The relationship between the president and the press has always been a tumultuous one. It’s supposed to be adversarial by definition, as most press organizations, in addition to reporting the news, also act as watchdogs, attempting to cut through political spin and holding politicians accountable to the public.
Indeed, the public has historically held freedom of the press in high regard, so it should be unsurprising when there’s outrage at President Trump for barring CNN, the New York Times, and others from his daily press briefings. Or when he uses the terms “fake news” or “alternative facts” to discredit the mainstream media.
But if the latest research from Pew is any indication, all of that is changing.
Two-thirds of Americans now believe news stories are often inaccurate and politically biased, and when asked about the level of trust in the media, more than half (55%) said they had “none at all” or “not very much”.
This news is something conservatives and libertarians have known for some time, but now it seems the rest of the country is waking up to the fact that the mainstream media often pushes and protects it’s own interests ahead of those of the public.
That being said, it isn’t a good strategy for a president to set himself up as the opposition the the mainstream press, particularly for a Republican, but the idea pushed by the left that this is an “unprecedented war”
on the press is clearly and demonstrably false.
It’s almost as if no one remembers when President Obama was using the FBI to spy on AP reporters, or excluding Fox News. Also largely forgotten is Obama’s attacks and prosecution of whistleblowers, which truly was unprecedented.
This is not a defense of Trump. It is childish to kick the press out of daily briefings because they report unflattering things about you. I just wish the short-sighted left would use their outrage in a more principled way.