Donald Trump as thug or hero? Depends on what network you watch
President Donald Trump walks past police in Lafayette Park after visiting outside St. John's Church across from the White House Monday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Donald Trump
As America remains in crisis, Trump's tough posture draws diametric views.

It was a split screen for the ages on MSNBC Monday: on the left side, President Donald Trump talking about restoring law and order. On the right, a tear-gassed young woman vomiting in a Washington street.

For a nation rubbed raw following a traumatic weekend, cable television news did little to promote peace, love and understanding in its most-watched hours

Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC poke and prod the nation’s divide on most nights, and each has been amply rewarded in the ratings. Trump’s stern speech and walk to a nearby church after protesters were forcibly cleared out of the way Monday raised the temperature on those networks even higher.

“The president seems to think that dominating black people, dominating peaceful protesters, is law and order,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said. “It’s not. He calls them thugs. Who’s the thug here?”

At the same time on Fox News Channel, Tucker Carlson said that Trump provided “a powerful symbolic gesture, a declaration that this country, our national symbols, our oldest institutions, will not be desecrated and defeated by nihilistic destruction.”

For the most part, the television commentators talked past each other to vastly different audiences. CNN and MSNBC concentrated on peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police; the Fox News focus was on violence and property destruction in the streets.

The same arguments have animated American politics for decades, but cable news uses megaphones to amplify them.

Trump has the full authority to use the federal government to go into states to restore order, Fox’s Sean Hannity said.

“If the liberal mayors or governors in most cases are unwilling and unable to protect their own citizens, the federal government will,” he said.

Not so fast, Rachel Maddow said on MSNBC.

“While there are depths that even the most doomsday predictions about the Trump presidency did not plumb, this rubicon moment arrived tonight in the haphazard and slipshod way that has become familiar for most of the other previously unimaginable dark turns this country has taken since Mr. Trump has become president,” she said.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo concluded of Trump: “This is who he is, and it’s not what the country needs right now.”

“You’re not surprised, are you?” his colleague Don Lemon said.

Trump came off Monday as “a modern-day dictator,” Lemon said.

But the headline on Fox News at that moment was “Chaos Blankets American Streets.” Reporter Bryan Llenas showed pictures of broken glass in front of storefronts littering New York City streets.

Criminals and domestic terrorists are using George Floyd “to try to murder America,” host Laura Ingraham said.

“The president tonight reaffirmed his duty to defend the Constitution,” she said.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


10 comments

  • StopMediaBiasNow

    June 2, 2020 at 9:20 am

    The real “thugs” are on MSNBC and CNN. While the country is burned, destroyed and looted, these thugs on CNN and MSNBC, are busy doing their jobs as political frontline for the Socialist/Democrats.

    Our Constitution gives freedom of the press, for one reason and one reason only. Our media is charged with oversight of government and not for political bias.

    Political bias is not the reason for the 1st Amendment, and too many of our media are using that protection, to do exactly what our founding fathers would not have approved of.

    It is sad, that the media has been used in trying to destroy a duly elected President, for the past three and a half years. And, now are being used to defeat this President, in favor of anyone but him.

    These unAmerican fools, owe the President, and the people of America, an apology for having become so biased, as to be dangerous to our very core system of peaceful transition.

    • jerry dycus

      June 2, 2020 at 10:31 am

      A thug flash bombs, tear gasses peaceful, legal protesters with no warning just so Trump can use a church, bible as a photo op against everything the church and bible stand for.
      Trump is a thug dictator wantabe who always been a racist, fascist scumbag who’s greatest claim to fame is being the largest US private bankruptcy ever.
      And his love of making contracts then when done offering the contractors 50% or take him to court taking yrs.
      Yeah repubs sure picked a winner!!s

    • Tjb

      June 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      You forgot to recognize OAN and Fox News.

      • gary

        June 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm

        They are the most unbiased media outlets in America!

    • gary

      June 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      You hit that one out of the park! CLAP CLAP CLAP!

  • Pablo

    June 2, 2020 at 9:27 am

    No the real thugs are the racist and criminals that support Trump. The only reason Trump hates Antifa is because just like its name “Anti-Facist” it’s a movement that started in opposition to Nazi’s in Nazi Germany. If that the case where’s the sign up sheet?

    • gary

      June 2, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Pablo, Antifa is now a terrorist organization, as such will now be imploded by our finest public servants. You are on the wrong side of this argument because you have fake news programing!

  • NoMoTrump

    June 2, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Leave it up to Laura Ingraham, another blathering, bloviating, self-serving psychopath, with a voice like nails on a chalkboard. May she and all of her ilk suffer the consequences of The Divider-in-Chief most severely.

    • gary

      June 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      Laura is the most intelligent and responsive news broadcaster and commentator in America! Guess your elevator stoped a CNN and broke down!

  • Palmer Tom

    June 2, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I hate to break to the anonymous MediaBias person, but in the early years of our country, almost all of the newspapers in this country were biased party organs. The commentary segments on both Fox and MSNBC are biased in favor of their favorite political parties. Fair and balanced, my ass.

Comments are closed.


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