Stand With Journalists — Stand Against Trump
At a post-election press conference, the president of the United States once again attacked the press.
Trump repeatedly insulted and shouted down reporters trying to ask him questions, accusing them of creating “fake news” and being “the enemy of the people.” Trump characterized questions about White nationalism from PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor as “racist.” He urged staff to yank microphones away from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, whom he called a “rude, terrible person,” and ordered American Urban Radio Network correspondent April Ryan to “sit down.”1
Hours later, the White House revoked Acosta’s press pass. Administration officials falsely accused the reporter of manhandling an intern and shared a doctored video of the incident on social media that was produced by the far-right conspiracy site InfoWars.2
While Trump screams at journalists about being “fake news,” his White House is literally pushing out fake news. The attack on Jim Acosta is designed to discredit a journalist who has been critical of the administration — and to distract from Trump’s crimes and misdeeds.
Trump has been attacking journalists since the early days of his presidential campaign. And as he rose to power, the attacks became increasingly alarming and dangerous. His lies about so-called fake news and public enemies have resulted in journalists receiving death threats, getting assaulted and being sent pipe bombs.3
Delegitimizing the press is on page one of the authoritarian playbook. By discrediting the press in the eyes of his supporters, Trump is doing all he can to call into question any coverage — past, present and future — that challenges his abuse of power.
What we’re witnessing inside the White House press room are the kinds of things you expect to see in a dictatorship, not a democracy. All of us — journalists and non-journalists alike — must stand up against Trump’s assault on the press.
Stand with journalists and against Trump.
1. “White House Pulls CNN Reporter Jim Acosta’s Pass After Contentious News Conference,” CNN, Nov. 7, 2018: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/media/trump-cnn-press-conference/index.html
2. “White House Shares Manipulated Infowars Video to Justify CNN Press Ban,” Techcrunch, Nov. 8, 2018: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/08/white-house-shares-manipulated-infowars-video-to-justify-cnn-press-ban/
3. “Targeted by Pipe Bomb, CNN Denounces White House’s Rhetoric,” Associated Press, Oct. 24, 2018: https://apnews.com/abc5cbc7fe6b4f53b7f68dfb720bdadc