Since Donald Trump has been president, he regularly criticizes the U.S. news media as perveyors of constant lies, which he calls “FAKE NEWS.” And he often tweets it like that with his Twitter account in full caps for emphasis. This is most ironic since credible fact checker organizations claim that President Trump has publicly lied something like a whopping six times per day. I guess he would be a worthy member of the Liars Club.
More specifically, President Trump has been prone to singling out two publications as perveyors of lies: The New York Times and The Washington Post. Trump as president has also repeatedly called the U.S. news media “the enemy of the people.”
It is this last statement by Trump that most concerns me. I have posted about this on this blog about how much it worries me and shows that I think Donald Trump is unfit to be the president of a nation that has been the beacon of freedom and democracy in the world for so long.
And I am appalled that hardly any Republican members of Congress have objected strongly in public statements to this Trump allegation. For this failure on their part, I dismiss these Republican politicians as either deceived regarding the truth or cowards at standing up against Trump because they care more about protecting their political position than they do about protecting American freedoms. I believe America’s Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of the press is our most cherished freedom. I think the Republican Party is going down because of this, and Donald Trump is the main reason. And don’t call me a Democrat. I voted straight Republican for president all my life until recently. I’ve been saying for several years that our two-party political system is not working well and that there needs to be a viable third party because of it.
Trump singles out these newspapers because of their expert investigative reporting and that it is sometimes critical of him. In my opinion, Donald Trump is a psychologically-sick narcissist who cannot tolerate criticism. If he had his way, he would jail such critics and dissidents. That is why he cozies up to dictators such as Russian President Vladimir Putin.When Trump bashes the Times, he sometimes calls it “the failing Times.” Actually, the Times, a family-owned newspaper, recently reported that it is having a financial boom period. When Trump so disparages the Post, he sometimes critically mentions its owner Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of amazon.com. Trump has threatened to harm amazon.com by declaring it a monopoly.
But one thing is consistent about Donald Trump–he often contradicts what he previously said. Soon after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency he met with editors and reporters at The New York Times headquarters. He then described it as a “great, great American jewel” and that he hoped they could all “get along.”
Yesterday, President Trump tweeted, “Had very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times.” He said they talked about “Fake News” and that he calls the news media “Enemy of the People.”
Shortly after Trump tweeted this today, the Times published Sulzberger’s notes of his meeting with Trump. He said the White House asked him to come there and meet with Trump. He said he was told that the meeting was “off-the-record.” Since Trump didn’t keep his part of that requirement with this tweet today, Sulzberger then published his “detailed notes” of their meeting.
Sulzberger said he accepted the meeting because of his concern about “the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.” Sulzberger said that in the meeting, he told President Trump such language was divisive and “increasingly dangerous.” He said, “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.
“I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.”