Donald Trump just loves it when people he dislikes get the crap knocked out of them. During the 2016 campaign, he regularly yearned for the good old days when protesters could be punched in the face like they deserved. But these days, he seems more excited by the prospect of police doing some violence to reporters, because they are, after all, enemies of the people.

At a rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Friday, Trump lovingly described how much MSCBC reporter Ali Velshi deserved getting shot in the knee with a rubber bullet while covering the protests of George Floyd's murder. Trump's version of what happened was considerably different from what actually happened, but that's OK because it makes Velshi (or "Welchy," as Trump called him) look like a wimp who got what he deserved, because "law and order" is all about bringing the pain.


I remember this guy Welchy. He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas. And he went down. He didn't—heeee was down. 'My knee! My knee!' [Crowd laughs] Nobody cared, these guys didn't care. They moved him aside. [Crowd laughs.] And they just walked right through—it was like, it was the most beautiful thing. No, because after we take all that crap for weeks and weeks, they would take this crap. And then you finally see men get up there and [punches fist forward] go right through, did—wasn't it really a beautiful sight? [Crowd cheers.]

It's called law and order. Law and order!

As Tom Scocca points out at Slate, the video shows that Trump's version bears only passing resemblance to reality. For one thing, Velshi was shot with a rubber bullet, not a tear gas cannister. He didn't "go down" crying "My knee! My knee!" He actually says, "Oh, shit!" and then adds, "All right, guys, I got hit. Yeah, I got hit. Hold on." And no, the brave manly men of the Minneapolis PD didn't then shunt him aside or punch him — they were a block away.

Trumpian embellishments aside, why the hell is the "president" of the United States so delighted by unprovoked police violence on a reporter? Whaddya mean, "unprovoked"? He's a reporter, isn't he? Obviously, Velshi had it coming, because "we" — or maybe the police — had already been taking "all that crap for weeks and weeks, they would take this crap," and it was payback time. Never mind that Velshi was reporting just days after Floyd's killing — he needed punishing for all the protests that were to come as well.

Trump campaign spox Tim Murtaugh later bullshat that Trump wasn't saying what everyone saw him saying. Instead, Murtaugh insisted, Trump was merely "calling the restoration of peace 'a beautiful thing.'"

Put more simply, Trump's a fascist, the press is the enemy, and if cops rough up a reporter for no reason at all, that's Law And Order.

Trump re-told the story, with some new lies, at a Saturday rally in North Carolina, this time pronouncing "Velshi" correctly but saying he works for CNN. This time around, Trump mocked Velshi for describing the protest as peaceful, while "behind him, it was all fire for blocks." Again, just plain lying; as the video shows, Velshi was shot in the early evening after police showed up to break up a protest that was indeed peaceful. No flames anywhere. But those details don't really matter, since there's no difference between a protest and a riot, reporters need to be assaulted, and time is a flat circle.

Trump was back at it Tuesday, trotting out the bullshit story about Velshi once more, this time at a rally outside Pittsburgh, and following it with still more talk of how beautiful it is when reporters are roughed up, because those damned elitists think they're better than the rest of us.

[Cops] grabbed them, they grabbed them. They were grabbing 'em left and right. Sometimes, they grabbed one guy — "I'm a reporter! I'm a reporter!" — get out of here. They threw him aside like he was a little bag of popcorn.

I mean, honestly, when you watch the crap that we've all had to take so long [...] When you see it, it's actually a beautiful sight! It's a beautiful sight!

Donald Trump just really grooves on the beautiful sight of order being restored, although he keeps forgetting to say that part, because the idea of reporters getting roughed up is far more fun, and it really plays well with the crowds. Honestly, yelling "I'm a reporter" is reason enough to get a beatdown. The First Amendment doesn't mean you get treated differently from any other scum in the way of cops.

We have six more weeks to the election. Between now and then, we're sure Trump will moderate his tone, especially if Ivanka talks some sense into him. That, or he'll bring a reporter up on stage and have them beaten while the crowd cheers.

[Slate / Daily Beast / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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