News Media Must Stop Promoting Death Threats
The latest anti-Trump media narrative is that the President is encouraging death threats by his supporters against officials who do not agree with his accusations of massive vote fraud – Democrat and Republican officials. The use of the word “promoting” in the headline is not an accident or use of an inappropriate word.
It is bad enough that they create publicity for those who would make such threats – and even those who might be motivated to try to carry them out – but to only report, and thereby encourage only one category of malcontent, is beyond irresponsible. It is the worst form of propaganda.
We know from the mass shootings, that publicity is one of the underlying motivators – getting attention. In response, some of the media has reduced the sensationalism of their mass shooting reports and even refrained from naming the shooter. There has been considerable dialogue on the role of the news media in enflaming such psychotic behavior.
I had similar experience with bomb threats. While handling public relations for the then-new Sears Tower in Chicago – the world’s tallest building at the time — we would get bomb threats several times a month. We worked with the police and the FBI, but we never evacuated the building – and we avoided notifying the news media, although some reports did leak out. It was well understood that any news coverage would quadruple the threats. We saw that when a story would leak. The more coverage, the more threats.
Evacuating the building would increase the threats exponentially. We had a policy on evacuation. The threat had to have certain specific characteristics before we would consider evacuation. For obvious reasons, I will not disclose those characteristics because they probably still apply to high-visibility targets. If we publicized bomb threats or evacuated in every case, we would eventually be emptying the Tower on a weekly – and even daily – basis.
The benefits of silence also apply to threats to government officials – and other high visibility individuals. During my days at the White House, I learned from the Secret Service that the President – any President – receives death threats on a daily basis. There is a reason why the rich and famous in every profession have security – politicians, actors, business leaders and media personalities. They rarely talk about the threats because of the fear – with good cause – that it will encourage more.
What is despicable is that those now reporting on specific death threats know that publicity encourages the nut cases. It is particularly disgusting that they highlight (encourage) only those on the unhinged right. They do not report with such importance and detail all the death threats against leaders on the conservative side – and they are happening. It gives one the impression that, with malice aforethought, they want to gin up more threats that will support their concocted narrative that Trump is the primary cause.
One of CNN’s chief propagandists, the smarmy John Avlon, rolled out one of his grossly misnamed “Reality Checks” on the subject of death threats to reinforce the network’s daily news coverage on the subject. By relying on a carefully edited and censored script – including use of provocative taped segments — Avlon not only gave his usual one-sided view of the subject – a false impression – but he inevitably promoted more of what he purports to be opposing. You can expect this narrative to grow over the next few days over at CNN – and be spread like a virus to MSNBC and others in the elitist east coast media.
I understand that several of the personalities over at CNN and MSNBC have received death threats. They do not report on them. Why not? Maybe because they know it will only encourage more of them – as was the case of the guy who sent fake bombs to several news outlets and personalities. Oh no! They are not going to use their reporting to put themselves in the crosshairs – to increase the threats against themselves. They should show the same consideration and concern for others.
I can imagine the producers and personalities over at CNN salaciously longing for the day shots will be fired – giving them more grist for their shameful and dangerous propaganda mill.
So, there ‘tis.