|Real News doesn't care for you either.|
The descent into madness continues. I’ve never been a big “Freedom of Press” kind of guy. I mean, why fight for something you already have? But since I’ve started defending the press against the attacks of the President—you know, the guy who swears to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”—and especially since he labelled them the “Enemy of the People” its been a bit worrisome.
Let’s be clear. No one used that phrase before Trump tweeted it, and it followed a meeting with New York Times president A.G. Sulzberger who felt he had to draft an entire statement to better frame his confusion and the conversation with President Trump:
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.
A.G. Sulzberger, July 29, 2018
|There certainly is an "Enemy of the People" here.|
Seeing the hatred Trump has engendered and his incitements to violence is too much. A lot of what Trump has done can be undone. There is hope in that thought. Reviving the diplomatic corps, reversing decisions that will impact the environment, renewing our relationships with our long-standing allies, and rebuilding the bridged Trump has burned will take time but all are manageable.
The fear and hatred of the press will take generations to untangle.
Worse, it allows anyone with an opinion fueled by fear, hatred, racism, and xenophobia to justify their actions. Trump is practically inviting violence. I don’t like to give into hyperbole, but I’m concerned we'll see journalists killed for no better reason than their profession.
Even Fox News’ Shep Smith couldn’t sit by and allow the administration’s attacks on journalism in general to go un-remarked:
Trump isn’t the first Republican, or even the first US president to attack the media—that’s a dance that is older than the country. His demonizing of any journalist who disagrees with him has driven the knife into the back of public discourse over and over again. His supporters have so willingly drunk and bathed in Trump’s language of hate, their belief of a dishonest press, that they can now handwave away any disparaging remarks, no matter how well founded, researched, and supported by evidence.
|He didn't even sing it.|
This last is the most troubling of all. When facts, which have no political party, are thrown out because they conflict with the “truth of Trump” and journalists have to legitimately fear for themselves and their families, we’ve gone beyond mere “problem” into a full crisis.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: A house divided against itself, cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half evidence-based truth and half Trumpian lies. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.