This morning, as 350 American newspapers published editorials condemning increasing attacks on a free press, President Donald Trump attacked the initiative.
“THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY,” Trump tweeted all-caps-ily. “It is very bad for our Great Country…BUT WE ARE WINNING,” he added, returning to all-caps.
In a second tweet, Trump singled out The Boston Globe, which published a compilation of the editorials from the various media outlets across the country, defending freedom of the press. The Boston Globe had launched the initiative, calling for editorial boards to take a stand against Trump’s “dirty war,” as Globe deputy managing editor Marjorie Pritchard has described it.
“For more than two centuries, this foundational American principle has protected journalists at home and served as a model for free nations abroad. Today it is under serious threat,” the Globe’s editorial board wrote today.
“And it sends an alarming signal to despots from Ankara to Moscow, Beijing to Baghdad, that journalists can be treated as a domestic enemy.”
In his tweet trashing the Globe, Trump claimed the “Failing New York Times” bought the newspaper for “2.1 BILLION DOLLARS” and then sold it for “1 DOLLAR” and accused the Globe of being “in COLLUSION with other papers on free press” adding “PROVE IT!”
That particular Trump tweet contains a high concentration of fake news, as POTUS would say. Specifically, NYT is not failing. And, according to CNBC, NYT purchased the Globe in ’93 for $1.1B and sold it for $70M.
This afternoon, the hundreds of newspapers under attack by the President of the United States received support from the Senate. Spearheaded by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, the body unanimously passed a resolution condemning “attacks on the institution of the free press.” Schumer was joined in this effort by fellow Dems Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
The resolution said the Senate “views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as an attack on the democratic institutions of the United States.”
Trump felt his morning tirade against a free press merited a third tweet.
“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!”