President Trump has been in office for almost two years, which should mean that by now, all the crazy talk in the media about his impending dictatorship ought to be abandoned. Democracy is still vibrant, as we saw with record voter turnout in November. But the wild conspiracy theories about Trump never stop. Some of them qualify as the worst media quotes of the year.
Don't go looking for "fact-checkers" to evaluate how much evidence the cable "news" folks have mustered. During the temporary summer panic over separating illegal-immigrant parents and children at the border, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough actually said: "Children are being marched away to showers, just like the Nazis said they were taking people to the showers, and then they never came back. You'd think they would use another trick."
"Just like the Nazis"? Where was PolitiFact to calmly explain that Mexican and Guatemalan kids were not in fact being marched to poison gas chambers?
We suppose there's a reason Scarborough married his co-host, Mika Brzezinski. She's equally unhinged, saying of Trump: "He will be forever remembered as the president who traumatized little children. That's his brand now. He's the president who purposefully traumatized babies and children, and he traumatized them for his political gain ... or to look like Kim Jong Un."
MSNBC's Joy Reid also played that Kim Jong song, this time bringing in the entire GOP. She said, "The Republicans will fall in line. ... (T)hey're the North Korean army marching behind the Dear Leader."
The comparisons to dictators (especially Hitler) were once shocking, but no longer. These smears arrive almost daily. Take perpetually malcontent Steve Schmidt lecturing on MSNBC. Trump "creates a mass sense of victimization amongst his base," he said. "And then he asserts extraordinary claims of power to protect the victims from the scapegoated populations and the nefarious conspiracy. That is fundamentally illiberal, deeply un-American, and, frankly, could be straight out of Munich circa 1928."
Then there's the racial panic. "Killing black people is an old American tradition, but it is experiencing a revival in the Trump era," wrote New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Trump & Co. is responsible for encouraging the murder of blacks? O-o-K. Krugman wrote this junk after a lone gunman killed two African-Americans at a supermarket in Louisville, Kentucky. Any terrible event can be quickly blamed on Trump.
Everyone associated with Trump is also painted as atrocious. Joy Behar of "The View" had to apologize after a furious national backlash occurred when she suggested Vice President Mike Pence was mentally ill: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct."
This sickness came to a head when actor Peter Fonda proposed on Twitter, "We should rip Barron Trump from his mother's arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant a—hole she is married to."
Barron Trump is 12, but when you're a liberal, the children of Republican presidents are always Fair Game for rhetorical abuse.
When you read quotes like these, it becomes quite apparent that liberals really aren't a tolerant and compassionate bunch. They sure are angry these days. It's woefully unfair for Trump to call them an "enemy of the people," but it's somehow fair for them to call Trump some kind of Kim Jong-Hitler who eggs on murders of black people, marches kids to the gas chambers and traumatizes babies.
Such was the state of things in our national media in 2018.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.