Snagging 99 Florida delegates on Tuesday, Donald Trump picked off Marco Rubio to get one step closer to the nomination. It’s bad enough that the Republican establishment has turned its back on the trending tycoon. Now, a leftist media is continuing its ever-aggressive campaign against him.
Recently, Trump canceled a huge rally in Chicago due to hostile protesters infiltrating the packed arena and its perimeters at the University of Illinois. A notoriously liberal campus, it’s no surprise that Bernie and Hillary supporters came out in full force. Still, it’s curious that headlines this week have focused not on these radical attacks against free speech—but on Trump himself.
Major news sources have run a slew of harsh headlines against the Donald. MSNBC notes, “Escalating aggression marks Trump’s rally rhetoric,” while CNN chides, “Trump justifies rally ‘suckerpunch’.” Joe Scarborough and other pundits have even suggested that Trump purposely planned the cancelation, further fueling arguments about the candidate’s culpability.
Late Friday night, Trump called into Fox News as commentators played rally footage on a loop. With the exception of a few contained scuffles inside the arena, the majority of protestors appeared peaceful, although undeniably obnoxious.
Reporters on the ground attempted to engage in a civil debate, but many Bernie supporters interrupted Trump’s lingering allies. Meanwhile, the millionaire defended his decision, claiming he feared for the safety of all those involved.
On other 24-hour news channels, footage romanticized many of the vocal protestors, showing them with anti-Trump signs while passionately chanting. When a physical brawl broke out, commentators circled back to the Donald, playing up his hostile oratory.
But once the dust settled, stories emerged indicating that the protest wasn’t as peaceful as originally reported.
Although unconfirmed, a Chicago policeman who was present at the rally lamented the misleading coverage. “The media is downplaying the protests as ‘isolated’,” he wrote in a blog post. “It seems they aren’t broadcasting footage of the debris being thrown across Harrison by Sanders/Hillary supporters at Trump fans.”
The anonymous source continued, reporting that “anarchist” attendees ran through the parking deck, smashing the windows of cars that had Trump stickers. He also uploaded two photos of a bloodied officer, noting “at least two cops needed numerous stitches to close up wounds.”
The liberal UIC campus even deployed emergency “incident” squads to respond to the widespread pandemonium. So, as pundits rambled on about Trump’s inciting of the riotous behavior, only a few outlets, including Fox News, seemed to focus on the real issue.
The “violence” of last Friday night had little to do with Republicans and Democrats clashing over social issues, or even over Trump’s controversial rhetoric. Much of the unprovoked destruction and distraction was really a simple gesture: a total shutdown of Trump and his supporters’ right to free speech.
If Cruz or Trump supporters shut down a Clinton rally, silencing her right to assemble, how would the media have responded? What would Rachel Maddow have said?
A hypocritical Obama, who himself encouraged supporters back in 2008 to “bring a gun” to Romney’s knife fight, chimed in to scold Trump. The president spoke at a luncheon on Tuesday: “We have heard vulgar and divisive rhetoric aimed at women and minorities…I will not support somebody who practices that kind of politics.”
Although the president’s speech seemed to discourage violent rally goers, his reproachful words were still squarely pointed toward Trump.
Even if these violent demonstrators never meet their day in court, the Donald may still come out on top. Now, experts predict the incident and its aftermath may actually help his campaign numbers. A Monmouth University poll showed that the majority of Republicans couldn’t care less, with 22% saying the events of the Chicago rally make them “more likely” to vote for him.
The leading nominee seemed hopeful in an early Tweet the day after the cancelled event: “The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!”
In true Trump fashion, he clearly loves the attention. And although he couldn’t steal Ohio from John Kasich, who enjoyed a home court advantage, the mogul still took Florida away from a now defunct Rubio. Only time will tell if the media’s “violent” Trump will lose momentum.