How Trump Distracted from Results of His Incitement by Recruiting Journalists to Spread More of It

On Wednesday, numerous journalists reported on a filing submitted in support of Judge Arthur Engoron’s limited gag on Donald Trump. It included an affidavit from an officer from NY’s Department of Public Safety describing the threats that Judge Engoron and his chief clerk have suffered as a result of Trump’s targeting of them (this link doesn’t work for me, but should for you; here’s a DC Circuit filing including it).

Specifically, it described how, after Trump posted a picture claiming that Engoron’s chief clerk was “Schumer’s girlfriend” on October 3, Engoron and the clerk got hundreds of threatening voice mails. People started calling the clerk’s personal cell phone 20 to 30 times a day and harassing her on her private email and on social media sites.

According to the affidavit, when Trump attacked, the attacks went up. When he was gagged, the attacks went down.

The affidavit transcribed just seven of the calls targeting Engoron or the clerk, replacing the expletives with asterisks. Those transcripts are shocking and ugly — and make it clear how Trump’s deranged followers are internalizing and then passing on his attacks.

The filing was a concrete example of how Trump’s incitement works. It shows how his own language gets parroted directly onto the voice mails and social media accounts of those he targets.

A number of people shared these threats on social media. It was a vivid demonstration of the effect of Trump’s incitement.

The next day, on Thanksgiving, Trump posted another attack on Truth Social, attacking Tish James, Engoron, the clerk, Joe Biden, and “all of the other Radical Left Lunatics, Communists, Fascists, Marxists, Democrats, & RINOS,” after which he promised to win in 2024.

It was, at its heart, a campaign ad. Trump has repeatedly said in court filings that he is running on a claim that he is being unfairly treated like other American citizens and if he is made President again, he’ll retaliate against all the people who thought to treat him just like everyone else. His promise of retribution is how he plans to win the election.

A bunch of people purporting to engage in journalism or criticism disseminated the attack on Xitter, where it went viral. As of right now, for example, Jonathan Lemire’s dissemination of Trump’s incitement and campaign ad, to a platform riddled with right wing extremists, has 4 million views.

Rather than focusing on family or the Lions losing at football, a number of people were disseminating Trump’s campaign ad, disseminating the campaign ad because he incited violence.

Importantly, these self-imagined journalists and critics disseminated Trump’s attacks in the form he packaged it up, including with the clerk’s name unredacted. They disseminated it in the way most likely to lead to more attacks on the clerk.

There’s a conceit among those who choose to disseminate Trump’s incitement and campaign ads in precisely the way he has chosen to package them up that doing so is the only way to alert Americans to the danger he poses. Brian Klass (whose book on corruption and power is superb) recently suggested that those of us who oppose platforming Trump’s incitement in the spectacular form he releases it are arguing you shouldn’t cover it.

On the political left, there has long been a steady drumbeat of admonishment on social media for those who highlight Trump’s awful rhetoric. Whenever I tweet about Trump’s dangerous language, there’s always the predictable refrain from someone who replies: “Don’t amplify him! You’re just spreading his message.”

The press, to an astonishing extent, has followed that admonishment. I looked at the New York Times for mention of Trump calling to execute shoplifters, or water the forests, or how he thinks an 82 year-old man getting his skull smashed in his own home by a lunatic with a hammer is hilarious. Nothing. I couldn’t find it.

If it was covered, it was buried deep. Scrolling through my New York Times app on Saturday, I saw dozens of political stories before getting to a piece titled “The Pumpkin Spice Latte Will Outlive Us All” and “DogTV is TV for Dogs. Except When It’s For People.” But there was nothing about Trump’s speech.

This approach has backfired. It’s bad for democracy. The “Don’t Amplify Him” argument is disastrous. We need to amplify Trump’s vile rhetoric more, because it will turn persuadable voters off to his cruel message.

Right now, Trump is still popular, still getting his message out. The people most likely to be radicalized by him, or to act on his incitement already hear him loud and clear.

Klass’ Tweet, disseminating Trump’s incitement and campaign ad, has 34K views.

That’s not what we’re arguing. It’s certainly not what I’m arguing.

You always have a choice.

