In perhaps his most dangerous attempt to undermine the freedom of the press, President Trump on Thursday suggested that Congress Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate U.S. news agencies for publishing stories damaging to his administration, claiming they are entirely fabricated.
In a stunning display of creeping authoritarianism, Trump tweeted: “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2017
It might seem comical our president is so out of touch with reality that he and his administration declare anything he doesn’t like to be “fake news,” but it’s not. It’s dangerous.
But Trump is not the only one in his administration attacking the press.
During a press brief recently, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tore into media outlets for running what she called “fake news directed at this president.”
The goal was clear: to sow distrust in reporting that made the administration look bad. It’s been done time and time again.
But things got heated when White House reporter Brian Karem got fed up with the unending assault and decided to speak up.
“Any one of us are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us,” said Karem, emphasizing journalists are just trying to do their jobs. They want to be able to ask questions, get answers, and report the truth.
While he wasn’t the one being called “fake news” today, there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring.
Thankfully, Trump’s attacks on the press have had unintended consequences. A new poll suggests that public trust in news outlets is on the upswing, “while confidence in the word of the president has dropped.”
Watch the entire, powerful exchange below:
This is a moment to watch and remember. pic.twitter.com/Ld6EGfwiPx
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 27, 2017