"Love to bump into you in a dark alley. Your entire outlook would change and trust me you would never talk shat about our President or his family again. Tough guy with a keyboard. Actually you are nothing but a bully coward."
It happens a couple of times a year. Someone doesn't like something I've written and they let me know about it. It usually starts with a threat about how they'd love to beat me up to show me the errors of my way. Then they mention that I'm just a faux-tough guy with a keyboard and I better watch out just in case they ever find me in an alley.
I've always laughed it off. I don't spend a lot of time in alleys. Plus, these guys making the threats have always been the real tough guys behind a keyboard.
That changed on June 28, 2018.
I'm not sure why it took so long for me to realize this was a lot more serious than I thought. Journalists getting murdered was something that happened in other countries. Russia, yes. North Korea, for sure. It would never happen in the United States. We looked up to the people in the media. They kept us informed about our government, good or bad. They were the ones that kept our leaders in line. They were the ones we could count on to speak the truth.
On June 28th, five employees of The Capital Gazette, a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, were murdered in a mass shooting. The gunman was angered by an article from 2011. He brought a defamation suit against the paper, which was dismissed by the court. He followed up with threats to the staff by letters, messages and emails. The newspaper didn't take any action. I guess they didn't think it was that serious, either. Another tough guy behind a keyboard.
One other thing about the gunman, Jarrod Ramos. He was a Donald Trump supporter. Is there a connection between the shootings and the President? I don't know and I doubt anyone does. What I do know is when the supposed leader of our country and the free world goes on continually about "fake news" and calling the media "the enemy of the people", it riles up his people against the press. Does it enable someone who has an issue with the press to do something drastic? Does it send them over the edge? Maybe. Hey, it only takes one person and it's possible all of this is what it took for Jarrod Ramos to kill five journalists.
It got worse in October. Jamal Hhashoggi walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and never walked out. While not a United States citizen, he was a resident of the U.S. and was writing for the Washington Post. While eighteen Saudi's have been arrested for his murder, the CIA has made it clear that his murder was ordered by one man...Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. It's been almost universally accepted that this was the case....except for one person...
Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.
"Maybe he did, maybe he didn't."
Who knows why Trump went this way. Maybe it was the possible lost money in arms deals? Maybe it was Trump hotels being built in Saudi Arabia? Maybe it's because his son-in-law is now BFF's with MBS? Who knows? What we do know is he went against his own intelligence agency again. What we also know is he showed his lack of regard and respect for a journalist....again! Once again he showed that he feels journalists are dispensable.
This and so much more leads me back to the beginning of this post. At the same time of this threat, someone else started to stalk my Facebook page and make threatening comments. He also found one of my daughter's Facebook page and made a few lovely comments about both of us there.
Now I don't consider myself a journalist...not even close. I occasionally write about the President and other current events, but that's not my main focus. Yeah, those sometimes musings bring the occasional nut out of the closet; but I'm not really worried about these threats. But, I admit to being more concerned than I was a year ago....a lot more concerned. You know it'll be worse in 2019...and every year onward...or at least until we have a leader that shows some respect for the media.
If I'm concerned, you can imagine what real journalists, who have a career writing about this topic and spends hours each day in a newsroom must think. It has to be on their mind every time they walk into their newsroom, right? It has to be on their mind every time they head home, right? It has to be on their mind when they're in public with their families and friends, right?
To paraphrase Donald Trump....maybe they do, maybe they don't.
"You are a fucking MUTT. Next time I'm in Illinois (once/twice yearly) let's have a cuppa' coffee. I'm sure I can show you the 'error' of yer ways, nicely of course. Wadda' ya' say tuff guy?"
Related Post: Who has been watching Barron Trump this week?
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