Trump’s calling media ‘enemy of the people’ triggers strong reactions

Citing anonymous source stories, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on “Face the Nation” that the president was sincere in blasting the press as the people’s enemy. Priebus named two problematic stories, the New York Times report that Trump aides had several contacts with Russian intelligence during last year’s election and a Wall Street Journal article about U.S. intelligence keeping sensitive information from the president to keep it from being leaked. (The Washington Post, February 19, 2017, by Kristine Guerra)

Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., defended the press against the Trump administration, saying on “Meet the Press,” “If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free — and many times adversarial — press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time — that’s how dictators get started.” (USA TODAY, February 19, 2017, by David Jackson)

Even though public trust in the media is at a low time low, Trump’s attacks and decisions have sparked a boom for the mainstream media who report spikes in subscriptions and donations. One media defender suggests that the best way to fight back is to frame the problem difficultly, particularly avoiding the word “enemy.”  (The Christian Science Monitor, February 21, 2017, by Linda Feldmann)