Never again should one of these nicknames appear in the following ways: In a headline. In a media organization’s tweet. In a bottom-of-the-screen TV chyron. In a news alert.
It’s in those minimalist settings that they do the most harm.
Trump, of course, has his own powerful megaphones on social media and in his rallies and speeches.
And, granted, politics is a rough-and-tumble business, not known for its emphasis on civility and decency. The knives are always out.
But when the news media turn on their brightest spotlights, these nicknames take on greater credibility and power. As propaganda always does, they sink into our consciousness as something that feels like a kind of truth.