It is kind of a bummer that the recent assassination attempt on Donald Trump hasn’t been bigger news. On Saturday, a 20-year-old British man, Michael Sandford, tried to take a weapon from an officer at a Trump rally in Las Vegas with the goal of killing the presumptive Republican nominee, according to multiple reports. Trump said Wednesday on Fox Business he didn't hear of the attempt until he saw it on TV, and I'm guessing many Americans didn't hear of it all. That's a shame for a few reasons. First, because at attempt on the life of a major party nominee is a big story. And second, because Trump spends so much of his life ranting about media bias that it is not cool to give him any actual cause to do so.
The attempt itself was not a particularly close call, relatively speaking. According to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada, Sandford was apprehended and arrested before he got Trump. Even if Trump's life wasn't in imminent danger, the attempt did happen, and it should have been a bigger story than it was. I got a lot of breaking news alerts about Trump’s apparent impotence as a fundraiser in the last week and the myriad ways this will tear the Republican party apart, but I was not alerted that a man planning to murder the celebrity billionaire for a year had nearly gotten a police officer’s gun away from him at a Trump rally in Las Vegas. Even now, several days after it happened, most major news outlets have yet to publish much, if anything, about it.
On the flip side, this isn’t necessarily liberal bias. As the Washington Post noted, conservative media wasn’t exactly all over this either – Fox & Friends neglected to mention it when he called in. And Trump didn’t bring it up, apparently because he didn’t know about it.
Weirdly, Trump himself hasn’t even gotten to work setting his spin on it — as of this writing, he’s yet to tweet about the attempt on his life, opting for a string of “Crooked Hillary” tweets with a few jabs at theNew York Times for variety. There’s not much point in speculating at this time whether he’s biding his time before beginning to milk the incident during the general election or whether he simply finds his “Crooked Hillary” epithet more entertaining, but no one would be surprised if he began working both the shooter and the widespread media silence into his upcoming rants and ravings.
It’s also unfortunate that the man was from the United Kingdom, which let Trump slide smoothly into a rant about immigration and how dangerous it is that “we have no idea who’s in our country.” It’s not like Trump wouldn’t get to say these things if the attempt on his life had been widely covered. But if and when Trump proceeds to throw one of his tantrums about unfair coverage, this time there might be a little more truth to it.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster