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Trump's assault: 'Enemy of the people' slander

EDITORIAL
August 10. 2018 2:37PM

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a dinner with business leaders at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Aug. 7, 2018. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)



A note from a Boston Globe editorial page editor asks newspapers across the United States to speak out on Aug. 16 concerning the "dangers of the Trump administration's assault on the press.'' Just to be out of step, we write on the subject today.

We think it is Donald Trump himself, not his administration, who regularly and recklessly attacks the free press. The administration overall seems forthcoming with the news media and uncomfortable with Trump's incessant claims that the press is "the enemy of the people.''

Trump's slander is calculated, despicable, disturbing, and dangerous. It comes from a man who regularly distorts or dismembers the truth.

It is despicable, because he is the President of the United States, and some people, having heard the President utter this lie often enough, may believe it.

It is disturbing because too many Republican politicians, concerned solely with their own security at the next election, have abdicated any responsibility to call out Trump on this.

It is dangerous because some in the press play into Trump's hands with incessant, over-the-top anti-Trump coverage. Enemies of the people? No, but some are enemies of balanced coverage. They downplay or ignore any of the positive achievements of the Trump administration.

Couple this with Trump's constant ranting about the "enemy of the people," and we may all reap the whirlwind.

A free press is vital to our democracy. Our founding fathers understood this. It is why they provided for the press' rights in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

They did so despite many of them being vilified and unfairly treated in the press in a manner that would cause supposed tough guy Trump to wilt like a dandelion on a hot August day.


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