing on CNN, “in certain quarters in this nation that starts a physical fight.”

She continued her campaign on her Twitter account in a back and forth with the former mayor of Baltimore, as both ladies suggested they throw down with Sanders. (RELATED: April Ryan: Sanders’ Response Implied A ‘Physical Fight’)

“I already took my earrings off and Vaseline in my purse,” Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wrote, as Ryan replied, “That is what I’m talking about! Take off that pretty ring to fornthe [sic] street fight. Lol.”

CNN never addressed the appropriateness of the comments from Wilson or Ryan, and both still appear on the network to this day.

MSNBC, a cable news rival to CNN, had its own issues with violent rhetoric on “Deadline: White House” on Friday. Nicolle Wallace, the host of the show and a one-time Republican, suggested that Sanders should be choked out during a panel about President Trump’s past comments about Sen. John McCain. (RELATED: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Suggests Wringing Sarah Sanders Neck) 

“Kristen Welker, how do you resist the temptation to run up and wring her neck?” Wallace said, addressing NBC’s White House correspondent. “Why can’t she just say, ‘If a staffer said that, we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and she’ll be fired?’”

Wallace later apologized for the comment, insisting that she used “poorly chosen words” and “was trying to imagine the exasperation of getting spin” from the White House.

However, Wallace’s comment wasn’t the only violent part of the segment, as NBC News analyst John Heilemann chose some very graphic language to describe how he feels while watching the press briefings.

“If you’re asking me, like, how [reporters] tolerate it, how they live with it, like…they have more fortitude than I have, I could not go down there and do what Kristen Welker does,” Heilemann declared. “I could not, I would slit my throat after maybe two of those briefings if I had to sit in that room every day.”


Then there were the disparaging jokes made by comedienne Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in late April. While much of the media chose to focus on her comments about Sanders, one “joke” from Wolf was about presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway getting trapped under a tree.

Wolf insisted she didn’t want Conway to “get hurt,” but did not explain how Conway would remain uninjured if a tree fell on her.

“It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree?” Wolf asked. “I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree.”

A writer for Teen Vogue, a co-founder of VIBE Magazine, and an editor for Romper, and a senior writer for The Hollywood Reporter all laughed at the set.

ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega claimed during the election that Trump’s attacks on the media were “incitement, plain and simple,” and NBC News’ Chuck Todd worried Trump’s attacks would “motivate a crazy.” The same journalists who fear for their safety because of Trump have had little to nothing to say about their colleagues launching similar attacks on the president and his team.

 Follow Amber on Twitter