You always have a choice whether to discuss Trump’s danger in the form he chooses — in the form he has carefully perfected to have maximal effect — or to disseminate and discuss it in other forms, at the very least using an “X” or something else to break up the spectacle he has crafted.

The choice particularly mattered yesterday.

Not only was Trump’s incitement a campaign ad. Not only did it name the clerk he is trying to target. But he is also setting up a Supreme Court argument that these threats are not the result of his own incitement, but instead a heckler’s veto trying to frame Trump for violence against his targets. There’s a non-zero chance Trump will cite all the critics who think they’re helping in his bid to get Sammy Alito and Clarence Thomas endorse this incitement as protected campaign speech. Trump is already arguing that courts can’t limit his incitement because so many other people, including critics, disseminate his speech.

But the choice of what form to disseminate Trump’s speech was particularly stark yesterday, as it was equally easy to show the results of Trump’s incitement, those calls to the judge and his clerk, as it was to disseminate the one best designed to incite more threats and reinforce divisions between those who criticize Trump’s speech and those who relish it.

You always have a choice how to disseminate Trump’s incitement.

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63 replies
  1. cats+dogs says:

    Thanks for arguing that can-you-believe-it! cutting and pasting is neither resourceful journalism nor useful commentary. I’m grateful for what you do here.

  2. BobBobCon says:

    On the flip side, the DC press bends over backwards to bury the statements of Democrats on any serious subject. They offer all kinds of excuses why their reporting, if it even happens, has to be clouded in both sides analysis, horserace coverage, and sneering savvy discounting.

    And then after jamming everything Democrats say through Peter Baker-style filters, they wring their hands over the public not being aware of basic facts.

    Nothing has changed since 2016, and in light of what Trump has done during that time, that’s a massive intellectual collapse by the political press.

    • Brad_13JUL2021_1249h says:

      Baker and Glaser are perhaps the leading practitioners of this, elevating LR losers who have been proven wrong by recent history.

    • Dark Phoenix says:

      I just saw on DailyKos a link to a study published by the Columbian Journalism Review showing that the MSM is basically covering Trump in 2023 EXACTLY the same way as they covered Trump in 2015: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/election-politics-front-pages.php .

      Basically, that rather than discussing policy issues and what the candidates would do if they were elected (which would SERIOUSLY underline Trump’s extreme danger to the US as it would bring attention to Project 2025), media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post have fallen back to covering “the horse race and campaign palace intrigue”, which tells voters nothing and frames the entire election as a team sport… Which benefits Republicans and especially Trump, because it means they can talk about social battles and such rather than their goals.

      • Rayne says:

        IMO, it’s kind of stupidly neglectful to worry about frying turkeys throwing flames 20 feet versus 30 feet away when the vinyl siding and/or dry landscaping just a handful of feet away may already be fully engulfed next to people wearing flammable polyester clothing who may have never used a fire extinguisher if they even have a fully-charged one rated for use on grease/oil within reach.

        Leave fried turkey to experts with appropriately prepared kitchens.

        • spirilis says:

          IMO the flavor is worth the risk but dad taught me to solder at five so I never thought 325+ degree objects benign.

      • Janet Maugans says:

        The only differences in this and trump’s first attempt are:
        1. They aren’t covering his rallies from beginning to end (but that is likely because he is attracting smaller crowds).
        2. The previous “coverage” never honed in on the fact that trump had zero policies to implement, no plans that were in any way specific to accomplish his generalized MAGA promise.
        With 4 years of watching him choose poorly, scare the daylights out of our international allies, finagle $ for himself in ways prohibited by the Constitution and by honest understandings, the press in general leaves all that alone and worry incessantly about Biden’s age (a concern they also created).
        3. He tells us every day the plans he has (recounted above by others) and there is barely a blip of discussion about it.
        4. Oh! I almost forgot: He did not participate in the peaceful transfer of power, and he is accused of 91 felonies! The “discussion” is limited to — man in the street: “Will you still vote for trump if he is a) found guilty? b) in prison? c) shoots someone on 5th Avenue?

        I am sick of this!

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  3. Attygmgm says:

    It is an excellent point, although up against a serious headwind. A few months ago Trump mentioned in an interview somewhere (apologies for no sourcing) that what surprised him about the press coverage over his time as a candidate for President, then as President, was that it HAD NOT CHANGED. Which is your point, exactly.

