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Trump Calls News Media the ‘Enemy of the American People’

Variety logo Variety 2/17/2017 Ted Johnson
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President Trump continued his attacks on the news media on Friday by tweeting his disdain for a number of media outlets and accusing them of being the “enemy of the American people.”

Trump originally tweeted — then deleted — a similar post that did not include CBS and ABC. The latter two networks have not been among his most frequent targets.

Trump’s blustery press conference on Thursday, lasting almost 80 minutes, drew negative reaction from commentators on the networks, and some pushback from journalists, including Shepard Smith on Fox News and Jake Tapper on CNN. CBS News’ Scott Pelley opened his Thursday broadcast by saying, “Today we learned the length of the president’s short fuse — 28 days.”

While Trump has attacked the media throughout the campaign and his presidency, his accusation that reporters are enemies of the American people adds more fuel to his effort to discredit the profession. He previously has referred to the low approval numbers for the news media in general, and at his press conference on Thursday, told reporters that “the public doesn’t believe you.” His senior adviser, Stephen Bannon, has referred to the media as the “opposition party.”

Some of the reaction from the media was of amusement.

Others put it in context of Trump’s previous attempts to discredit an independent press — and warned that it could have consequences for the media in covering Trump events.

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