Published: Sat, February 18, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump declares 'fake news' media 'the enemy of the American people'

Trump declares 'fake news' media 'the enemy of the American people'

At a news conference at the White House on Thursday, Trump uttered the words "fake news" seven times. "SICK!", Trump tweeted on Friday.

For some journalists, Trump's latest attack on the press felt less like his usual strategy to delegitimize the media and more like an attempt to send a coded message to a particular subgroup.

"Many of our nation's reporters and folks will not tell you the truth". Trump's rhetoric is irresponsible and shouldn't be repeated, but - at least so far - he's a blowhard about the media, nothing more.

The tweet follows Thursday's news conference in which the president unloaded on the press for what he considers unfair and inaccurate coverage of his administration.

Just when you thought President Donald Trump's attack on America's free press couldn't get any worse, it does.

"Ringmaster Don whips media in epic rant", the newspaper's cover read.

He said: "Information is being illegally given to the failing New York Times & Washington Post by the intelligence community (NSA and Federal Bureau of Investigation?)".

The president believes the media is everyone's enemy. We have to find out what's going on because the press, honestly, is out of control. "As we struggle through the muck of ludicrous but toxic disinformation that now infests our political swamp, we should look to the past to remind ourselves of both the potency of rampant political dishonesty at the highest levels of government and the ultimate limits of its effectiveness". Trump also claims his administration is "running like a fine-tuned machine".

In a dispatch shortly after the second Trump tweet, the French news agency noted that while many USA presidents have criticized the press, "Trump's language has more clearly echoed criticism leveled by authoritarian leaders around the world". "The public doesn't believe you people anymore", Trump told reporters.

There have been other notable run-ins between presidents and the media. And given that Trump already has reason to know that his criticism of reporters can inspire serious threats, that criticism won't be as palpably nutty as it was after the Giffords incident.

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