By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
President Trump’s latest charge against the media is that we’re covering up terror attacks around the world by not reporting or under-reporting some of them. He made the charge Monday in a speech to troops at U.S. Central Command in Florida.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to the point where it’s not even being reported, “Trump said. “And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that,” he continued.
The White House later released a list of such attacks it says supports Trump’s allegation. While it included killings in places like Bangladesh, Dhaka and Bosnia — incidents that did receive limited media attention here — it also included such events as the widely-covered attacks in San Bernardino and the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Trump’s accusations are just another in a long list of attacks on the news media; attacks which have no basis in fact. The President’s war on the press has reached a point of being ridiculous and even damaging to our system of a free and open press.
He criticizes anything he disagrees with, labeling it as fake news or simply as lies. He calls out news organizations and individual reporters as dishonest and even threatens them with legal action (which, of course, never materializes). Trump seems to have one view of the world: his own. And if the facts dispute that view, it’s wrong or false!
There seems little chance Trump will change his approach while in the White House. As a result, journalists and news organizations must continue to do their jobs in the fearless manner which has characterized our profession for decades. We have no choice, and it’s what’s expected of us by the American people.