President Trump labeled the news media as “the opposition party” Thursday, launching a renewed Twitter attack against what he’s termed the “fake news media” on the same day roughly 350 newspapers published editorials championing the need for a free press.
In a move organized by The Boston Globe, publications ranging from The New York Times to the Swift County Monitor-News pushed back against Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, which many deem dangerous to democracy.
“Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country,” began the Globe’s piece, titled “Journalists Are Not the Enemy.” The Boston-based editorial board continues on to denounce Trump’s “mantra” that those who voice any criticism of the current administration are the “enemy of the people.”
Trump fought back by attacking the Globe‘s profitability and accusing it of being in “collusion” with other newspapers.
“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,” Trump continued. “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!”
While BBC notes that some publications, including the Wall Street Journal, declined to take part in the coordinated editorials, other papers that typically support the Trump administration defended their rights as journalists.
This includes the Topeka Capital-Journal, who harshly condemned Trump’s attack on the media. “It’s sinister. It’s destructive. And it must end now,” it wrote.
In The New York Times’ piece titled “A Free Press Needs You,” the editorial board acknowledged media errors while also denouncing Trump’s motives as “dangerous.”
“Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes,” wrote the Times editorial board. “But insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period.”