Donald Trump attacked the media in yet another Twitter rant on Friday, this time calling “fake news” the “enemy of the American people.”
The president called out several media outlets which have been critical of him in the past, labeling the New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN as “fake news.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Trump has long used Twitter as a means of attacking and discrediting his enemies.
According to USA Today, the president “deleted an earlier version” of the tweet, updating it to add ABC and CBS to his list of fake news outlets. He also dropped the word “SICK!” from the ending of the revised tweet.
President Trump apparently deleted the first tweet so he could add more media organizations to the second. Also deleted: "SICK!" pic.twitter.com/El7Rq4XbT3
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) February 17, 2017
Trump’s criticism of the media dates back to before his presidential campaign. He has condemned Vanity Fair since 2011, according to the Inquisitr, and has had a long-running feud with its editor, Graydon Carter, which “spans decades.”
The war on the media has caused several news outlets and journalists to boycott the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Press should boycott altogether. Or leave when he speaks. He has zero respect for press. Why give him this platform? https://t.co/Uh5Ey1YFwo
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 3, 2017
I swear to God, any reporter or journalist who attends this should be boycotted https://t.co/n1fu5IpDdr
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) February 2, 2017
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) January 30, 2017
The boycott received so much attention that people wondered if the annual dinner would be cancelled. The speculation was so persistent that Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, issued a formal statement that the annual dinner would take place as scheduled.
WHCA statement about this year's dinner on April 29. pic.twitter.com/A7p9Kaa5pY
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 2, 2017
CNN, one of the outlets on Trump’s “fake news” media list, reported that the president gave a speech at CIA headquarters in January where he declared himself to be at “war” with the media.
“As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”
Trump’s criticism of the media has concerned those who view his attacks on the press as attacks on First Amendment rights.
In a piece for CNN, Jack M. Balkin, Knight professor of constitutional law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, cautioned that Trump’s anti-media stance “could weaken the American system of free expression in…troubling and insidious ways.”
Balkin also called Trump “a master media manipulator” who discredits his opponents in an attempt to control the news.
…Trump complains loudly about unfair media treatment, and threatens to deny access to journalistic organizations that cross him. Through this combination of carrots and sticks he hopes to render the institutional media docile and pliable. He will be assisted in these efforts by conservative media organizations like Breitbart, and commentators like Fox’s Sean Hannity, who functioned as unofficial propaganda arms of the Trump campaign and will now support the Trump White House.
It seems that Trump’s primary criteria for determining whether or not a media outlet is “fake” hinges on whether or not the media outlet is supportive of the president and his policies. A tweet from February 15 labeled MSNBC and CNN as “unwatchable,” but praised the conservative show Fox & Friends.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Trump’s Twitter rants have become infamous. The president frequently uses the social media site for personal vendettas, including condemning Saturday Night Live for unflattering portrayals of him and Vanity Fair for publishing a negative review of his restaurant.
[Featured Image by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]