THE MEDIA'S COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Writing at The Federalist, Lisa Liel examines the boost the media gave neo-Nazis and Klansmen in their efforts to defeat Trump:
The president back then was either Ronald Reagan or the first Bush. If you had told these neo-Nazis and Klansmen that they could get vast amounts of media exposure simply by telling people that they supported the Republican president, they would have jumped at the chance. That’s publicity that money can’t buy. But the media hadn’t fallen to the depths that it has in 2016. They may have hated Reagan and Bush, but they didn’t hate them enough to deliberately shine a spotlight on this lunatic fringe of reprobates, all to hurt those presidents.If you issue enough baseless attacks, even people who think he's a con man who should never have access to the nuclear codes start defending Trump. Way to go, mainstream media!
Over the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, however, those depths were reached, if not surpassed. In their absolute frenzy to defeat Donald Trump at all costs, the media pulled David Duke and his ilk from the filthy shadows in which they lurked, and handed them a big microphone through which they could proclaim their hatred of anyone not like them. They told them, if not in so many words, that publicly supporting Trump would get them even more publicity, and they showcased every such utterance, usually on the front page.
To be clear, bigots and haters exist in both sides of the political divide. Crowds chanting: “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” Jewish college students bullied and terrorized for simply being Jews. The repeated mantra that all white people are inherently racist, just because of the color of their skin. If anyone thinks the growing view on the Left that Israel should be erased from existence is any different in kind than the poison that comes out of the mouths of creatures like Duke, they need a reality check.
But the fact that there are bigots of that ilk who support Trump — or claim to — became a major talking point over the past year. A man who had never previously been accused of racism, despite his celebrity; whose daughter became an Orthodox Jew, and whose other children, almost without exception, are married or dating Jews; a man who had sent copies of “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” to every member of the Palm Beach town council in order to shame them into dropping their opposition to his acceptance of blacks and Jews into his Mar-a-Lago club—this man was painted as anti-black and anti-Semitic because some fringe groups on the far-right voiced support for him.