US newspapers unite in disgust at Donald Trump’s attack on Clinton – The Guardian

Donald Trump’s “assassination threat” against Hillary Clinton appears to have united US newspapers against him.

From coast to coast across the States, papers carried negative headlines and articles about the Republican presidential candidate after his extraordinary remarks about his Democrat rival.

The poster-style front page of the New York Daily News said: “This isn’t a joke any more: when Trump hinted gun-rights supporters shoot Hillary, he went from offensive to reckless. He must end his campaign. If he doesn’t, the GOP needs to abandon him.”

The Los Angeles Times’s front page carried a picture of Trump speaking with the main headline “Off message” and a sub-deck saying, “The nominee is trumped by again by his own words.”

In the New York Times, an editorial, “Further into the muck with Mr Trump”, stated:

“Seldom, if ever, have Americans been exposed to a candidate so willing to descend to the depths of bigotry and intolerance as Mr Trump. That he would make Tuesday’s comment amid sinking poll numbers and a wave of Republican defections suggests that when bathed in the adulation of a crowd, Mr Trump is unable to control himself.”

The paper’s columnist, Thomas Friedman, in a piece headlined “Trump’s ambiguous wink wink to ‘second amendment people’”, argued that it was the kind of menacing language reminiscent of the extremist talk that led to the assassination of Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

Even though Trump was making a bad joke, there will be people who don’t get it and, instead, hear only the big message. Friedman concluded:

“People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him.

I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again.”

That message was certainly to the fore in other American newspapers, from the Washington Post (“Trump decried for gun remark”) to the Denver Post (“Shooting off his mouth”), and from the Chicago Tribune (“Trump’s comments stir up new firestorm”) to the Wisconsin State Journal (“Trump seen as pushing violence”).

Online outlets were similarly critical. Politico carried the line “Trump’s loaded words fuel campaign freefall” while the Huffington Post simply said “No more.”

But Trump still appears to have some support. In an interview after his controversial speech with Fox News (prop: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp), Sean Hannity didn’t so much let Trump off the hook as give him a lifeline.

After playing a clip of Trump’s comments, Hannity said to him: “So, obviously you are saying that there’s a strong political movement within the second amendment, and if people mobilise and vote they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court. But that’s not how the media is spinning it.”

In other words, here’s the answer I want you to give. You didn’t mean anything by it, did you?

Trump was delighted. As the Daily Beast reported, he even dared to suggest that the controversy was a “good thing” for him because it will inform more people about his pro-gun stance. Truly, with Donald Trump, you couldn’t make it up… and you don’t need to.


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