President Donald Trump held a rally in Tampa, Florida Tuesday night and his supporters demonstrated the damage the president’s relentless attacks on the free press have done.
Thousands of Trump fans were lined up all day in the steamy Florida sun, eager to participate in what is sure to be an echo chamber of falsehoods and attacks on the media.
The crowd’s behavior toward one veteran journalist offered a dark preview of what would surely come.
CNN’s Jim Acosta was jeered by Trump supporters as he was standing on a podium reporting about the event.
Rallying cries of boos, people shouting “traitor,” and “you’re a liar” were lobbed at Acosta.
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) July 31, 2018
Then the crowd began chanting, “CNN sucks!” at Acosta as he struggled to hear his own words.
— Octavio Jones (@OctavioJones) July 31, 2018
The president hadn’t even arrived yet, and social media was blowing up with people wondering why the media continues to give Trump and his supporters airtime.
STOP covering these propaganda rallies live.
— Amy Smith (@asmith702) July 31, 2018
Hate rallies, why is the media covering them? No one cares except the ill informed, hateful #cult45 members.
— Angry lady mob (@an13659633) July 31, 2018
— Delfina Valdez (@DelfinaValdez8) July 31, 2018
Why send reporters? He says the same thing every time and calls the press names and his followers do this. Send someone to record it and if something *exciting* happens, it'll be recorded and you can show it/hear it.
— Caron Craig (@CaronCraig) July 31, 2018
Thankfully, the Internet has Acosta’s back.
They need glasses! Jim Acosta doesn’t look like Trump at all.
— hg murray (@spottydoggie) July 31, 2018
@Acosta is Everyman in America right not who is asking for the truth about conspiracy. Facing mob tactics from an actual mob boss president, yet he stands his ground.
— Thirtysixmiles (@thirtysixmiles) July 31, 2018
Hang in there brother.
— ➿Drew➿ (@datwyler) July 31, 2018
A lot of Americans are with you Jim…
— Becca (@BeccaMarshall12) July 31, 2018
Trump has repeatedly referred to the media as “fake news” and “the real enemy of the people.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
Trump’s onslaught of attacks on the media all have one thing in common: it’s “fake news” when coverage is negative.
Frankly, that’s Trump’s own fault and one can only imagine how much worse his attacks may get as the president’s litany of scandals begin to close in on him.
More importantly, Trump has demonstrated complete apathy concerning the safety of journalists.
When five people were killed in an Annapolis, Maryland newsroom last month in a targeted massacre of Capital Gazette staff, Trump feigned sympathy for the victims and their families…
Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
Before going any further today, I want to address the horrific shooting that took place yesterday at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. This attack shocked the conscience of our Nation, and filled our hearts with grief… pic.twitter.com/LALXGhk04b
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2018
…and then less than a week later returned to his “fake news” diatribe. What makes this particular tweet even richer is that North Korea has been ramping up its production of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. We know where the “fake news” is coming from, Mr. President.
Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
Thus, concerns over the safety of members of the press abounded on Twitter.