MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace apologized for asking a White House reporter how he resists “the temptation to run up and wring her neck,” referring to the President’s press secretary, who (full disclosure) is also my daughter. I will take Ms Wallace at her word that her apology was sincere, but I’m not letting her off the hook so easily until we examine the mindset that gives rise to such casual violent rhetoric and force her, and others in the media, to do a little more self-examination and, as the old bumper sticker read, to make sure their brains are engaged before putting their mouths in gear.
First of all, if anyone would be justified in wanting to wring a few necks in that room, it’s not the reporters. They don’t have to go out every day and face nasty, badgering, often frankly idiotic questions, many times repeated endlessly even after they’ve already received an answer or a reason why they can’t be answered at that time. They don’t have to try to show respect for people who pose as guardians of the First Amendment and bastions of journalistic integrity when we all know they spent eight years as lapdogs to the last Administration; that many openly renounced even the semblance of fairness and objectivity during the last election; and that some of the biggest names in the room have embarrassed themselves repeatedly by running poorly-sourced rumors and leaks that they later had to retract, all because any story that’s anti-Trump gets them too excited to think, like waving a piece of bacon at a Chihuahua.
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Second, consider that this incitement of violence against my daughter came because Ms. Wallace was incensed at an (again) anonymously-sourced leak of an alleged callous comment about John McCain. She was incensed that Sarah said she wouldn't validate an as-yet unconfirmed leak by commenting on it before it was verified to have happened. I guess MSNBC reporters are used to trashing people’s reputations by commenting at length on unverified rumors that might not even be true – it’s sort of their job description these days – but that’s not Sarah’s job.
Third, this is hardly the first time members of this Administration have been the targets of violent rhetoric from the same liberal pack that smeared Sarah Palin as an accessory to attempted murder because her PAC ran some ads with target graphics on Congressional districts they were targeting. Yet once Trump took office, it somehow became acceptable to openly promote assault or assassination, and for former comedians to wave around facsimiles of the President’s bloody severed head. Why all the hateful, violent rhetoric? Well, Trump has it coming because he’s created an “atmosphere of incivility.” Seriously, do they not see the cloud of hypocrisy enveloping them that the rest of us see, as thick as London fog? Their threatening, slanderous and sometimes profane attacks on people they accuse of not being civil reminds me of an old cartoon from the ‘60s of a protester carrying a sign that read, “Kill the intolerant!”
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Fourth, as this story shows, this is actually one of the milder nasty attacks Sarah has endured. She and her colleagues have been compared to all sorts of vile propagandists and liars by the same press corps that couldn’t muster a peep of protest when the point man for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal arrogantly admitted that he’d played the press like a cheap fiddle to sell that bill of goods to America, creating an echo chamber in which he bilked young, ignorant reporters into repeating whatever nonsense he fed them. Did they feel like wringing his neck? Funny, I don’t recall them ever saying so.
Well, I could go on, but I’ve given them a lot to reflect on, and it is a holiday weekend, so I’ll be merciful and let it go at that. But I will add one final word of advice: If I were they, I would not ever try running up and trying to attack Sarah. She knows how to take care of herself, and if the Secret Service doesn’t put you on the ground in a world of hurt, she will. The fact that the “comedian” hired for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was able to leave under her own power is testament to the fact that my daughter was perhaps the only one in that entire room who understood what civility and self-control are.