U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing back against the coordinated editorial attacks by the U.S. media on him on Thursday over what the media called Trump’s consistent attacks on them.
The Boston Globe made a call last week for a nationwide denouncement of the president’s “dirty war” against the media, using the hash-tag #EnemyOfNone.
Mr Trump has labelled the media as being the “enemy of the American people”, “very dishonest” and “fake news”.
He also accused the press of distorting democracy and spreading conspiracy theories and blind hatred.
Mr Trump, however, has lashed back at the news media, alleging much of what they said were fake news ad accused them of pushing a political agenda or trying to hurt people.
The president in a barrage of tweets said: “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!
“The Boston Globe, which was sold to the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses and investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!
“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!”
The hundreds of newspapers and sites participating include the New York Times, Chicago Sun Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Miami Herald, while a host of smaller papers from cities and towns around the country are also joining.
The Boston Globe, in the editorial, headlined “Journalists Are Not The Enemy’’, argued that a free press had been a core American principle for more than 200 years.
The New York Times chose the headline ‘A Free Press Needs You’, calling Mr Trump’s attacks “dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy”.
The New York Post – a pro-Trump tabloid – entitled its editorial “Who are we to disagree?’’, said: “It may be frustrating to argue that just because we print inconvenient truths doesn’t mean that we’re fake news, but being a journalist isn’t a popularity contest. All we can do is to keep reporting.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer said its city was the birthplace of U.S. democracy, writing: “If the press is not free from reprisal, punishment or suspicion for unpopular views or information, neither is the country. Neither are its people”.
Opinion writers at McClatchy put out an editorial for the 30 daily newspapers it runs, including the Miami Herald, saying they hardly ever spoke with one voice but were doing so now.
It said “enemies of the people’’ was “what Nazis called Jews. It’s how Joseph Stalin’s critics were marked for execution”.
The Topeka Capital-Journal, one of the few to endorse Trump in 2016, joined the coordinated editorial campaign, saying of Trump’s attack on the media: “It’s sinister. It’s destructive. And it must end now.”
The UN expert on free expression had last week condemned Mr Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, warning that the U.S. leader’s rhetoric is eroding public trust in the media and could spark violence against journalists.
“His attacks are strategic, designed to undermine confidence in reporting and raise doubts about verifiable facts,” David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and Edison Lanza, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, said in a joint statement.