Leave it to Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” a staple of Donald Trump’s favorite news/opinion cable TV channel, to put it in perspective.
Wallace said this to a gathering at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.: “I believe President Trump is engaged in the most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history.”
Oh, brother, is he ever!
The man who played on his “experience” as a reality TV celebrity host, who once courted the media because they found him, um, entertaining is now launching a full frontal assault on the constitutional guarantee of a free press.
He routinely bullies cable, broadcast and print media representatives. He accuses them of peddling “fake news.” He curries favor with media outlets and then blasts them to smithereens when they don’t do his bidding; Wallace and the Fox News Channel serve as a prime example. Trump has labeled the media as the “enemy of the people” and has applauded right along with the know-nothing faithful who cheer his frightening rhetoric.
Presidents dating back throughout the history of the republic all have noted the adversarial relationship with the media that is built into the presidency. None of them — not until Donald Trump came along — has blathered the kind of incendiary rhetoric toward the media that this president has spewed forth.
As a former full-time print journalist, I — along with many of my former colleagues — take this kind of treatment personally. Now that I am writing for myself, I still take it personally.
Moreover, I continue to salute and honor the great work that media organizations of all stripes continue to do in reporting the goings-on regarding this presidential administration.
The good news for all of them — and the rest of us — is that Donald Trump won’t be president forever. He’ll be gone from the halls of power and will no longer be able to bully the media.
I am waiting for that moment of deliverance from this attack on our essential press freedom.