Millennium Post

Trump's war against media

Trumps war against media

Since he became the President of the US, Donald Trump has consistently lambasted the media as "fake news". He has now decided to descend to calling them "the enemy of the people". IT is hardly a surprise to anyone when those heading totalitarian regimes adopt this attitude. Even if he heads a vibrant democracy like the US, Trump is unlike any predecessor of his. Not only does he like being autocratic, self-contradictory, constantly threatening, lying as per his convenience, boastful and self-congratulatory at all times, he has now decided to get rid of anyone from the media who decides to ask him uneasy questions. So, the ultra-competitive White House press corps is displaying something rare and refreshing: Solidarity. Journalists reacted with dismay when the Trump administration barred a young journalist from attending a presidential event in the Rose Garden. Two White House officials told the journalist that she asked "inappropriate" questions during Trump's meeting with European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. So, the ban was retaliatory in nature. And, it was deeply concerning to many reporters. The lady was the pool reporter on behalf of all the TV networks. This assignment, sometimes known as pool duty, rotates from one TV network to another each day. These were questions from the TV pool reporter, which means this is effectively an action taken against all TV journalists covering the White House. Trump's so-called war with the media has taken on many forms, but the latest was a serious escalation.

Blocking a credentialed White House reporter from an event open to all members of the media is highly unusual and possibly unprecedented – and, it marks a really low point. The White House Correspondents Association said, "this type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed and weak. It cannot stand." Further adding, " Reporters asking questions to powerful government officials, up to and including the President, helps hold those people accountable." Such rhetoric and actions from the President and the White House that seemingly occur simply because they do not like the questions and the coverage they are getting undermines the very essence of a democratic society. The show of solidarity was welcomed by many members of the public. There have been cheers for the correspondents, who defended their counterparts who were trying to ask follow-up questions during the contentious White House briefings. On Wednesday, after the White House accused the journalist of shouting questions and refusing to leave the Oval Office, other reporters spoke up in her defence, saying she was completely in line with protocol. Asking questions is what reporters do every day. Trump often answers. If he does not, that is his prerogative, but no one should be banned for doing this important job.

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