  4. ExRacerX says:

    Thanks, Marcy. Of course, the First Amendment doesn’t just apply to the people/the press speaking their minds—we also have the right not to amplify or comment upon harmful speech, despite how tempting that may be to media outlets engaged in the never-ending quest for clicks.

  5. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    Yep! You are correct!

    I’m reading Martin Baron’s book, Collision of Power—Trump, Bezos, and the Washington Post.

    Baron describes what is now important for print and online media companies/organizations—clicks, viewership, subscriptions, unlimited access to politicians, TV appearances by reporters and exclusive stories (scoop) from politicians and insiders.

    If politicians and insiders don’t like a press person, that person is never given access and exclusive scoop; a competitor is always available and ready, willing and able to comply with the demands of politicians and insiders.

    • BobBobCon says:

      It’s worth pointing out that this approach has been a disaster for the political press from a business perspective, and with Facebook walking away from promoting news, it’s bound to get worse. Baron’s former paper alone has lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers recently.

      This weird DC insider focus keeps doing worse and worse in terms of audience numbers over the past few decades but execs stick with it.

      A good parallel is Detroit automakers in the 1970s getting hung up on a few things, and deciding Corinthian leather seats mattered more than making cars that didn’t break down.

  6. 2Cats2Furious says:

    Having listened to the oral arguments before the DC appellate panel on Monday, there *may* be legitimate concerns about the specific language used in Judge Chutkan’s limited gag order in that case, such that slight revisions to the order may be justified.

    But I remain baffled by the NY state appellate judge who felt the need to lift Judge Engoron *extremely* narrow gag order in the civil fraud case, which was basically limited to “keep any attacks on my court staff out of your mouth.” The specific naming of and attacks on the court clerk are simply NOT “core political speech,” as Trump’s attorney repeatedly argued to the DC panel.

    I hope both appellate courts take judicial notice of Trump’s Thanksgiving message.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thank you for bringing this up, 2Cats. Judge Friedman’s (the NY appellate judge) reasoning on the gag order, especially in regard to Engoron’s clerk, struck me as dismissive to the point of making me wonder if some kind of personal animus lay behind it. I too was baffled.

      I’m grateful to EW for showing us the consequences. Those threats, directly attributable to Trump’s “protected speech,” are horrifying. To the extent that they increase when the gag is lifted, they demonstrate that Trump knows he controls an on/off switch when it comes to inciting his most terrorist followers.

      Like many terrorist leaders he is a physical coward himself. But that’s fine, when he has all these others to do the dirty work on his behalf, and make him look like a big strong tough guy.

      • 2Cats2Furious says:

        Completely agree that Trump knows exactly where the boundaries are. Had the NYC gag order remained in place, I don’t think there’s any question that he would have left the law clerk out of his Thanksgiving message.

        But, Trump was trained by Roy Cohn on “mob speak,” to avoid direct personal responsibility for the actions of his underlings/followers. Or, for a more historical example, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

        Of course Trump isn’t going to personally physically assault anyone. He’s not even capable of it. But he has a unique ability to inspire his followers to harass, threaten, and cause physical violence. To claim it’s just words protected by the 1st Amendment is disingenuous at best, and exceedingly dangerous at worst.

        • BobBobCon says:

          I’m not completely sure that’s true — he is looking to lose millions in the second E. Jean Carroll case because he couldn’t stay quiet after losing the first.

          He’s capable of slipping up, and knowing him, he may fall badly.

          • Raven Eye says:

            Or does he believe that the loss of millions in that case will kinda suck, but that there will be yet another scam to pull him from the abyss? He’s been up and down for decades, known to be untrustworthy, and look — he was President of the United States. Despite the occasional deflation, the balloon keeps on getting bigger.

      • Mutaman says:

        He (David Friedman) was designated a Justice for the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department in 1999 by Governor George Pataki.

        Nuff said.

  7. Peterr says:

    Once upon a time, pre-internet, I got put on Fred Phelps’ hate-list. Every week, and sometimes more often, Fred would fax out to his supporters and to the media (most of whom were also on his hate-list) a list of places he intended to picket in his own hate-filled way. For a couple of months, my name, church, and a bad xerox copy of a photograph of me were on that fax.

