Donald Trump’s war with the media is nothing new. Even early into his presidential campaign, he made a habit out of threatening reporters who showed up to his rallies, and once elected he simply accused any news outlet that he disagreed with as being “fake news.” The president can barely last a day without lashing out against the media, so it was more or less business as usual when he tweeted on Monday morning, “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me).”
“They are all bad,” he continued. “Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!” On MSNBC late Monday however, Brian Williams spoke with former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who warned of just how dangerous Trump’s allegations are. “Well he all but declared Fox News to be American state TV,” Schmidt said. “It’s extraordinary. Secondly, with regard to CNN international, with people who live in autocratic countries who live behind a veil of totalitarianism — CNN international, they thirst for that coverage because it’s a truth to them.”
“It speaks to what’s happening in the world, and all of its cruelty and injustice,” he continued. “But also the magnanimity, the hope that comes from the notion of free people.” Schmidt went on to state that the president’s words endanger journalists and that his words, in spirit, are an assault on free press and the First Amendment. It’s amazing that we even need to be reminded of this.