Honoring the memory of the five journalists killed in Annapolis apparently doesn’t meet President Trump’s standard of lowering U.S. flags to half-staff.
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley requested that Trump issue an order to lower American flags in honor of the five reporters at the Annapolis Capital Gazette who were killed in the newspaper’s offices last week. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) already agreed to lower the state’s flags to half-staff from Friday through Monday.
However, according to Buckley, the request for the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting was denied by the White House on Monday.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? … Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”
It’s typically customary to lower flags to half-staff in the wake of a national tragedy, as Trump did following the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School outside of Houston, Texas, in May. Trump also lowered flags across the U.S. in honor of the 17 students and children killed in the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The decision to not honor the slain journalists by lowering the U.S. flag, whether intentional or not, is likely to please the most hardcore members of President Trump’s base. Immediately after the shooting at the Capital Gazette offices, /r/The_Donald — the largest community of Trump supporters on Reddit — celebrated the news.
“Here we go! Right on time,” one Reddit user wrote in the forum.
“So it begins,” another /r/The_Donald community member wrote.
The attack on the Capital Gazette newsroom happened just a few days after a rally in South Carolina, in which President Trump called journalists in the back of the room “the enemy of the people” while endorsing Governor Henry McMaster (R). Trump refused to comment in the White House’s Rose Garden when reporters asked him if he had any condolences to offer the families of the reporters killed in the shooting.
President Trump regularly assails the media on his Twitter account, using the term “fake news” to refer to press coverage that portrays him in a negative light. Just three days before the June 28 shooting in Annapolis, Trump tweeted “Fake news working overtime” in reference to coverage of his administration’s former policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the border.
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.