Robert Gehl reports that if we’re reading this correctly – and I think we are – CNN’s Clarissa Ward is claiming that President Donald Trump’s criticism of the media means that reporters are more likely to be killed while on assignments in dangerous parts of the world.
She’s saying that because Trump and his White House spokespeople have the courage to push back on the leftist media narrative, that brave reporters who are on the front lines around the world, covering bloody conflicts, are now in more danger because of what Sarah Huckabee Sanders says to them in Washington.
It’s total nonsense and we wonder if Clarissa Ward knew it was total nonsense while it was coming out of her mouth, or if it took some time before she figured out how incredibly stupid it was.
Here’s how it played out … Ward – who is a foreign correspondent for CNN – was guest-hosting on CNN’s “New Day.” She said that “people” in “war zones” have been “emboldened” by Trump’s “declaration of war on the media.”
Does she think that al-Qaeda or an ISIS terrorist is more likely to take aim at a reporter, thinking “Well, Donald Trump doesn’t like this guy, so I’m going to shoot at them!”? Does she really think that?
She pressed on, asking not a war correspondent, Chris Cillizza, a Washington-based commentator.
Here’s the transcript, courtesy of RealClearPolitics:
CLARISSA WARD, CNN HOST: Chris, at what point does this become dangerous? And I’m not just talking about dangerous in terms of tearing at the social fabric, I’m talking about dangerous as in a journalist gets hurt, because I can tell you working overseas in war zones, people are emboldened by the actions of this administration, emboldened by the all-out declaration of war on the media. If I’m getting it in the neck, Chris, I can only imagine what a person like you is dealing with. At what point does this become reckless or irresponsible, Chris?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, EDITOR AT LARGE, CNN POLITICS: I don’t want to say we’re past that point.
BRIAN KAREM, ‘PLAYBOY’ WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We are past that point.
CILLIZZA: I think it is already dangerous what the Trump administration is doing, which is Brian’s point. They are trying to taken an honest mistake, or not even a mistake, and turn it into the norm as opposed — the rule opposed to the exception, which is a very dangerous thing because that’s willfully misleading, frankly.
The idea that Dave Farenthold, who was my colleague for a very long time and doesn’t toot his own horn enough, the idea he was attacked for doing what he did had nothing to do with the quality of the journalism he was doing. It was 100 percent about it was a bad story for Donald Trump. In Donald Trump’s world the media is judged by you are good if you write things that are good for Donald Trump. You are objectively bad if you criticize Donald Trump. It is not our job to be liked by Donald Trump. It is not our job to report the news — as Sean Spicer said and Sarah said it yesterday, you guys ignore the news that’s important. You know, I do think the Russian hacking of an election is important news.
CILLIZZA: We can debate collusion. They’re right, there’s no evidence of that. But this is about the broader hacking of an election. In Dave’s case it was about a charitable organization that didn’t give to charity for the man who was running to be the president of the United States. It doesn’t have to do with the fact Donald Trump is a Republican. I guarantee you a million times over, because I know Dave personally, if it was the Hillary Clinton Foundation doing the same thing, he would have done the same reporting. That’s what’s maddening when you’re watching this.
Being a reporter can be a dangerous job. If you’re in a war zone, or serving your paper in Venezuela or the South Sudan, you can be kidnapped, tortured, or even killed.
But to suggest that because Donald Trump laughs at you and calls you fake news, that somehow it “emboldens” the aggressors in these conflicts to target reporters is beyond insane.
And it shows just how detached most Washington reporters are from reality.
Or even the Planet Earth.