Once upon a time in the world of cable news, a guest or host or anchor calling anyone a racist would have considerable impact.

From what we’ve seen this week, when it comes to that word, those days are long gone. A person simply can’t turn on the news or scroll Twitterfor even more than a minute before hearing the word “racist” or “racism.”

For example, CNN and MSNBC said the word “racist” more than 1,100 times from Sunday to Tuesday, according to a tally conducted by Grabien Media, an online media production and news prep service. 

The count, which doesn’t include on-screen graphics commonly known as chyrons, came two days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation’s Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China’s currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE in a Sunday tweet said four Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries. All four congresswomen are U.S. citizens, members of minority groups and three were born in the U.S. 

The president, and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, have underscored that his argument is simply an ideological one based on the four congresswomen, dubbed “the squad.” What he argues is their collective embrace of pro-socialism and therefore anti-American, anti-Israeli anti-Semitic polices. 

Some critics in the media and on the Democratic side, along with a handful of Republicans, argue the opposite: The president’s comments about the squad are naked racism. He’s a fascist. He’s mentally unstable. He’s a 21st-century Hitler. In this insane climate, this kind of rhetoric is all perfectly acceptable — and has existed since Trump announced his candidacy.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamScarborough sounds alarm on political ‘ethnic cleansing’ after Trump rally The Hill’s Morning Report: Trump walks back from ‘send her back’ chants GOP rattled by Trump rally MORE (R-S.C.) put things in proper perspective on the watering down of the racism charge against anyone with an “R” next to their name. 

“Something I have learned: If you are a Republican nominee for President – or President – you will be accused of being a racist,” Graham tweeted earlier this week. “[Rep.] John LewisJohn LewisGraham: Every Republican president or nominee ‘will be accused of being a racist’ History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week John Lewis rips Trump attacks on minority lawmakers in scathing speech: ‘I know racism when I feel it’ MORE (D-Ga.) compared John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain shares video of father shutting down supporter who called Obama an ‘Arab’ after Trump rally Graham: Every Republican president or nominee ‘will be accused of being a racist’ No presidential candidate can unite the country MORE’s campaign to being like that of George Wallace. It comes with the territory unfortunately.” 

That’s 100 percent correct. McCain was attacked in the 2008 presidential campaign as being a grumpy, get-off-my-lawn racist running against then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHealth care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight Meghan McCain shares video of father shutting down supporter who called Obama an ‘Arab’ after Trump rally Poll: Majority of Democratic voters happy with their choices among 2020 contenders MORE.

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Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract Overnight Defense: US shoots down Iranian drone | Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia | Trump mulls Turkey sanctions | Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract EU official in Canada says he feels ‘at home’ there because no one was shouting ‘send him back’ MORE (R-Fla.) breaks down the examples from 11 years ago.  

As for 2012 nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP rattled by Trump rally Romney: ‘Send her back’ chants ‘offensive,’ ‘unfortunate’ for GOP Trump’s no racist — he’s an equal opportunity offender MORE, who bent over backward to make himself more likable to Democrats and the press alike, he also was accused of “stoking the racial politics of yesteryear.” 

Everything seems to be racist or soaked in racism these days, even the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. 

“America may have put the first man on the moon, but the Soviet Union sent the first woman, the first Asian man, and the first black man into orbit — all years before the U.S. would follow suit,” wrote the New York Times on Thursday in a piece marinated in identity politics titled, “How the Soviets Won the Space Race for Equality.”

But the Times’ perspective on the Apollo moon mission pales in comparison to the Washington Post’s on Tuesday. 

“The culture that put men on the moon was intense, fun, family-unfriendly, and mostly white and male,” opined the Post.

There’s an old children’s book we’ve all read called “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” 

Now we’re seeing it again — and again, and again. Thousands of times in the past week we’ve heard or read to the word “racist” or have seen it blatantly implied. 

Call it, “The Media That Cried Wolf.” 

And we all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf too often: People stopped listening.  

Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill and co-host of “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha” weeknights on 710-WOR in New York. Follow Concha on Twitter @JoeConchaTV.

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