Dishonest, false, irrelevant, failing, worthless, inaccurate, terrible, crooked, distorted, corrupt, unfair, biased-these are only a few of the terms President Donald Trump has tweeted to describe the media, according to The New York Times post “The 319 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List.” Trump has taken a public stance against the “mainstream” media, denouncing any criticism against him, even when it’s accompanied by his own words, polls, and facts.
Trump’s administration leads the current war on the media. At the first news conference of his term, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked the media for their coverage on Trump’s inauguration. He claimed that the media underestimated the crowd size at the event, and blamed the grass coverings for the appearance of the crowd. Counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway responded to the revelation of Spicer’s lies by labeling them as “alternative facts”, which are, in fact, lies. The president himself spews lies, claiming that millions voted illegally in the presidential election, lacking any proof to that claim.
Trump tweets his perception of the news, but how much can he say in 140 characters? Enough for typos and one word conclusions followed by an exclamation mark, that is. Trump wants to be accountable for the news, but since he constantly lies, he has failed himself, and the general public follows the media he stands against.
In a tweet on February 17, Trump stated, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Yet, the news media stands for the American people, and is only the enemy to those who wish to censor the facts. In that case, the media is your enemy, Mr. Trump, not ours.
Watchdog journalists fact check and question public officials, to serve as a check and balance system on the government. They stand for the public to prevent a corrupt government. That is exactly what the media is doing. It’s nothing new, and not a reserved bash on only President Trump. Journalists monitor every president, but Trump has provided more reasons than most to surveil his administration.
Phony, bad, and one-sided are innocuous insults, and Trump’s rants on Twitter will not allow him to regulate the press. With immutable First Amendment rights, the media will not be restricted. It is journalists’ duty to provide the facts and query the government, and despite what the Trump administration says, the media is honest, true, relevant, successful, worthy, and accurate-the antipode of Trump’s perception.