I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
That was this morning. I assume this will count to his running total of lies, given that the Times did not apologize to him after the 2016 election. Whatever.
My post is about his continued attack on any media that publishes and broadcasts things he doesn’t like.
Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it’s time for journalists to fight back. But not in the way you might think.
“So when democracy is under attack — as it is in the Trump era — then saving journalism and saving democracy become the same job. The issue isn’t that the media needs to be relentlessly anti-Trump. The issue is that the media needs to fight relentlessly for the fundamental human principles that Trump has so consistently aligned his government against.”
He goes on to list ways on a few stories — voting rights, climate change, immigration — to do this.
“Every journalist should wake up in the morning and ask herself or himself, am I working on something that will make my town, my state and my country a better place to live? And how am I using my talents — my ability to ferret out facts, track down the right officials or the right documents, to analyze, interpret and write — to get us there. That doesn’t mean ditching certain basic tenets — fairness, listening to differing sides on an issue, or a willingness to accept truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. But it also doesn’t mean treating journalism like an ossified religion where the daily rituals of access to the powerful outweighs the spiritual quest for the very soul of what we do.”
Dan Gillmor wrote a piece with similar sentiments last August.
“Instead, I’m begging journalists to declare a sweeping mission. You need to fight, not against Trump, but for a free press and freedom of expression, in every possible way. Most of all, you have to do more journalism, with renewed passion, skill, relentlessness, and — this is essential — collective action.
“That means breaking with customs, and some traditions — changing the journalism, and some of the ways you practice it, to cope with the onslaught of willful misinformation aimed at undermining public belief in basic reality. You can start by looking at the public’s information needs from the public’s point of view, not just your own.”
President Trump’s language about the Times and the Washington Post and CNN has filtered down to the local level. I’ve seen letters to the editor making the accusation in Greensboro. It’s ridiculous, but then, that’s how this kind of fake news spreads.
I don’t know if Dan’s post made any headway among the people who run news outlets. I hope Will’s does. (Read them both.) Our old way of doing things must change. The future of journalism and democracy are at stake.