NBC News reporter Katy Tur described how she felt when Donald Trump singled her out for criticism during a campaign rally Wednesday in Florida — an act of “bullying” that one of her colleagues said was “dangerous and sinister.”
“It is a unique experience to have an entire crowd of people, whether it is an open-air venue, like we were today, or a stadium with 10,000+ people booing you,” said Tur, who came under Secret Service protection after Trump singled her out last year. “It’s especially unique when they’re saying your name and looking directly at you.”
She told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that Trump’s complaint about the media not showing the size of his crowds was “factually untrue,” and she said the candidate — who has worked in the entertainment industry and understands TV production work — knows this.
“This is a schtick that he does to rile up his base, it’s to give them an excuse for polls that might not be in his favor, it’s to give them an excuse to berate someone other than Donald Trump and to blame somebody for something that doesn’t look as good as they want it to look,” Tur said.
Tur’s colleague, Nicole Wallace, said she couldn’t imagine any recent president singling out a reporter for derision like that — which she described as “bullying.”
“It’s not only odd in politics, it’s odd in public life,” said Wallace, who served in the George W. Bush administration and worked for the John McCain campaign. “It’s something that if any of our kids did in school they probably would get kicked out.”
Wallace said the Republican presidential nominee’s actions had larger consequences in American social life.
“He has normalized cyber-bullying, he has normalized the sort of bullying of a woman in a huge chanting crowd, he has normalized behavior that maybe had its seed in standing up to what a lot of Republicans think is a biased media, but it has taken on a life of its own that is dangerous and sinister,” Wallace said. “In the end, it will not help him win — it will be part of the reason that he loses.”
— Chris Golden (@chrisgolden) November 3, 2016