The Ringer chief Bill Simmons has accused President Trump of deliberately putting journalists and members of the media in danger in order to “deflect attention” from his own scandals.
“Our @POTUS is intentionally putting American media members in actual DANGER to deflect attention from his own wrongdoings,” Simmons tweeted on Thursday, with a tag at the official presidential Twitter handle.
“He has power and sway, he knows it, and he’s using that influence recklessly to threaten the free press. This is a real thing that’s happening in 2018.”
Our @POTUS is intentionally putting American media members in actual DANGER to deflect attention from his own wrongdoings.
He has power and sway, he knows it, and he’s using that influence recklessly to threaten the free press.
This is a real thing that’s happening in 2018.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) August 30, 2018
It’s unclear what prompted Simmons’ tweet and a representative for the sports columnist did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
Hours before, however, a California man was arrested by the FBI on charges of making several threatening phone calls to the Boston Globe. According to a press release from the bureau, Robert D. Chain, a 68-year-old resident of Encino, California is expected to appear in court today and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for a series of phone calls made between Aug. 10 and Aug. 22.
In some, according to the release, he issued death threats and called Globe reporters “enemies of the people” — echoing language President Trump has used to describe media outlets who displease him.
“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people, takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, said in a statement.
“Today’s arrest of Robert Chain should serve a warning to others, that making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime. All threats are taken seriously, as we never know if the subject behind the threat intends to follow through with their actions. Whether potentially hoax or not, each and every threat will be aggressively run to ground.”
ESPN alum Simmons, who is from Boston, began his own journalism career at the Boston Herald and went on to become known as “The Boston Sports Guy.”