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- David Simon, creator of the HBO series “The Wire,” blamed President Donald Trump for a recent mass shooting at a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
- In an essay on his personal website, Simon described Trump as an “empty, soulless man” who is unfit for high office.
- Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, was friends with two of the Capital Gazette reporters who were killed in the June 28 massacre.
David Simon, creator of the beloved HBO series “The Wire,” blamed President Donald Trump for a recent mass shooting at a newspaper located in Annapolis, Maryland.
In a scathing essay posted to his personal website on Sunday, Simon suggested Trump’s habitual attacks on the media have created a situation in which violently attacking the press could be considered patriotic, citing the fact the president has referred to the media as the “enemy of the American people.”
“Never to this moment has a president declared the institution of an adversarial press – a component of democratic governance that Jefferson, for all his combat with a young nation’s newspapers, called more essential to the people’s commonweal than even the mechanisms of government itself – to be enemy of the American people,” Simon wrote, adding, “That’s fresh. And fascist on its face.”
Simon described Trump as an “empty, soulless man” who is unfit for high office, contending the president “purposefully” fostered a “climate” via “petty rancor” and “heedless verbiage” that would lead someone to stage an attack on a newspaper.
He acknowledged the long-held grudge the suspect apparently had against the Capital Gazette but laid blame at Trump’s feet.
Simon contended the suspect’s “escalation to violence came at a point after Donald Trump, lost in his own grievances and impulses, used the presidential podium to declare bluntly and openly that journalists and the falsehoods they deliver were the greatest peril to the nation.”
“Chronology makes Donald Trump’s demagoguery more complicit in Annapolis, not less so,” Simon said.
He also dismissed Trump’s reaction to the shooting, in which the president said reporters should be able to feel safe as they do their job, saying it did not make up “for more than year of rancid provocation.”
Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, was friends with two of the Capital Gazette reporters who were killed in the June 28 massacre: Rob Hiaasen and John McNamara.
In addition to criticizing Trump, Simon paid tribute to Hiaasen and McNamara in his essay.
Simon described Hiaasen as “a deft and delicate voice, crafting stories that delivered ordinary and extraordinary people both.” He said McNamara was “the most humble and genuinely sincere creature to ever endure a copy edit.”
“These are the people I see when I think of the president declaring time and again for the villainy of journalists,” Simon wrote.
In the wake of the shooting at the Capital Gazette, which left five people dead, Trump has not relented in his criticism of the media.
One week after the shooting, Trump referred to journalists as “bad people.”
“Fake news. Bad people,” Trump said as he pointed at members of the media covering his rally in Montana.
“I see the way they write. They’re so damn dishonest,” Trump added. “And I don’t mean all of them, because some of the finest people I know are journalists really. Hard to believe when I say that. I hate to say it, but I have to say it. But 75 percent of those people are downright dishonest. Downright dishonest. They’re fake. They’re fake.”