Imagine working in a newsroom and a tweet notification pops up on your phone. The President of the United States has just called five media outlets “an enemy of the American people”. Even given all of Trump’s previous rhetoric, this is just plain disturbing given history. Dictators usually establish themselves by giving information through a state-run media, which is essentially propaganda. The first amendment, the right to freedom of the press, is important because it is supposed to demand accountability from the President.
But this President’s actions are completely unprecedented. Calling the media “fake news”, now an enemy of the people is basically just trying to shift the blame from himself to other people. He is trying to erode the trust of the people in institutions that have been around for decades, including the media and the Intelligence Community (CIA, NSA …). But he should know that this will not work. This only exposes to the world, through unhinged press conferences like the one yesterday, how unfit for office he truly is.
The American people should not step their foot off the pedal. The media organizations are doing a good job so far, as evidenced by the increase in subscription numbers. Trump has, in a sense, given them more juicy stories to report than with a Clinton administration. Maybe he’ll be the reason that investigative journalism will reach to new heights.(The New York Times is not failing, fyi). Competition between the outlets to expose scandals related to the new administration will hopefully reveal the truth sooner rather than later, before further damage can be done. If Trump does unleash a new executive order on immigration in this coming week, all I can say is: be prepared for more protests.