Donald Trump Jr., the almost impressively ignorant son of our equally ignorant president, found a way to combine the Republican Party’s deeply unhealthy fetishization of the police with their pathological hatred of the mainstream media when he shared a video today of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell being charged and seemingly almost assaulted by a scantily clad individual.
The clip shows the aggressor rushing Mitchell and her camera team before a man grabs the possible attacker and pulls them away. The incident occurred in a protest-heavy region of Washington D.C. that is being referred to by some as the “Black House Autonomous Zone.”
The encounter went viral when Caleb Hull, a reliably unreliable right-wing media operative, shared the video on Twitter. In his tweet, he claims that Mitchell’s first response was to “ask where the police were,” perhaps implying that simply because she has been covering the protests she must hate and want to get rid of all police forces.
It’s a standard technique for Republicans to conflate all of their imagined political enemies into one monolithic Frankenstein target and here Hull seems to be fusing conservative hatred of the media with their disingenuous talking point that Democrats want to abolish all forms of law enforcement.
Unfortunately for Hull, close viewing of the video appears to show that it was Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton—a Democratic delegate for D.C. to the House of Representatives—who asked for the police, not Mitchell.
While standing in the “Black House Autonomous Zone” NBC reporter @mitchellreports was almost just attacked.
Her first reaction was to ask where the police were. pic.twitter.com/eWRI0cop8z
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 23, 2020
The First Son, ever-credulous and ever-eager to stir up inane culture war conflicts, retweeted the video and implied that Mitchell—who has not called to defund the police—will now rethink her call to defund the police (which again, she never called for in the first place).
In addition to being deeply dishonest, Trump Jr.’s tweet implicitly misrepresents what activists who are pushing the #DefundThePolice movement actually want. The idea is not to abolish police forces, the idea is to take some of their massive budgets and reallocate the funds to mental health initiatives and other community improvement programs that would in turn decrease crime and lessen the need for massive, militarized police regiments.
At this point, it should be apparent to most voters that we cannot expect the Republican Party to have an honest, rational conversation about the problems this country is facing. They insist on engaging in bad faith arguments and deranged smears. The only way to stop them is at the ballot box come November.
Nothing like the fear of an attempted assault to change your position on defunding the police. https://t.co/ywDWMuDabg
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 23, 2020
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