The vast left-wing conspiracy to make Trump look like a bigot.

The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy to Make Donald Trump Look Like a Bigot

The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy to Make Donald Trump Look Like a Bigot

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July 6 2016 1:05 PM

The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy to Make Donald Trump Look Like a Bigot

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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump motions to the crowd while leaving the stage after a campaign event at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts  on July 5, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
When will the mainstream media stop its baseless attacks? Above, Donald Trump in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

On Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted an image that had previously circulated among anti-Semites on social media. It was a six-pointed star, overlaid on a pile of money, with a picture of Hillary Clinton and the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” Predictably, the left erupted. It’s the same old story: The liberal media latch onto everything Trump says, finding new ways to paint him as a bigot.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

“Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David,” Trump tweeted Monday. His pal and former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, chimed in: “That’s the mainstream media trying to attack Donald Trump.” Trump’s former adviser, Michael Caputo, blasted “people in the media” who are trying “to try to shame Donald Trump. … This pattern that you’re seeing is being created by those people who need to bake this bigotry into the Donald Trump candidate model.”

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Trump is right. For years, the media have conspired to make him look prejudiced. It started in 2011, when reporters played up his suggestions that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, was lying about his birth certificate, and might be a Muslim. In 2014 and 2015, bloggers pounced on Trump’s tweets saying that “President Obama has absolutely no control (or respect) over the African American community” and that “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” When Trump announced his candidacy last summer, journalists tried to embarrass him by posting video of him saying, during the speech, that immigrants from Mexico were rapists.

Then things really got nasty. The press put out quotes and videos showing Trump taking shots at his opponents’ backgrounds and religious beliefs: Jeb Bush’s Mexican American wife, Ben Carson’s Seventh-day Adventism, Sen. Ted Cruz’s Cuban ancestry, and the Hispanic heritage of Gonzalo Curiel, the judge in the Trump University fraud case. When Trump said he had seen thousands of Arabs celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11, journalists claimed they couldn’t find evidence to back him up. When he called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” they accused him of discriminating based on religion.

In the past six weeks, it has gotten worse. Here’s a chronology of the media’s cynical attacks:

May 27: Trump tells a crowd in San Diego that Curiel has been ruling unfairly against him in the fraud case, apparently because the judge “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” The Washington Post and other Hillary-loving outlets accuse Trump of prejudice.

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May 30: Trump’s spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, tells CNN that Curiel is “connected” to protesters who brandish “Mexican flags” and are trying “to stop an American president from running for office.” Liberal CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota argues with Pierson on air.

June 3: Trump tells the Wall Street Journal that Curiel has “an inherent conflict of interest” and is unfit to preside over Trump’s case because the judge is “of Mexican heritage.” The Journal, a well-known shill for amnesty, portrays the remarks as racist.

June 5: Trump tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that Curiel is mistreating him because “he’s of Mexican heritage.” Tapper, in an attempt to embarrass Trump, asks him: “If you are saying he can’t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?” John Dickerson piles on, asking Trump on CBS whether a Muslim jurist might be similarly disqualified because of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims. “It’s possible, yes,” says Trump.

June 12: Trump says people from the Middle East are too dangerous to allow into the United States. Even if they’re vetted, he points out, we have “no way” to “prevent the second generation from radicalizing.” Liberal reporters misrepresent Trump’s position as ethnic discrimination.

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June 13: Trump says refugees are “trying to take over our children” by telling them “how wonderful Islam is.” Liberals accuse Trump of going beyond terrorism and attacking Islam.

June 14: Trump says “there’s no real assimilation” of “second- and third-generation” families from the Middle East. Reporters, imposing their bias, question whether that’s true.

June 27: NBC News says Trump, in a phone interview, called Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” This follows reports that he used the same term to describe Warren on May 27, June 10, June 15, and on other occasions earlier in the campaign.

June 29: Howie Carr, a radio show host and Boston Herald columnist, warms up the crowd at a Trump rally by using a Native American war whoop to mock Warren. Reporters imply that Trump is to blame.

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June 30: In his Herald column, Carr writes that Trump told him not to apologize for the whoop. Carr says Trump, referring to anti-black comments made 28 years ago by sportscaster Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder, told Carr: “Don’t apologize. You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing OK ’til he said he was sorry.”

Now comes the Star of David ruckus, another case of agenda-driven media hype. As Trump’s representatives have explained, posting an image of a six-pointed star on a pile of money with a message about corruption is a perfectly innocent gesture. It’s just as innocent as Trump’s previous retweets of a message from “WhiteGenocideTM” and of fabricated black-on-white crime data from a neo-Nazi Twitter account. “These memes float around the internet,” says Trump’s adviser, Ed Brookover. “There’s nothing going on here. … I can’t believe that we keep coming back to this.”

I can’t believe it, either. Week after week, reporters who cover Trump’s latest remarks and tweets about blacks, Latinos, Arabs, Muslims, Jews, and Native Americans come back to the same story. They keep trying to make Trump look like a bigot. But we won’t be fooled.