Like most Americans, I woke up Monday confused as to why the news media considered a meme video superimposing my father over a character from the action movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service” the most important news story in the country.
It was all the more surprising to me because the “macabre scene of a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing, and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents” was supposedly played at a conference I attended.
For the record, I didn’t even know this video, in which the bad guys are replaced with logos of left-leaning news outlets, existed. I certainly wasn’t aware that it was played — apparently on a small television to a few people in a basically empty side room — at the American Priorities Conference.
Nevertheless, let me emphasize yet again: I oppose all political violence — no matter who it’s from or who it targets. As someone who receives death threats directed at me and my family on a daily basis, I firmly believe that no media figure, politician, or member of the public should be threatened with violence. That kind of behavior is poisoning our politics and tearing our country apart.
The meme video was graphic, violent, and inappropriate. It was also clearly an attempt at satire that went far over the line.
The video should not have been played, and it was monumentally stupid for the organizers to allow it. That’s all beyond question, but it doesn’t explain why the media decided to make this into a leading story — especially when they could have devoted some of that attention to video footage of actual violence against a Trump supporter at my father’s recent rally in Minneapolis.
The video is not new — it’s been on YouTube for a year or more. Not one of the journalists raising a stink about the video objected to the scene in its original theatrical context — a group of rural white Americans being killed in their church because they’re racist zombies under the control of an evil super-villain. Even left-wing activists at the time didn’t condemn or boycott the movie for having a scene in which a fictionalized version of then-President Obama is murdered in graphic fashion.
The reason the media decided to fixate on the video now, as has so often been the case during my father’s presidency, is because they saw an opportunity to attack President Trump. It’s the very same reason that the media turned a blind eye to the fact that a supporter of radical Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar choked, punched, and kicked a man after he tried to recover his stolen MAGA hat.
The New York Times knew it could manipulate the context of its report to suggest an obviously false narrative that would lead readers to conjure images of hundreds of Trump supporters sitting in rows at the Trump Doral Miami, cheering a video depicting the President brutally murdering reporters.
And as quickly as the media invented that narrative, the broader left sprang into action to exploit it. “Carpe Donktum” the pro-Trump “memesmith” whose website had some connection to the video, was promptly deplatformed by Twitter on a bogus copyright claim before being reinstated. Leftist reporters launched into teary-eyed rants about the video putting their friends in danger, and drew ridiculous parallels between a Hollywood action scene and real life mass shooters.
Liberals never draw that connection when it comes to their own rhetoric, though. In fact, they’ve been perfectly content to promote fake narratives that drive deranged men to shoot up Republican lawmakers, cite “hate lists” that led directly to an attempted mass shooting at a Christian organization, and call my father and his supporters racists and neo-Nazis, knowing full well that Antifa thugs take that as a license to punch, mace, and beat people who attend Trump rallies.
There was no outrage from the establishment media when the production of New York City’s “Shakespeare in the Park” showed my father being assassinated for weeks on end. Far from condemning it, The New York Times was apparently so satisfied with a production that depicted my father being stabbed to death that the newspaper refused to end its corporate sponsorship of the theater series. Talk about living in a glass house.
The media routinely excuse and condone leftists’ calls for violence and use of violent imagery at least as bad as anything in the Kingsman parody, such as Snoop Dogg “shooting” my father in a music video. Even Peter Fonda’s grotesque suggestions that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen be publicly whipped and that my 12-year-old brother be “put in a cage with pedophiles” didn’t elicit the kind of media outrage that a doctored clip from a movie did.
Indeed, the media seem to have a set of go-to narratives when it comes to violence — actual violence, not the “violence” leftists perceive to be inherent in words they don’t like to hear — against Trump supporters, right-leaning journalists, and conservatives. Reporters vacillate between “it didn’t happen” and “they started it” — and, if those don’t pan out, they fall back on “the Trump supporters deserved it,” or even “they wanted to make themselves victims.”
Even though I’ll inevitably be accused of refusing to condemn the Kingsman video, allow me to do so yet again. The video disgusts me. It’s not helpful and shouldn’t have been played. But I’m not about to take a lecture in civility from the hypocrites in the media — not now and not ever.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.