Fox's Howard Kurtz On Trump's “Riots Comment”: “I Thought It Was Hyperbole”

Kurtz: “I Was Surprised That The Media Went To DEFCON 1 Over Trump's Riots Comment”

From the March 20 edition of Fox News' MediaBuzz:

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HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): I was surprised that the media went to DEFCON 1 over Trump's riots comment. I mean, I've used that phrase, “oh, there will be riots if this happens,” and I thought it was hyperbole. But now some commentators saying he was threatening violence. 

HEIDI PRZYBYLA: Yeah, I had thought wow, that's terrible, because I didn't see the actual comments myself until I went back and read them. And honestly I had said something earlier in the week that if the race -- in this context -- if the race were that close and Trump had just below the number needed to get the delegates and the Republicans came in and swooped in with some other candidate, there would be mutiny, there would be chaos. Ted Cruz used those words too. But when Donald Trump said it, because it came in the context of a week in which there was actual violence going on at his rallies and he is in the spotlight for encouraging violence at his rallies, it took on a life of its own.

KURTZ: What do you think Gayle? And also this comes against the backdrop of many in the conservative media just pushing these endless scenarios about what could, should, might happen in Cleveland, because they're in the Never Trump camp.

GAYLE TROTTER: Yes, and this is nothing new in politics. You might remember that President Obama in 2009 sat down with American CEOs and told them that his administration was the only thing between him and the pitch forks. So this is nothing new in politics, and yes the conservative media, the far left and the far right, are trying to keep anybody but Trump from getting the nomination. So I think they continue to push this narrative as well.

KURTZ: Joe, are the media underplaying the explosion of anger, not necessarily violence, but chaos is a good word, that would take place if deals are cut and Donald Trump is denied the nomination if he's close to the magic number? 

JOE TRIPPI: Absolutely. I've said it. I'll say it clearer. If they do this, it will blow up the party. Now I wasn't talking about violence.

KURTZ: You were talking about TNT and dynamite.

TRIPPI: It is a huge mistake to think -- look, regardless of the language you use, he spoke the truth. This is one things about Trump. He speaks something that his followers believe is true and that most of us believe is true, which is if they did this, there is going to be chaos and disruption and a lot of anger out there. And then the media responds by saying oh, my gosh, how can he say that? Which just reinforces him with his supporters and actually -- and actually encourage more -- his strength in oncoming primaries.


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