High on the list? Neo-Nazis? The Ku Klux Klan? Nope, the press. As the ad’s narrator mentions Trump’s foes, it showcased the faces of many members of the Fourth Estate (including some who work for CNN).
“I really think they don’t like our country,” he told a crowd that roared in approval. “I really believe that.”
Since bursting onto the political scene more than two years ago, Trump has relentlessly pounded journalists as “the enemy of the American people” and “among the worst people I’ve ever met.” He hijacked the term “fake news,” originally coined to describe bogus narratives circulated on the Internet, to describe any story that displeases him.
Trump is taking his anti-press tirades to new levels in an audacious and unrelenting campaign to delegitimize and demonize the media. In the process, he’s denting the longtime international view of the United States as the uncompromising champion of freedom of the press. Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, says the consensus abroad has become more like, “You are no longer the shining city on the hill.”
“There no longer is any attempt by this administration to have the United States stand as a model for press freedom or to encourage press freedom abroad,” says Alexandra Ellerbeck, a senior researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists.
And that has an impact throughout the world, says Margaux Ewen, North America advocacy and communications director for Reporters Without Borders.
Trump’s tough talk “emboldens authoritarian leaders to call articles they don’t like ‘fake news,'” she says. “The rhetoric in the world is increasingly mimicking that…
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