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The Camel Cannot See Its Own Hump

Al-Arabiya, London, October 26

The recent discovery of explosive devices sent to the mailboxes of high-profile Democrats across the United States is a stark reminder of the deep state of division that exists within American society. In a press conference held last week, U.S. President Donald Trump responded to these incidents by assuring the public that authorities are already investigating who was behind these attacks. Yet the president made another important remark: He accused the liberal American media of misleading the public about the attacker and his motivation, making it seem as though he took orders directly from Trump’s team. Trump may be viewed as untrustworthy by many, but the statement he made wasn’t wrong. The American media has been waging an incessant war against Trump, often portraying mere speculations about him as truths set in stone. These attacks have moved away from focusing on his policies, and transitioned towards personal insults about Trump himself. In the aftermath of the recent bomb scare, I happened to hear American media mogul Jeff Zucker comment on the bomb incident and accuse the White House of “failing to understand that words have consequences.” He suggested that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric is what inspired these supposed attacks. Yet I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I heard him speak. Zucker is, after all, the global head of CNN, the very organization that has so loosely been making use of words—even very harsh ones—when it suited an anti-Trump agenda. Suggesting that we must be careful with our speech is a two-way commitment. The liberal American media cannot expect Trump to play by the rules of a game if it doesn’t do so itself. Yes, there is no doubt that the bombs are deplorable and that violent crime should be addressed. Yet it seems as if the camel cannot see its own hump. Zucker’s advice on the serious implications of words should echo not only in the halls of the White House, but also in every television channel and newspaper room across the United States. –Mashry al-Zayidi