Donald Trump has been waging war on the media. Ever since his campaign, the president has been attacking individual reporters until they have had to been escorted by the Secret Service. Now, the press has begun to fight back.
Over 100 newspapers have decided to present a “coordinated response” to POTUS’ increasingly bitter condemnation toward what he calls the media the “enemy of the people.” According to CNN, The Boston Globe reached out to various newspaper editorial boards with its suggestion that each publication write an editorial on the subject:
‘We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date.’
The idea caught on. The deputy editorial page editor of the Globe, Marjorie Pritchard told CNN:
‘(By Saturday) we have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days. The response has been overwhelming. We have some big newspapers, but the majority are from smaller markets, all enthusiastic about standing up to Trump’s assault on journalism.’
Pritchard expects each editorial to reflect its own community:
‘But the same sentiment: The importance of a free and independent press.’
The Press Association, the American Society of News Editors, and the New England Newspaper, among others have joined in to help Pritchard get the word out:
‘The impact of Trump’s assault on journalism looks different in Boise than it does in Boston. Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming.’
News organizations have seen Trump’s attacks become more corrosive in the past few weeks. Worse, he has been inciting his followers at the rallies to condemn individual journalists and potentially, to violence.
As a result, the White House press corps has been asked to consider a walk-out. The briefing room has generally been a competitive environment, but now reporters have been supporting one another. If White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cut one off, the next journalists handed the floor back before asking his or her question.
Last month many news outlets supported CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after the administration told her she could not go to an event in the Rose Garden. As a pool reporter, she would have been representing all television press. Unity has become the successful path toward ending this unprecedented attack on the news by Trump.
The president called the press “Fake News.” However, his definition did not suggest that the news was not factual. Instead, he calls any story unfavorable toward him “Fake News. Unfortunately for him, that has never been the media’s job, to cheerlead.
All presidents have had issues with the press, including President Barack Obama. However, the job of the journalists has always been to keep the government leaders honest.
Newspapers had been on a downward trend before Trump took office. Since then, the trend has reversed, because this has been such fertile ground for news. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other news organizations have seen a reinvigoration of investigative journalism much like Watergate’s “Deep Throat” days.
Featured image is a screengrab via YouTube.