    A couple of times, folks who supported his message (if not members of his actual group) took the trouble to find my personal phone number — not the church number — and leave me messages like the ones in the first image above, from the NY DPS officer’s testimony. They were filled with profanity, anger, and yes, a couple of death threats. After talking with various police officers I knew, we agreed that in my case, these were most likely folks spouting off and not a real threat, but they encouraged me to be very aware of my surroundings — advice I followed religiously.

    The question of whether and how to talk about this, back then, was absolutely the same issue Marcy is raising here. In Fred’s case, the Topeka and KC media realized a couple of things fairly quickly. First, Fred knew the law, including where he could picket and where he couldn’t, and what he could say under the first amendment. Second, Fred’s schtick was all about getting attention, especially from the media. Based on these two things, the local press stopped giving him what he craved and lusted after: free publicity.

    Long before I was on the internet, the phrase “don’t feed the trolls” was part of my lexicon.

    In Trump’s case, as Marcy notes, things are different because we’re talking about a candidate with a strong chance of being elected president. Simply ignoring him is not an option. But neither is uncritically spreading his hate and his language and thus feeding the Trump Trolls.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Peterr, thank you for that personal history. I remember vividly the “free publicity” Phelps did manage to get when he and his unmerry band were seemingly everywhere, spreading hate. I wonder now whether the metrics of his following (including among those who have resurrected his message in sanitized form recently) might have suffered had the press not given him what he wanted.

      Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but I think what you’re suggesting is that we can learn from this episode–yes, even now.

    • posaune says:

      That’s a very instructive story, Peter — a great lesson. So sorry you and yours had to go through that!

    • Zinsky123 says:

      TY for sharing, Peterr. It sounds like you were in the crosshairs of a very vile group – I respect your courage. I completely agree with Marcy as well that this is not the time to be silent and we all need to strategize and think of how we, as individuals working towards a common cause, can beat back this huge challenge to democracy.

        • Matt Foley says:

          There’s no hate like MAGA Christian love.

          Must see: Jimmy Kimmel’s brutal takedown of MTG’s book. I just checked and it’s crashed to #12,072 ranking. So much winning!

  8. klynn says:

    Thank you. This is such an important post.

    Marcy, you are one person working tirelessly to hold many accountable.

    I remember at FDL, there was such tremendous success in grassroots informing that resulted in holding many journalists, policy makers and politicians accountable. Major FDL letter writing/calling campaigns impacted outcomes.

    I’ve been trying to figure out how your accountability and awareness building could be grown to hold data mules accountable. Make EW readers a team of sorts.

    Escalation and the spiral of violence can be stopped.

    Again, thank you for all you are doing.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As Lemire’s post suggest, these icons of the press appear to be piggybacking off Trump’s popularity, hoping to increase their status and/or revenue by doing so. It makes them mini-Trumps, not journalists. The press did something similar starting in 2015. The free, indeed, the vastly amplified messaging they enabled, helped make him president.

    Your post elegantly illustrates how much better a journalist could cover Trump, if s/he were not hoping to piggyback off his notoriety. It’s to use the truth sandwich: layering only a precis of Trump’s lie between two statements pointing out he’s lying. It’s to blackout much of what he says, providing only limited summaries, never the syllable-by-grunt, Adolf in Nuremberg approach that many journalists confuse with journalism. Lastly, they could stop editing out Trump’s stammering demented confusion when he exhibits it, which is often.

    That’s not refusing to cover Trump. It’s refusing to become an unpaid arm of his campaign machine.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Biden just doesn’t sell subscriptions or generate clicks. The recent WaPo layoffs/buyouts reflected market contraction after the Trump boom years. Incendiary Trump content does indeed attract eyeballs, which in an age of instant monetization means he is a measurable profit generator for the “fake news” media organizations he deplores.

      They just can’t quit him. Which means we don’t get to, either.

      • 2Cats2Furious says:

        Such an important point. I’ve read several articles pointing out that WaPo’s print/digital subscriptions fell off dramatically after Biden was elected. Perhaps, in large part, because readers weren’t constantly concerned with “what fresh hell awaits us today?”

        Personally, I would gladly read news about Biden’s accomplishments, instead of “doom-scrolling.”

