With President Donald Trump ramping up his broadsides against the media and doubling down on his “enemy of the people” rhetoric, journalists have been pointing out that they’ve not only been on the receiving end of public taunts and boos but that they’ve also gotten death threats. MSNBC’s Katy Tur recently shared that someone wrote her a note saying “I hope you get raped and killed.”
At the end of his broadcast Sunday, Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter pointed out that threats against reporters are on the rise before noting that a C-SPAN caller on Friday threatened to shoot him and CNN anchor Don Lemon.
“Let me preface this by saying I’m not asking for sympathy,” Stelter said. “I don’t think I’m in extreme danger. some of my colleagues get much worse threats than I do. CNN has a great security team and we know how to handle this stuff. This problem is not confined to CNN. People at Fox News and other outlets had to deal with this garbage too. But these kinds of threats are coming in more often.”
Stelter went on to play the clip, which featured a man supporting the president’s criticism of the media because he claimed that Stelter and Lemon had called all Trump voters racist. The CNN senior media correspondent noted neither he or Lemon said that before airing the last part of the call.
“They don’t even know these Americans out here and they are calling us racists because we voted for Trump?! Come on,” the caller exclaimed. “Give me a break. They started the war. I see them, I’m going to shoot them, bye.”
Stelter pointed out that the night before the caller made his threat, Fox News’ Sean Hannity played a two-year-old clip of Stelter accurately stating that racial anxiety and resentment were a factor in Trump’s rise.
“I don’t know if the C-SPAN caller watched Hannity,” Stelter added. “Not blaming Hannity. I thought the timing was odd.”
The media critic ended his show by highlighting Bret Stephens’ recent New York Times column in which he wrote that we’re approaching a day that there will be “blood on the newsroom floor” and that it would be “blood on the president’s hands.”
“I hope he is wrong,” Stelter concluded.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
UPDATE 1:13 PM ET: We pulled the clip directly from C-SPAN and also noticed that the host’s immediate reaction to the caller was merely to remind him that he needed to “turn down that television and listen and talk through the phone.” You can watch the clip below.
Here's the clip of that @cspanwj caller saying he's "going to shoot" Brian Stelter and Don Lemon if he sees them.
The host's immediate reaction to an overt death threat? Reminding the caller "you have to turn down that television and listen and talk through the phone." pic.twitter.com/O3gyBLGeXb
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 5, 2018