President Trump’s nickname for NBC’s Chuck Todd was met with applause from his supporters, but April Ryan wasn’t laughing.
The White House correspondent lashed out at the president for his “dangerous” criticism of the press and Chuck Todd at a Pennsylvania rally, saying she fears such language will inspire “people out here who are really crazy enough” to commit violence against journalists.
Speaking on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Ryan countered the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito, who disapproved of President Trump’s style but did not believe members of the press at the Saturday rally felt they were in any danger.
“This is real and it’s dangerous, Ryan said. “During the campaign this president talked about kicking people out, beating them up. People did get beat up.”
The CNN analyst failed to mention the numerous attacks on Trump supporters, including by the militant left-wing group Antifa.
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“The problem is now when you make the press the enemy, which he has, there are people out here who are really crazy enough to really feel that and to act on it. And some of my dear colleagues who are going to some of these rallies, you know some of these rallies have been so tense that they’ve been fearful for their safety at times.”
Her fears about potential incitement of violence paralleled the mainstream media’s treatment of President Trump, characterizing him as a “racist” would-be dictator who allegedly colluded with Russia–a narrative that may have radicalized liberal James Hodgkinson into shooting Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) last year.
“All the president has to say is act on it and people will turn. This is someone who has the power of life and death in his tongue and his pen and also the fact that people will turn on the press in a moment’s notice,” Ryan continued.
She went on to say that President Trump’s penchant for criticizing the media is “not shtick,” and appealed to both the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.
“And we are covered by the Founding Fathers, these white men who covered all of us not knowing there’d be social media or people like ‘us’ covering the White House. So this is a dangerous game. And this president vowed to uphold the Constitution. And the free press is part of that. And he’s going against his vow when he was inaugurated.”
The journalist closed her rant by defending Chuck Todd. “I take this seriously. And to call Chuck Todd an SOB. That was totally wrong. Chuck is stalwart, he’s fact-based and he works hard at what he does. This is not right.”
On Saturday, the president called Todd a “sleeping son of a b**ch.”
Ryan took the president “seriously,” but many other observers approved of President Trump’s remark.
Poor thing! She got triggered! Well bless her heart!!
— Poxonu 🇺🇸 🚂 🚋🚋🚋💨🌪⚖ (@poxonu1763) March 11, 2018
Good! She is so full of herself, just like the rest of her cronies! Doesn’t feel safe? Try being around your antifa friends! Serious, trump was there to have fun, lighten up, no one got hurt except maybe your stupid pc feelings! April disgusts me.
— klynn (@jacqueline05063) March 11, 2018
April Ryan didn’t go on an unhinged rant, April Ryan is unhinged….period!!
The majority of the liberal left has a mental disorder. No common sense. Just flat out emotional rants.
— Bold Archangel (@BoldArchangel) March 11, 2018
If Maxine Waters doesn’t have a bad I.Q. then Elizabeth Warren must be a real Native American and Chuck Todd is never sleepy! #FakeNews
— Jack Murphy (@RealJack) March 11, 2018
Stormy Daniels offers to pay back $130,00 so she can break deal. That’s not how contracts work, sweetie.
Vicious Biased Leftist Propagandists deserve everything they’re getting! They’ve been attacking to President, and by extension Trump Supporters and Conservatives, for 2 years! Relentlessly. We are DONE!!!!! ZERO tolerance. They’ve made themselves the enemy.
— TRUMPs My POTUS 👌 (@DebraMMason1) March 11, 2018
April Ryan: “when you make the press the enemy, which he has, there are people out here who are really crazy “. Hey, April…maybe you should consider that next time you try to make President Trump and his supporters the “enemy”.
— Just B. N. Me (@Kost_of_Living) March 11, 2018
President’s doing them a favor. They need the ratings.
— Tom Swanson (@TomSwanson15) March 12, 2018
Luis Miguel is a South Florida-based writer covering politics, society, and culture.