Just a week after the tragic shooting that took place in a small local Maryland newsroom where five members of the Capital Gazette Newspaper team lost their lives in a vindictive shooting, President Donald Trump is still maintaining his stance on the media as a whole, despite widespread hopes that he would ease up his mindset following the terrible events that occurred.
As reported by USA Today, Trump called reporters “Fake news. Bad people.” at a rally Thursday, July 5, in Great Falls, Montana.
“I see the way they write. They’re so damn dishonest,” Trump said.
“And I don’t mean all of them, because some of the finest people I know are journalists really. Hard to believe when I say that. I hate to say it, but I have to say it. But 75 percent of those people are downright dishonest. Downright dishonest. They’re fake. They’re fake.”
The President added to this that “They make the sources up. They don’t exist in many cases,” he continued. “These are really bad people.”
Criticisms of the news media are not something that Trump is unfamiliar with, as even before his 2016 campaign he has maintained the “fake news” mentality and denounced plenty of journalists, albeit the ones that are close friends of his or those who only report in a positive connotation in regards to him.
On June 26, five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland were gunned down in a tragic event perpetrated by a lone individual with a personal grudge against the newspaper. The shooter had apparently previously pursued legal action against the paper with claims of them defaming him in publication, but ultimately culminated in the disgruntled individual opening fire in the newsroom, taking those five innocent lives in the process.
After the tragic events, the President expressed his condolences to victims of the shooting as well as their loved ones, which lead many people to believe that from now on he may stop blatantly condemning almost the entirety of news media as harshly.
“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” the President said in his statement following the shooting.
After first maintaining that he would not have flags posted at half-staff in honor of victims of the shooting, Trump changed his mind on Tuesday amid rampant criticism.
“Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley told the Capital Gazette. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”