It is no secret that the Trump administration and the mainstream news media have a tumultuous relationship. However, Trump’s declaration that the media is an “enemy” of the American people takes things too far.
First off, I do not like the term “media.” I believe in freedom of the press, and that “press” happens to include various forms of media.
The press has an obligation to be a watchdog over government. This often puts us in an adversarial position with those in government. However, our calling is always to be on the side of the people.
During the last 30 years, the press has increasingly become more activist and less observer. One can see this shift take place from the time television news added 24-hour broadcasting.
There is only so much news to report in a given day and 24 hour news often would venture into opinion in order to fill space. This addition of more opinion went unnoticed for years, but now it is such common place that the lines between news an opinion have been blurred.
Enter President Trump and his declaration of items he doesn’t like as “fake news.” His broad-brush approach of assigning blame and criticism to the press flies in the face of all the legitimate reporters and news organizations across the nation, many of whom supported him and his candidacy.
The vast majority he of community newsgathering organizations have no agenda other than to report the news. They do not hold meetings figuring out how they could slander or push an agenda. They are caught up in the news of the day and reporting that news to the people.
President Trump, and his administration, need to remember all those who gather the news before they label an entire group an “enemy” of the American people. The press is far from that.
Limiting the press, or discrediting it on a consistent basis is the true enemy of the people.
David A. Specht Jr. is Editor and publisher of the Minden Press-Herald.