The staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland issued a letter on Sunday, thanking readers and the public for their support in the wake of last week’s newsroom shooting that left five dead. The letter also took a not-so-subtle jab at President Donald Trump, saying: “We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 2, 2018
After thanking their community “for the outpouring of sympathy for the terrible tragedy that took place Thursday in our Annapolis office,” the Capital Gazette wrote:
Here’s what else we won’t forget: Death threats and emails from people we don’t know celebrating our loss, or the people who called for one of our reporters to get fired because she got angry and cursed on national television after witnessing her friends getting shot.
“We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people,” the paper continued, directly addressing comments Trump has made both as a candidate and as president. “No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do.”
We are The Capital. We are the Maryland Gazette. We are the Bowie Blade-News and Crofton West County Gazette. We are more than just our questions and our writing and our headlines. We are journalists.
Shortly after taking office last year, Trump issued a hostile tweet directed at American media, which he called “the enemy of the American people.” The original tweet, which was deleted and reposted as the one below, contained the word “SICK!” at the end.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Trump regularly chides the press as “fake news” (the exception being Fox, where Trump has an intimate relationship with the likes of Sean Hannity) and often goes after critics who don’t paint him in a positive light.
At a rally in South Carolina last week, Trump referred to comedian Stephen Colbert as a “low life.”
“Yes, we bring values and beliefs to our work. We believe in truth. We believe in speaking for those who don’t have the power to speak for themselves. We believe in questioning authority,” the paper said. “We believe in reporting the news.”
On Thursday, a gunman wielding a pump-action shotgun barged into the newspaper’s office and murdered four journalists – Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara – and Rebecca Smith, a sales assistant.
"We are not the enemy," said Pat Furgurson, a reporter for The Capital, where 5 people were killed in a shooting on Thursday. "We are you."
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 30, 2018
Following the shooting, Trump’s tone toward the press appeared to have softened. In a statement, the president offered condolences to those who were directly affected in the attack.