Tag Archives: Fourth Estate

Trump wages war on wrong foe

While the Russians are attacking our nation’s electoral process and the media report on it, who does the president of the United States declare to be the “enemy of the American people”?

The media. The folks who are doing their job. The individuals and their organizations that take their mission seriously.

A cable news network today ran a compilation of the various times Donald J. Trump disparaged the media. He calls reporters “dishonest,” he assails them for fomenting “fake news,” he said journalists don’t love their country.

The president’s scorched-Earth policy against the media has continued at a breakneck pace ever since he took office. You’ll recall how former White House press secretary Sean Spicer conducted his first press briefing by excoriating the media for way they reported on the size of the inaugural crowd that heard Donald J. Trump paint a grim picture of the nation he was elected to lead.

It’s been going downhill ever since.

For the ever-lovin’ life of me I cannot understand the president’s fixation with demonizing the media. All forms of media gave this clown a pass time and time again during the initial stages of his presidential campaign. Much of the media was complicit in allowing Trump to continue to lie through his teeth. They didn’t call him out.

Now that the media have awakened to the kind of man he always has been — a self-aggrandizing narcissist — they have done their job.

Trump’s response? He has launched a full-scale frontal assault on the organizations that almost all of his predecessors have recognized as being vital to the good health of a representative democracy.

The media aren’t the “enemy of the American people.” The real enemy — apart from the Russians who meddled in our election — is the president who seeks to discredit them.

McCain to Trump: Don’t go after a ‘free press’

I’ve never really considered John McCain to be a friend of the press.

Silly me. I guess I was wrong about the Republican U.S. senator from Arizona. He is now telling the president of the United States to back off from his declared war against the media, which Donald Trump has labeled as the “enemy of the people.”

“That’s how dictators get started,” McCain said.

Well …

McCain denies calling Trump a would-be dictator, insisting he’s just spelling out what has happened throughout history. Dictators seek to weaken — if not destroy — the press, giving them an avenue to complete power.

McCain detests Trump, it seems quite clear. The senator’s loathing of the president, though, seems well-earned.

Candidate Trump once declared that he didn’t consider McCain — a decorated Navy pilot and one-time Vietnam War prisoner — a “war hero.” Trump said McCain was a hero only because “he was captured. I like people who aren’t captured, OK?”

Some of us thought that ridiculous assertion would doom Trump’s presidential candidacy. Hah! It didn’t happen. It seemed to energize his supporters.

McCain, though, has kept up his drumbeat of criticism of Trump. I happen to¬†applaud the senator’s verve as he challenges Trump’s ignorance about Russia and now about the dangers of seeking to weaken the Fourth Estate.

Those of us toiled in the craft of reporting and commenting on events of the day don’t consider ourselves to be “enemies” of the people. I have never thought of myself to be anyone’s enemy, although I am certain some of individuals I’ve encountered along my lengthy journalism journey perceive me as their enemy.

As Sen. McCain has noted correctly, the president ought to tread carefully if he continues this fight with the media.