Even after nine bombs were sent to top Democrats, including two former presidents, as well as George Soros, Robert De Niro, and CNN, Donald Trump continued to blame the media while disregarding his own violent rhetoric. Trump’s daily attacks on the media at rallies and on Twitter have lowered the standards of the White House so, at least 211 journalists, some of them retired or semi-retired, signed onto a letter to call out the president’s attacks on the media. The journalists accused Trump of inciting violence against the press and most of us have heard him do that, too.
Meredith Wheeler, a former ABC News producer in the 1970s and ’80s, spearheaded the effort, organizing the open letter, and she told The Washington Post that more have continued to sign it since the release.
“Trump’s condoning of political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press – which includes labeling any reportage he doesn’t like as ‘fake news’ and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to punish from press briefings and events,” the letter reads.
The journalists criticized Trump over his recent comments in which he praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for body slamming a reporter.
Wheeler took particular offense to that.
“To hear him praise the Montana congressman in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing was just too much, too awful, too soon, and I thought we have to, as a group of journalists, stand up and protest this,” Wheeler said. “Of course, the trouble is working journalists can’t sign a document like this. That’s why it’s mainly people who are retired or teaching in journalism.”
“[Trump is] actively working not simply to undermine the press, but to incite violence against it as well,” the letter continues.
“We denounce Donald Trump’s behavior as unconstitutional, un-American and utterly unlawful and unseemly for the President of the United States and leader of the free world,” it adds.
Lynn Sherr, a retired ABC News correspondent who signed the letter, told The Washington Post that Trump has no respect for the free press.
“I think it’s important for those of us who care deeply about our profession and even more deeply about our country to speak out,” Sherr said. “This is a man who has absolutely no respect for any institution that I care about, and a free press and a free democracy are at the height of that.”
On Wednesday, Trump addressed the assassination attempts of his critics by calling for Americans to “come together in peace and harmony” but at his rally last night in Wisconsin, he blamed the media again. Trump has repeatedly referred to the press as the enemy of the people.
Trump has not bothered to call any of the serial bomber’s targets. If Trump can’t handle criticism, then he never should have taken this job.
Featured image via screen capture.