The FBI has rounded up a Trump supporter in California for threatening to kill Boston Globe newsroom employees, as Trump's war on the press rolls on through the "we shoot journalists, don't we?" phase.
The F.B.I. said on Thursday that it charged a California man who threatened to kill employees of The Boston Globe after calling them the “enemy of the people” in a series of menacing phone calls.
Robert D. Chain, 68, was arrested on Thursday at his home in Encino, Calif. The F.B.I. said Mr. Chain owned several firearms and had recently purchased a small-caliber rifle.
According to federal documents, Mr. Chain began calling The Boston Globe immediately after the newspaper announced on Aug. 10 that it would publish a coordinated editorial response to political attacks on the media. Prosecutors said the threats were in retaliation for The Globe’s leadership in the editorial campaign.
In one call to the paper’s newsroom, Mr. Chain threatened to shoot the newspaper’s employees in the head, the F.B.I. said. Three days later, in another call, Mr. Chain said: “You’re the enemy of the people.” Using profane language, he threatened to kill “every” Globe employee.
Mr. Trump has embraced the phrase “enemy of the people.” Media executives have decried the expression, believing it a dangerous assault on the First Amendment, warning that it could trigger acts of violence among the president’s most ardent supporters in the United States and embolden authoritarian political movements overseas.
On Thursday, the president once again used the phrase.
I mean we've already got to the point where the leader of the country is cheering on the butchery of adversarial press. This guy was caught because he was noisy and stupid. When the next newsroom is shot up, and it's going to happen sooner rather than later, Trump will ignore it, the press will continue to be nice to him because they don't want to lose "access" to the White House, and more journalists will die.
It's not a matter of if, or even when, but of how many dead reporters it's going to take before America's news organizations realize their survival is at stake in much more than a metaphorical sense.