        Sometimes I think of Anne Murray’s “A Little Good News”:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt_fGdPqqu4

      • earthworm says:

        with stuff like this from politico, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/11/25/biden-polls-worse-trump-00128536
        how can Biden ever get any credit for governing?
        (I do not know how to fix the links, i am sorry, have read how to do it but am unsure)
        who commissions these polls and pays for them? even publicizing them, like in politico, is a form of campaign-speak or influencing. the steady drumbeat of “Biden failing” cannot but help costing him election.

    • BobBobCon says:

      The fundamental problem news executives have is that they are endlessly trying to figure out how to maximize profits while changing nothing about their failing system.

      They want to keep covering races like it’s 1988 Bush-Dukakis, and it’s just not going to help. Giving more easy exposure to Trump will only give them a slight bump against a deeply eroding base that is rapidly losing trust in them.

      If you look at Chris Licht’s Trump town hall gammbit, he got a tiny ratings bump that was followed by even more collapse in CNN’s ratings. No amount of appeasing Trump through 2024 is going to reverse that trend across all outlets.

      They are only locking into place their irrelevance and inability to build new markets the longer they keep this up, and they’re going to end up like Blockbuster Video in 2004 trying to buy out Hollywood Video instead of figuring out streaming.

      • P J Evans says:

        SFGate recently did a redesign of their site, and they now have a headline writer who apparently was trained for clickbait. The Tioga Pass road closed, and they make it sound like it’s a major problem, rather than the annual winter closure. A truck loses its brakes and spills its load on the north end of the Grapevine (I5) and it’s a disaster, instead of a major backup.

  10. gmokegmoke says:

    George Lakoff keeps on reminding us about “truth sandwiches”: if you are going to repeat the lie (or provocation), preface it with the accurate facts, point out the lie, then repeat the facts, surrounding the lie (or provocation) with as much reality as possible to vitiate the force of the lie (or provocation).

    Jay Rosen at NYU has his own rule of thumb for today’s journalism:
    “Not the odds, but the stakes.

    “That’s my shortand for the organizing principle we most need from journalists covering the 2024 election. Not who has what chances of winning, but the consequences for our democracy. Not the odds, but the stakes.”

    However, expecting the corporate media to go against the profit motive, in whatever form it may take these days, is a criminally naive approach. As Les Moonves, then head of CBS, said back in February 2016 about the coverage of Trmp’s campaign (and his ad $$$$), “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

    And what’s good for CBS/General Motors/General Bullmoose is always good for the USA. And don’t you forget it!!!

    • Sussex Trafalgar says:

      Exactly!

      Or, as Milo Minderbinder’s brand logo in Catch-22 said, “M&M Enterprises—What’s good for the syndicate, is good for the country”

  11. Old Rapier says:

    This is not going to be change until there is blood. If Republicans don’t fear terrorism on Trump’s ‘enemies’ before the election they are nuts. Are there a 1000 cases by now of people getting violent threats from MAGA? Yet no blood.
    No journalist or opinion have’r is going to take these threats as anything more than spouting off until there us blood. When there is however everything flips, in the mainstream.

    • Rayne says:

      You had better make absolutely certain that your own comments cannot be construed as a call for violence to end this journalistic business model. Not going to have it here in our comments.

      You’re also forgetting the news businesses’ maxim, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That maxim works because the audience doesn’t turn away instead of clicking on violent headlines and bloody columns.

      The solution isn’t in journalists, their editors, the news media’s owners alone; it’s in the media’s consumers. How are they to be worked on and reprogrammed before worse comes to pass and it’s served up to them?

      • dannyboy says:

        “it’s in the media’s consumers. How are they to be worked on and reprogrammed before worse comes to pass and it’s served up to them?”

        Agree strongly. But then, I view this whole mess as more than Trump and his gang. I watched the rise of fascism with open eyes (Confederate flags, treatening gestures). I do, however, believe that the Law needs to step up its game. Otherwise these flags and gestures will break out into violence (which may be the inevitable result of letting this fester).

    • wasD4v1d says:

      I’m not so sure – there was blood in the Capitol on January 6 and ever since half of Congress has made pilgrimages to Maralargo to kiss Trump’s….

      They’re afraid of Trump’s sleeper goon squads.

      The supine national media will resemble Russia’s and the Phillippines – to be sure a real fear of being a crumpled body below a fifth floor balcony.

