Donald Trump has put his short finger on the real source of violence in America. Naturally, that source isn’t his racist commercials. Or the rallies where he cheers assaults on protesters and threatens to jail his opponents. Or his support for a conspiracy theory with a body count. It’s none of the things the people actually committing the violence say is the cause of the violence.
It’s people questioning Donald Trump.
Trump: You are creating violence by your questions.
That was Trump’s response to a reporter on Friday who dared to ask Trump if he worried that his statements were contributing to division and violence in the country. As he has so many times, Trump denied all personal responsibility. Instead, he pulled out his The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here sign to blame the press.
Trump: You are creating … You. And also a lot of reporters are creating violence by not reporting the truth. The fake news is creating violence.
Presumably, the media is doing this by reporting on Trump’s words. Such as when he said it was okay to shoot someone who throws a rock. Or when he claimed that Middle Eastern terrorists were hiding in a group of Honduran families. Or when he claimed the “second caravan” was made up “mostly” of “very bad” MS-13 gang members, when people on the ground report it is mostly women and unaccompanied children. Or when he claimed that Democrats were funding an invasion of America. Or when he said Democrats are paying undocumented immigrants so that they will come to America for welfare, free health care, and a free Rolls Royce. And that Democrats are trying to get the caravan across the border so they can vote.
It’s easy to see that if people report on any of those things, it could lead to violence. So maybe Trump should just stop talking.
Trump’s answer also involved that oddly Republican combination a third-person-singular followed by a royal we:
Trump: And you know what, the people who support Trump, the people who support us, which is a lot of people, most people, many people. Those people know when a story is true, and they know when a story is false.
Trump went on to demand that the media “write correctly” echoing a demand he made last week to Fox News.
Though if there is one group pf reporters that might bear some responsibility … those might be the ones.
On Fox News, the word “invasion” was used in relation to the caravan more than 60 times in October, according to closed captioning transcripts. (This includes repeats of programs.) “Invading” was brought up more than a dozen times.
Fox has been reporting the news just the way Fox wants it—scary. And the perpetrators of violence have been quoting the phrases that Trump, and Fox, have been using. But … nah, couldn’t be them.
Earlier this week, Trump blamed the violence on late night comedians. Anyone but Trump.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.