Presidential attacks on News Media does harm
Jacob Waring – News Editor
President Donald Trump clearly does not like the media. Specifically, the “fake news” media, which seems to be any news agency or publication that disagrees or critiques his talking points.
He has been president for three years. We are all desensitized to his constant attacks on the news media. It has become part of the daily noise of life and as someone who plans to be a journalist for the entirety of my life, it is frightening.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, I have seen people blame the news media for everyone freaking out when all I have seen is journalists doing their best to inform the public with all the readily available information.
It does not help when NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked President Trump What he would say to Americans watching right now who are scared. Trump’s reply was not presidential or words to inspire hope. It was another verbal attack on a reporter.
“I say that you are a terrible reporter, that’s what I say,” Trump said. “I think that’s a very nasty question. And I think that’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”
That was the softest of softball questions. A chance to be presidential. A chance that Trump squandered to come across as a decent president being rather than a schoolyard bully.
Historically speaking, presidents and the news media, I think, tend to be somewhat disagreeable at times. Presidents have agendas and would rather the news media go along with whatever they say. The issue is that the news media functions as the “Fourth Estate” to provide checks and balance in the form of keeping elected officials transparent and calling them out when necessary.
The news media’s job is not to provide good or bad news — just news as it happens. News in America is not state media obligated to paint elected officials in the best possible light. The news media exists to inform the public, keep those in power transparent and bring to light those who intend to hide in the shadows.
President Trump seemingly only wants good news. He does not want members of the news media to hold him accountable but to go with the flow of what he desires in any given moment. He has a combative, toxic tone toward the press because they hold the president accountable.
The members of the press will continue to do their job regardless of President Trump’s desires. The problem is that the resident’s attitude with the press influences how his base responds to the news media.
Members of the press are people too. People who strive to do good for the public. Yes, there are bad apples but that is the norm for every career. The president’s constant attacks and remarks does nothing but make the truth harder to discover and hurt people.
History will look badly upon President Trump’s attack on the press.