To Hell With Civility: Enough With the Pity Party for Mitch McConnell, Please

**To Hell With Civility: Enough With the Pity Party for Mitch McConnell, Please**

By Heather Digby Parton, Salon

22 October 18

***Given all the abuse people of color face, it’s shameful for the media to lecture citizens for raising their voices***

he news media has been rightfully up in arms about the president of the United States participating in a cover-up of the murder of a journalist and Washington Post columnist. And they’ve been equally critical of President Trump’s comments last week at a rally in Montana, where he applauded a GOP congressman for body-slamming a reporter because he asked a question. Likewise, the media has understandably protested the Secret Service telling an accredited journalist that he was not allowed to ask Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner questions on an airplane.

This is, after all, a country with a Bill of Rights that protects freedom of the press. All right thinking people are supportive of their position on these issues. Between all that and the constant demeaning of the media by the president, it’s clear that this administration is using the power of the government and the president’s bully pulpit to threaten the press, and not just in a metaphorical sense. All of the above examples demonstrate a threat of physical violence.

People who understand human rights also understand the role the free press plays in securing those rights. Anyone who cares about liberty and justice can see that this crusade to protect powerful government officials from accountability by muzzling the media is a danger to us all.

Over the past few months, we’ve gone round and round about “civility” — who’s got it, who doesn’t, who’s to blame for losing it. The truth is that this country’s always been politically unruly and sometimes even violent. It’s not in the least bit unusual for citizens to confront their representatives, sometimes rudely and obnoxiously. Just in the past two decades, from Code Pink interrupting and protesting in every Iraq war hearing to the Tea Party spitting on congressmen and screaming in their faces over the health care bill, people from all sides of the political divide have been getting up in their elected leaders’ faces. Until recently, this was seen as a normal part of our raucous political life in turbulent times.

This past weekend, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was yelled at in a Louisville restaurant while sitting with his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. A man approached their table and angrily told they should leave the country. When other patrons spoke up and told him to leave them alone he shouted, “They’re coming for Social Security!” (This happens to be true. McConnell told CNBC just last week that the only solution for the massive deficit caused by his massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy is to cut “entitlements.”)

There have been several similar incidents. Protesters and constituents have approached Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in public places, giving them hell over policies and practices.

Of all the people in our public life to get angry about this, the last you’d expect would be members of the media, who are being demonized by the president and these very same politicians. But some of them are quite upset and have taken to social media to scold citizens for addressing their leaders in this way:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s