A handful of Democrats on Tuesday introduced the Journalist Protection Act, which makes it a federal crime to cause bodily harm to a journalist or intimidate him or her from gathering information for a news report. The bill was brought about by Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Bob Menendez (NJ).
According to the trio, it was important for them to introduce this bill because of President Donald Trump's "extreme hostility toward the press." The group cites Trump's standoff with CNN over "fake news" and him calling the press “the enemy of the American people,” as examples.
The group believes Trump's so-called rhetoric on the mainstream media is to blame for Americans' stance on reporters and the news media. And, without coming out and directly saying it, they're blaming Trump for journalists getting attacked in the field. In these legislators' mind, these attacks wouldn't take place if Trump didn't use his rhetoric to wind people up.
“From tweeting #FakeNews to proclaiming his contempt for the media during campaign rallies, the President has created a hostile environment for members of the press,” Swalwell said. “A healthy democracy depends on a free press unencumbered by threats of violence. We must protect journalists in every corner of our country if they are attacked physically while doing their job, and send a strong, clear message that such violence will not be tolerated. That is what my bill, the Journalist Protection Act, would do.”
“Under this administration, reporters face a near-constant barrage of verbal threats, casting the media as enemies of the American people and possible targets of violence. This bill makes clear that engaging in any kind of violence against members of the media will simply not be tolerated," Blumenthal said.
The three men cite these instances as "proof" that Trump is causing the attacks on journalists:
In March 2017, OC Weekly journalists said they were assaulted by demonstrators at a Make America Great Again rally in Huntington Beach, CA. The following August, a reporter was punched in the face for filming anti-racism counter-protestors in Charlottesville, VA. At a rally hosted by the President in El Paso, TX just last month, a man in a Make America Great Again hat attacked a BBC reporter and yelled expletives directed at “the media.”
Blaming Trump for people's actions is wrong. Flat. Out. Wrong. He has no control over what people do. He hasn't told anyone to go out and assault reporters. To try and make that connection is really disgusting. But then again, this plays directly into the incestuous relationship Democrats have with the mainstream media. The mainstream media constantly protects them because they're on the same side of the political aisle. They protect the Dems by cherry picking what stories they cover and how they cover them.
A perfect example is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She's constantly running her mouth about "dark money" in politics but when an FEC complaint was filed against her and her chief of staff for diverting money from her campaign to hide PAC contributions, where was the MSM? Silent. Absolutely silent. MSNBC, WaPo and others didn't report on it. But if the roles were reversed and it was a conservative who did it, you bet your butt they'd be all over the story.
And what's the least Dems can do for the MSM who protects them by not covering their public relations nightmares? Introduce legislation that literally protects journalists.
It's a vicious cycle, really.
Democrats pat the mainstream media on the backs for their "hard work" and "cutting edge journalism." In return, the MSM pats Democrats on the back for their "latest and greatest" legislation to protect [fill in the blank here with a group who is supposedly oppressed].
Let's call this bill what it really is: another way to blame President Trump for something, even if he has absolutely nothing to do with what's taking place.