U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has delivered a stunning rebuke to Donald Trump’s bogus and idiotic assertion that the media are “the enemy of the people.” Thus, I hereby nominate the South Carolina Republican’s retort as “Quote of the Year.”
Graham was talking to reporters today in South Carolina when he said the following, according to The Hill:
“I think the press in America is a check and balance on power,” Graham said Monday afternoon in South Carolina. “I think sometimes you get tribal like the rest of the country. Sometimes you can be a pain in the ass, but you’re not the enemy of the people. As a matter of fact, without a free press, I wouldn’t want to live in that country.”
“But you can be a pain in the ass,” he reiterated while laughing. “But you’re supposed to be.”
The president repeated his view of the press on Sunday morning, tweeting to his 53.5 million followers that he is “providing a great service” by explaining to Americans that the “fake news” media is the enemy of the people, adding that the Fourth Estate “can cause war” without specifying what he meant.
There you have it: “Sometimes you can be a pain in the ass.”
That’s the media’s role. To put it another way, as many in the media say about the mission of their craft: Their role is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Presidents and other politicians of both political parties have known all along that the media’s role isn’t to glorify politicians. It is to hold them accountable on behalf of the public they take an oath to serve.
The most notable exception, of course, happens to be the current president of the United States.