Legendary broadcaster Dan Rather took to Facebook on Wednesday to voice his concern over Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging the news media.
“I felt a shudder down my spine yesterday watching Donald Trump’s [fusillade] against the press. This is not a moment to be trifled with. It wasn’t his first tirade and it won’t be his last,” Rather wrote in a Facebook (FB) post that came out swinging in the wake of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s Tuesday press conference. At the event, Trump said “the press should be ashamed of themselves” before describing the political press as “disgusting” and calling one ABC reporter “a sleaze.”
Trump’s anti-press sentiments rankled Rather, the former nightly news anchor for CBS’ (CBS) Evening News. In his Facebook post, Rather warns that Trump’s attacks on the media carry “the drumbeats of threatening violence” and he claims that the issue is not purely political, writing that it is “about protecting our most cherished principles.”
Here is Rather’s seven-paragraph Facebook post in full:
Trump’s most recent tirade came in response to journalists pressing him to reveal the specifics of his claimed contributions to U.S. veterans groups, but it was far from the first time Trump has butted heads with the news media in the current election cycle. Despite the prevailing opinion that the media has contributed to Trump’s surprising ascendancy, the billionaire and former reality TV star has seemed to wage something of a war on the press, going so far as to say he would “open up our libel laws” as president while describing journalists as “dishonest” and “scum.”