That Time Newsweek Compared Charles Manson to Trump

Posted: Nov 21, 2017 12:00 PM

Newsweek has been living on the edge lately. The outlet has become somewhat infamous for publishing provocative headlines in the Trump era. Does “It’s OK to Be White: How Fox News Is Helping to Spread Neo-Nazi Propaganda” ring a bell? 

Yet, this one may take the cake: "How Murderer Charles Manson and Donald Trump Used Language to Gain Followers." Melissa Matthews published that title after speaking with psychoanalyst Mark Smaller.

Smaller says that Manson, the leader of a murderous 1960s cult who died Monday, "was able to speak in a way that engaged those who felt marginalized or alienated." He sees parallels with President Trump.

Smaller is clear that he does not believe President Donald Trump is similar to the convicted killer, or that their followers have any shared beliefs or characteristics, but he did say we can look to the current president to see how language is used to form a bond with followers.

“Our current president speaks in an emotional or affective way to large numbers of people in our country who feel a kind of alienation or disconnection from the government,” he said. “They feel very responded to and become his political base.”

While that's nice of Matthews to make the above distinction, to even put Trump and Manson in the same headline is despicable.

Matthews quotes Smaller again in the piece when he mentions Trump a second time.

“I’ve never worried as much about the Donald Trumps in the world as I worry about the large amount of people in our country who feel alienated and disconnected and looking to follow somebody,” he said.

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Trump is nothing like Manson. In response to the new piece, social media users are now referring to Newsweek as "a five alarm dumpster fire," and having a severe case of "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

Fox News's Greg Gutfeld is especially disappointed.