Donald Trumpâs âassassination threatâ 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: âThis isnât 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 doesnât, the GOP needs to abandon him.â
The Los Angeles Timesâs front page carried a picture of Trump speaking with the main headline âOff messageâ and a sub-deck saying, âThe nominee is trumped by again by his own words.â
In the New York Times, an editorial, âFurther into the muck with Mr Trumpâ, stated:
âSeldom, 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 Tuesdayâs 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.â
The paperâs columnist, Thomas Friedman, in a piece headlined âTrumpâs ambiguous wink wink to âsecond amendment peopleââ, argued that it was the kind of menacing language reminiscent of the extremist talk that led to the assassination of Israelâs prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Even though Trump was making a bad joke, there will be people who donât get it and, instead, hear only the big message. Friedman concluded:
âPeople 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 â unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again.â
That message was certainly to the fore in other American newspapers, from the Washington Post (âTrump decried for gun remarkâ) to the Denver Post (âShooting off his mouthâ), and from the Chicago Tribune (âTrumpâs comments stir up new firestormâ) to the Wisconsin State Journal (âTrump seen as pushing violenceâ).
Online outlets were similarly critical. Politico carried the line âTrumpâs loaded words fuel campaign freefallâ while the Huffington Post simply said âNo more.â
But Trump still appears to have some support. In an interview after his controversial speech with Fox News (prop: Rupert Murdochâs News Corp), Sean Hannity didnât so much let Trump off the hook as give him a lifeline.
After playing a clip of Trumpâs comments, Hannity said to him: âSo, obviously you are saying that thereâs 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 thatâs not how the media is spinning it.â
In other words, hereâs the answer I want you to give. You didnât mean anything by it, did you?
Trump was delighted. As the Daily Beast reported, he even dared to suggest that the controversy was a âgood thingâ for him because it will inform more people about his pro-gun stance. Truly, with Donald Trump, you couldnât make it up… and you donât need to.