The Boston Globe issued a rallying call to fellow journalistic establishments last week to stand up to President Trump’s repeated attacks on the free press.
President Trump is widely known for berating members of the journalist press on various outlets. He has repeatedly called unfavorable news pieces “fake news” in his tenure as president.
Journalists regularly retaliate against Trump’s attacks when they occur, but this coordinated shows an increase in their resistance. In their editorial, the Globe boldly states that controlling the media and installing state-run news is the “first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country,” strongly connecting Trump’s actions with corruption. After releasing the article, the Globe started the hashtag #FreePress and urged other news outlets to join the campaign.
In response, more than 300 news outlets have launched their own similar campaigns against Trump and in the promotion of a free press.
BBC News reports that Trump frequently derides journalists as the “enemies of the people”. According to the UN, his statements “raises the risk of violence against journalists”. Publications such as The New York Times, New York Post, Philadephia Inquirer, and many more, large and small, have published their own editorials in alliance with the Globe.
The campaign has been supported by a variety of outlets. Notably, the Topeka-Capital Journal, which endorsed Trump in the election, wrote that Trump’s “hard” and “sinister” attacks “worked at one point as a New York real estate developer,” but are different now as the leader of the United States.
The campaign has been met with approval and support from readers and journalists. Senator Elizabeth Warren chimed in on Twitter to stand by the Boston Globe‘s efforts and hailed a free and independent press as “one of the cornerstones of our democracy”.
A free and independent press is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. I stand by the @BostonGlobe’s efforts to defend the First Amendment from @realDonaldTrump’s attacks, and to pursue and report the truth. #FreePress https://t.co/45uuZEeowD— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 16, 2018
President Trump responded to the editorial on Twitter as well. Ironically, in his response to the editorial and accompanying hashtag, he doubled down on many of the attacks that ignited the movement. He restated that much of journalism is “fake news” and proclaimed, “there is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.”
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
Some have criticized the Boston Globe and their supporters for their efforts. In an opinion piece about the 300 news outlets who have joined the campaign, CBS News called the move “self-defeating” and theorized that few readers, especially those who already see the press as hostile towards the president, will see anything novel in news outlets who already regularly attack the president.