McCain Just Blasted Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards’ As A Threat To Democracy
Donald Trump has constantly attacked the press that reports things that either don’t benefit him or he doesn’t like. He has used the term “fake news” on multiple occasions and continues to do so. But, it doesn’t stop there. He is now planning on holding a “fake news awards” for all the media he doesn’t like.
On Tuesday, Republican Senator John McCain slammed Trump’s constant attacks against the press.
“[The president] has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing ‘fake news awards’ upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with,” McCain wrote in his Washington Post op-ed. “Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.”
McCain has criticized Trump on multiple occasions and the president keeps giving him a reason to.
The Republican Senator argued in his editorial that Trump’s attack on the media is affecting journalist worldwide.
“Yet even more troubling is the growing number of attacks on press freedom in traditionally free and open societies,” McCain wrote, “where censorship in the name of national security is becoming more common.”
The president’s “unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets” have “provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit,” with so-called “fake news” becoming a jail-worthy offense in 21 cases in 2017 alone.
“Trump’s attempts to undermine the free press also make it more difficult to hold repressive governments accountable,” the senator wrote. “For decades, dissidents and human rights advocates have relied on independent investigations into government corruption to further their fight for freedom. But constant cries of ‘fake news’ undercut this type of reporting and strip activists of one of their most powerful tools of dissent.”
“Ultimately,” McCain added, “freedom of information is critical for a democracy to succeed.”
McCain had touched on this issue in the past when he took to Twitter to express his disgust with the president’s anti-press posturing.
.@pressfreedom's annual report shows record # of journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2017, including 21 on "fake news" charges. @POTUS must understand his harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters & silence the truth. https://t.co/S65iPnPBsN
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 13, 2017