The ugliness of the United States elections continued to be revealed in August, and this time it was the story of a reporter who had to be protected by the Secret Service for the purpose of preventing violence.
In a lengthy piece published by Marie Claire, MSNBC television journalist Katy Tur recalled her year-long assignment covering the campaign of the controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump.
According to the MSNBC reporter, she had been on the Trump campaign beat for about six months when an incident underscored the sad state of affairs that the U.S. elections have sunk to.
Ms. Tur was singled out by Donald Trump during a North Carolina rally that she covered on Twitter, which has become a staple of reporters who are not able or allowed to broadcast live by traditional means such as cameras or microphones. The live tweets fired off by Ms. Tur for the sizable MSNBC audience kept count of the protesters who stood up during Trump’s speech. As can be expected, campaign staff were monitoring social media and discreetly notified Trump, who would later turn on Ms. Tur, calling her a disgraceful, third-rate reporter and a liar.
From that moment on, Trump directed vitriol towards members of the press who failed to portray him in a positive light. Then the violence started at his rallies. Protesters who wanted to express their disgust at Trump’s scandalous statements, such as banning the entry of Muslims to the U.S., staged violent protests that ended in physical altercations and arrests. It should be noted that the agitators were largely anti-Trump protesters; only a handful of Trump supporters have been singled out for violence in comparison of dozens upon dozens of those who oppose the New York billionaire.
The most troubling incident, however, took place inside the historical battleship USS Yorktown in South Carolina. From the podium, Trump noticed the presence of Ms. Tur and called her out. By this time, those who had been closely following Trump’s campaign had a good idea of how much he dislikes her.
What happened next was expected by the Secret Service agents assigned to protect Trump during his campaign. The cult of personality and demagoguery of the Trump campaign came to a head at the moment he called out Ms. Tur. The crowd booed and hissed her angrily, and some Trump supporters even got close to the improvised press pen to spew their invective. For good measure, the Secret Service agents came closer and later accompanied to her car.
In light of the violence that has previously broken out at Trump rallies, the gesture by the U.S. Secret Service to protect Ms. Tur is certainly commendable, but it is also a reminder of the sad state of affairs that the U.S. elections have become.