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Trump Labels News Media 'Enemy Of The American People'

With Anthony Brooks

A president like no other has changed the way the media covers the White House. Is it dangerous? Is it fair?


David Folkenflik, media correspondent for NPR, co-host of On Point. (@davidfolkenflik)

Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents Association, chief Washington correspondent for Sirius XM radio. (@OKnox)

Mona Charen, syndicated columnist. Author of “Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch With Science, Love, and Common Sense.” (@monacharenEPPC)

From The Reading List

New York Magazine: “NYT Publisher Attempts, Fails to Reason With Trump Over Media Attacks” — “A private attempt by New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger to reason with President Trump over his attacks on the media went about as well as anyone could have expected. Sulzberger acknowledged the meeting, which he says the president requested, after Trump violated their off-the-record agreement by not only tweeting about the meeting more than a week later, but also mischaracterizing what they talked about.”

The Daily Beast: “Trump: Media Is ‘Enemy of the American People’ ” — “President Trump on Friday afternoon tweeted, then deleted an outwardly hostile message calling various media outlets the people’s real enemy. ‘The FAKE NEWS media,’ he wrote, citing The New York Times, CNN, and NBC News, among others,’is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people. SICK!’ The message was deleted shortly after its posting, but numerous users screengrabbed the tweet for posterity. Several minutes later, the president re-posted the message, with slight tweakings: he added CBS and ABC to the roster of ‘fake news’ outlets, and removed the ‘SICK!’ from the back end.”

Attacking the media and “fake news” was a staple of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. But now as president, he calls journalists “enemies of the people.” The New York Times publisher says these inflammatory attacks are sparking a rise in threats to journalists that could lead to violence, particularly overseas. But how has Trump’s approach toward the press changed the way we cover the White House? Is he playing us? Are we being unfair to him?

This hour, On Point: covering President Trump.

— Anthony Brooks

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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