  12. Spocko says:

    I’ve been trying to show people the EFFECT of the threats. What is infuriating is how the media constantly lump threats in with “criticism” of someone’s position. Chris Hayes is one of the worst who does this.
    I put up a clip on Mastodon of him FINALLY getting it that these threats where MASSIVE, extensive and continual. He STILL dismissed those “on the internet” as not serious. It was the 275 pages of transcribed Voicemail threats that got to him.
    When he heard about the volume of the threats, he FINALLY calls this “unacceptable.”
    The reason I say FINALLY, is that I’ve seen Chris continually suggest that public officials should expect “incoming” to be part of the job. He is very uncomfortable with acknowledging that these threats are not “nasty things being said about you” & not covered by the 1st Amdt.
    Over on Twitter I asked, “Why does Chris Hayes laugh here? Who is the “someone” who has to say, “2 +2 = 4″? What can’t be said?”
    But here I can say, he laughs because he won’t say, “Trump must be punished for what he said.” and “Trump must not be allowed to say those things again.”
    As “the media” he doesn’t want to even give the appearance of saying someone should be silenced for saying something. But if the legal system isn’t doing the job to stop Trump, who will?
    The videos are embedded in my the toots.
    https://mastodon.online/@spocko/111467404432644147
    https://mastodon.online/@spocko/111467427672469671
    https://mastodon.online/@spocko/111467454078641490

    • Peterr says:

      A lot of this is the “he said, she said” media mindset. Left at that level, reporting is stenography. Getting the media to take the next step and say “and so-and-so is lying” or otherwise providing analysis of what he said and she said is the big challenge

    • dannyboy says:

      The media reporting is done by a bunch of pampered people, who never knew violence. They just cannot acknowledge that there is violence in the air.

      Give me back the investigative reporting done by tough reporters.

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    You are right. The networks are only looking at the money angle.
    Listen to KO and you will get the drift.
    Fucking Trump is insane if you look at his 2:03 AM rants.
    How many years to we have to put up with this bullshit.

  14. Sue Romano says:

    A book about my great uncle Bob Quinn was just released. He literally turned RI blue, fighting Republican White Supremacists (whom had held power for 70 years) and the Providence Journal owner (Metcalfs). The Republicans tried to bomb the Senate chambers in 1924 with bromine gas (called a bloodless coup). Media bias for 100 years….

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Sue – I’ve been looking at your posting and wondering if there was “more to the story”. Not seeing any other follow-up I thought I’d at least post the link to the Wikipedia page to your great uncle – and he does appear to be a Great uncle – quite a long and meritorious life.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Quinn

  15. Nonsense_25NOV2023_1657h says:

    I tried to look at this from a fiscal perspective. When Joe gets elected next year, there will be no financial consequences for MSM outlets that do this trumparrotting. Nothing at all!

    OTOH, if they do as you suggest, report responsibly, and Joe is defeated; the fiscal consequences for them would be dire, as enemies are quashed! Haven’t thought of a way to change that.

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    • bmaz says:

      What are you suggesting? Massive fines? Divestment by owners? Everybody that subscribes dumps them? Who will be the arbiter for all this “penalty” accountability? You?

      I don’t know about you, but there is not squat for local news where I live. It is atrophied to oblivion. If you can’t understand what the two remaining national papers are doing, and how important it is, maybe the problem is you, and not them. Relentless caterwauling about the media, because some people don’t like it, is really tiring. There are bigger and more fundamental/institutional problems with the American political process than the press. The US probably has the most free press in the world, but all people want to do is shit on it.

  16. Felicity_25NOV2023_1902h says:

    “They disseminated it in the way most likely to lead to more attacks on the clerk.”

    I can’t seem to find any actual research or studies on the critical reporting (opposed to stenography) of Trump’s words of incitement leading to more attacks on the people he targets. It may be true, but you’re talking about this as if it’s a well-studied thing with solid results. You just personally feel that spreading Trump’s message, but with cutesy edited pictures, is somehow significantly better than directly quoting Trump.

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    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, hi there “Felicity”, there are tons of reports as to this. Saying there is nothing is patently laughable. And beyond false. And it is not just “directly quoting Trump”, it is in giving proper context along with it.

