The New York Times published a short story about an assassination attempt on President Donald Trump in its Book Review section Tuesday.
“How It Ends" by Zoe Sharp is one of five short stories grouped under the headline, “Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter.” (Note: A paywall may prevent user access.)
The Times' note above the five stories explains that the paper asked five spy and crime novelists to "conjure possible outcomes" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and the relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
What is Sharp's story about?
Sharp's short story is about a Russian who tries to assassinate Trump when his gun misfires. But a Secret Service agent steps in and offers the hit man his own gun: "'Here,' the agent said politely. 'Use mine. ...'" That's how the story ends; it's unclear what happens next.
The author's website noted that "since the 2016 US presidential election, I’d ... had a scene floating around in my head of someone attempting to assassinate the president…with a twist."
What else did the Times and the "How It Ends" author have to say?
TheBlaze asked the Times to explain its rationale for publishing a short story about a presidential assassination attempt, particularly given the volatile political climate in America at present. TheBlaze also asked the Times if it would ever publish — or if it has ever published — a similar story with a Democratic president at its center.
A Times spokesperson on Thursday told TheBlaze, "This is a bad faith inquiry, part of an attempt to manufacture a story. It's very clear what this is: a work of fiction, commissioned by editors of the Book Review as part of a package of five stories penned by a range of spy and crime novelists — in the Halloween edition."
Sharp also didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze's request for comment on her story. TheBlaze asked Sharp — who was born in England — if it's fair to say her story about a Trump assassination attempt may add fuel to an already volatile political climate in America.
What has the Times been saying about Trump?
It's no secret that the New York Times is no fan of Trump as president. The paper has published numerous editorials decrying his job performance. Its editorial on Monday — the day before the Times published the short story on the Trump assassination attempt — is titled "Donald Trump Is Lyin' Up a Storm" and says Trump has been "spewing dark warnings about a Democratic mob clamoring to usher in an era of open borders, rampant crime, social chaos and economic radicalism."
Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger penned a statement in July about a meeting he had with Trump, saying he "told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous."
"I told him that although the phrase 'fake news' is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists 'the enemy of the people.' I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence," Sulzberger added.
The Times on Thursday didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze's question about Sulzberger's statement, specifically if he views the “How It Ends” short story as containing inflammatory language and sees it as contributing to a rise in violence toward Republicans, perhaps even toward the president.
A Times story Wednesday about suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats is titled "Explosive Devices Add to Climate of Overheated Partisan Rancor." It notes that "regardless of the culprit’s identity or political sympathies, there is no dispute that the people on the receiving end of the packages have all been targets of the kind of insults, threats and wild theories that often originate on right‐wing websites and message boards, and then spread after others on the right, and sometimes the president himself, elevate them to legitimacy."
Meanwhile, on the left
- A leftist mob harassed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and his wife in the nation’s capital in late September, followed by a left-wing group posting video of this incident with a chilling promise to Cruz, Trump, then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and “right-wing scum” in general: “You are not safe. We will find you.”
- Other conservative figures got heckled and punched and kicked out of restaurants as well, the latest being Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife.
- Hillary Clinton said in an interview earlier this month that “you cannot be civil” with Republicans and that “civility can start again” if the Democrats win back the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, or both come November.
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder recently was caught on video turning around the Democratic mantra, “When they go low, we go high,” by saying, “No, no. When they go low, we kick them!”
- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey in July urged activists in Washington, D.C., to “go to the Hill” and “get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
- U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California in June infamously ranted to supporters to “create a crowd” and “push back on” members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet if they’re seen “in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station.” She added in her speech, “You tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
This story has been updated.