Recent Actions Taken by Trump Challenges Freedom of the Press
By: Steven Morris
The White House press corps has been a staple in the West Wing since the early 1900’s.
The press corps stemmed from President Theodore Roosevelt, who noticed reporters stuck in the rain, looking for sources for their stories. He invited the journalists into the White House and the rest is history.
A war of words between President Trump and what he considers “fake news” has been a long, continuing battle.
“The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still don’t understand why Donald Trump is the President of the United States,” said Steve Bannon, current White House Chief Strategist and founding member of Breitbart website.
On February 17, President Trump tweeted “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!”
In previous press conferences, President Trump only took questions from right-sided media publications. On February 24, The New York Times, Politico, Buzzfeed News and CNN, were banned from a private press briefing by the Trump Administration.
During a visit to the U.S. Central Command Center, President Trump claimed that terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.” According to the fact checking website, politifact.com, this statement by the President was “pants on fire” false.
A recent poll by the Wall Street Journal indicates that 51% percent of people believe the media is “too tough” on President Trump.
The media is not backing down.
News anchor Jake Tapper of CNN is on the offense, questioning Trump’s claims and policies.
Following the February 24 press briefing, Tapper said: “I don’t want to spend too much time discussing this issue because we have a lot of news to cover today, but let’s not make any mistake about what’s happening here. A White House that has had some difficulty telling the truth and that has seemed to have trouble getting up to speed on the basic competent functioning of government, and a president who seems particularly averse to any criticism and has called the press the enemies of the American people they are taking the next step in attempting to avoid checks and balances and accountability.”
On February 27, in an interview with Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today Show, Trump said that he considers the media to be “indispensable to democracy” and that “we need an independent media to hold people like me to account.”
For over a century, The White House press corps has held the President accountable for views and policies. All media outlets have the right of access to accurately report the news.