Media: Don't Use the 'Mob Word'

October 11, 2018

The confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh unleashed a mob of protesters against the right over the past several weeks, but the media has largely agreed not to describe the protesters as a mob.

"Oh, you're not going to use the mob word here," CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin bemoaned.

Baldwin's colleague Don Lemon got in a shouting match with a guest because he described Kavanaugh protesters as a mob.

"That's not a mob," Lemon declared.

Beyond cable news hosts and contributors, Democratic lawmakers have also pounced on the talking point. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) criticized the word "mob" in an interview with the Hill, saying, "describing political opponents and huge pockets of the electorate as the ‘mob’ is really inciting something ugly."

For days during Kavanaugh's confirmation battle, people protested in the Capitol and in front of the Supreme Court, with some confronting lawmakers in elevators. Before Kavanaugh was confirmed, protesters harassed Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) when he was out to dinner with his wife. The protesters yelled and demanded to know how Cruz was going to vote on Kavanaugh until they chased the senator and his wife out of the restaurant.

When Kavanaugh was confirmed, protesters stormed the steps of the Supreme Court and began banging on the door, chanting "Kavanaugh must go." Other video captured by Breitbart and Benny Johnson, a reporter at the Daily Caller, show protesters flipping off cars while screaming "fuck you," and harassing pro-Kavanaugh individuals.

The media insisted that these were peaceful protesters filled with passion; they said describing them as mob was a talking point pushed by Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and President Donald Trump.

But a quick look at the liberal Merriam-Webster's definition of mob is "a large and disorderly crowd of people."