Mary C. Curtis: Governments and the Media

The president and the press

CHARLOTTE, NC —  The president and the press.

It was not the first time. When President Trump recently praised Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter during Gianforte’s campaign last year, calling him his kind of guy, it was not that surprising. The president has called the press enemies of the state. He has called journalists “sick people,” accused the news media of “trying to take away our history and our heritage” and questioned their patriotism. “I really think they don’t like our country,” he has said.

And in his rallies, he often makes members of the press his foil, pointing them out to the crowd.

When Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing (and now it is clear he was killed) after he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, Trump at first was muted in his response, though he has now called it a terrible “cover-up,” and his administration has revoked visas for some of the country’s agents.

What will be the eventual fallout from the antagonistic relationship between the president and the press, in a country where freedom of the press is protected in the first amendment to the Constitution? (Mary C. Curtis)