President Donald Trump once again assailed the news media, accusing members of the press of “working overtime” to propagate so-called “fake news” about him and his administration, and threatened to take away press credentials.
“The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake),” the president wrote on Twitter. ”
Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
The tweet prompted a response from Margaret Talev, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, which represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the Trump administration:
Some may excuse the president’s inflammatory rhetoric about the media, but just because the president does not like news coverage does not make it fake. A free press must be able to report on the good, the bad, the momentous and the mundane, without fear or favor. And a president preventing a free and independent press from covering the workings of our republic would be an unconscionable assault on the First Amendment.
Comment on President Trump remarks on Twitter today about news media coverage. pic.twitter.com/mry3puZXKA
— WHCA (@whca) May 9, 2018
The WHCA had this morning been criticized by Eric Boehlert, a writer at Shareblue who’d previously worked for Salon and Rolling Stone.
“What a joke that ‘journalism’ organization has become,” Boehlert tweeted.
Trump threatens reporters' WH credentials and comatose @WHCA does nothing.
what a joke that "journalism" organization has become https://t.co/WlswnUsD6o
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 9, 2018
The president often criticizes major news outlets for their coverage of him and his administration but has curried favor with the likes of Sean Hannity, Alex Jones and his Infowars website, and The Gateway Pundit, all of which have been known to spread conspiracy theories. (The president even granted Gateway Pundit press credentials, allowing reporters with the outlet to attend White House press briefings.)
However, revoking press credentials does not mean media outlets can’t cover the president, and several political figures and news reporters soon condemned the president’s statements, calling him out for his continued hostility.
“These authoritarian impulses of yours are anti-American,” Walter Shaub, the former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, tweeted in response.
"Take away credentials?" These authoritarian impulses of yours are anti-American.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 9, 2018
“He has a lack of understanding of how news coverage actually works, and unfortunately so do a lot of his supporters,” Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. Haberman was part of a team that earlier this year won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the president’s advisers and their connections to Russia.
He has a lack of understanding of how news coverage actually works, and unfortunately so do a lot of his supporters. https://t.co/X9jvSrmnUk
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 9, 2018