      By the way, what “cutely edited pictures”? I’d recommend a different approach to this blog are you to ever return for a second comment.

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  17. morganism says:

    I would appreciate if they they just quit cleaning up his speech and patterns. If more folks read a “transcript” of what he really says, they would be much closer to understanding his incapacity.

    After seeing how early everyone in his family dies, i think more folks should be concerned about his “very fine genes” too..

    • P J Evans says:

      His mother lived into her 90s. His father, however… (His grandfather was a victim of the flu epidemic of 1918.)

  18. Critter7 says:

    One would think that the parroting journalists’ sense of self-preservation for their profession would cause some self-examination of how they cover the Trumpian train of insults and threats. When the autocrats take over, journalistic independence is one of the first freedoms to go away.

  19. GSSH-FullyReduced says:

    It would be great to create a serious nonpartisan media outlet fashioned after Fact-Checkers that rose in popularity after 2016. Marcy’s message about the dangers of amplifying trumps witchcraft could reach more of the voters if readers were actually connected to the outcomes. There must be many people carefully following his social media comments that have access to local news events who can connect the dots to show cause&effect…A site like EW on steroids.

  20. e.a. foster says:

    If the note from one of Trump’s supporters of an e.g. of his supporters views, people ought to be concerned. If this is what Trump inspires them to do, people ought to give that a good think before voting for him. Right now, some who support him and parrot his out landish behaviour might want to remember he could turn his aim at them. A person running for President or any political office who speaks like Trump does and issues threats to citizens is not fit to be in any public office.
    Some of what Ive read and heard which as been attributed to Trump and his supporters is sexist, racist, discrimatory, etc.

    The media has a responsibility to report on it. They don’t have to quote it word for word because then they are merely giving him more “press”. However, it is possible to report things without giving it extra support.

    In Canada we have Human Rights Legislation federally and provincially. If some one where to refer to you in sexist, racist, discriminatory terms you are welcome to file a complaint. It will be heard and if you win, you may be awarded compensation. The largest case in Canada was filed by the Indigenous People arguing the federal government spent less on Indigenous children than others in Canada. This was particular visible when it came to health and education. Former P.M. Harper purposely sepnt less money on Indigenous children. Result the complaint was upheld and the Indigenous people were awarded $31.5 Billion. It will be a very long time before a government decides to discriminate, they can’t afford to. Of course the $31.5 Billion doesn’t truly compensate for the pain, suffering, lack of health care, housing, etc but it does send a message.
    It is unfortunate the people being targeted by Trump and his supporters couldn’t file H.R. complaints. (In B.C., not only are their advisors to assist you, but you will be appointed a lawyer if necessary–no charge)

    The things Trump has said just boggles the mind. A lot of it is hate speech. He may believe its part of his campaign but really, there are limits on what some one can say. People could well be injuired or even killed.

    There is that line, If some one tell you who they are, believe them. Trump and his have show their true selves.

  21. Bears7485 says:

    Why are the messages censored in the affidavit? I get blacking out personal information, but these messages are a clear representation of Trump’s psychopathy and how his language spurs his cult member’s behavior and should be broadcast in full on national media.

  22. Frank Probst says:

    Memo to mainstream media: If you’re publishing the court clerk’s name, you’re doing your job wrong. Her name has zero news value. Trump keeps publishing it solely to ensure that she’s targeted by his followers. If you’re republishing her name, you’re just ensuring that her name reaches a larger audience, and therefore a larger number of potential harassers.

      • Rayne says:

        That information still does not have news value and shouldn’t be part of a report. The only reason court personnel other than the judge have become part of any news story is Trump’s attacks on the court; publishing court personnel information only amplifies Trump’s attacks.

        You may know how a court operates but I’m telling you as a former managing editor I would kick a story back to any journalist who’d submitted irrelevant information and possibly harmful information until they removed it. All an editor should expect to see in a story about Trump’s cases before a judge or jury is who did what when why and how with regard to Trump, the case, and the judge. Court personnel are not any part of the Five Ws + One H. That’s Journalism 101.

        • bmaz says:

          Meh, the outrage is over that it has been made public, when it already was public.. Publishing the name by itself really doesn’t mean much. Would I have? No, but it really is unimportant in the long run.

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