A Michigan man was arrested last week after allegedly calling the network 22 times and threatening a mass murder of employees at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. “Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down,” he told the operator, according to federal court documents. He also made racist and anti-Semitic comments in his calls. CNN reported that he was charged on Friday in U.S. District Court with “transmitting interstate communications with the intent to extort and threat to injure,” and released on $10,000 bond.
“We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously. This one is no exception. We have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement throughout, and have taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our people,” the network said Monday in a statement.
President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media have always been alarming from a constitutional perspective, but this incident shows how his attacks might be endangering journalists’ lives. As The Washington Post noted, “The threats were made public less than a week after President Trump unveiled his ‘Fake News Awards.’ The term, trumpeted by the president in his frequent clashes with the press, has become a popular rallying cry among Trump’s base. CNN has been a regular target of the president’s ‘fake news’ attacks; the president has also shared violent images featuring the cable news giant, including pictures of the CNN logo crushed under a shoe and a GIF of the president personally attacking the CNN logo.”
Yet the president remains unconcerned with how his words endanger his fellow citizens. On Tuesday morning, he was back to tweeting about “Crazy Jim Acosta of Fake News CNN.”