Trump vs New York Times — AGAIN!

SulzbergerOn July 20th, A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, went to the White House by invitation from Donald Trump.  Mr. Sulzberger was accompanied by James Bennet, who oversees the editorial page of The Times. Trump’s aides requested that the meeting be off the record, which has been the practice for such meetings in the past, and to which Mr. Sulzberger agreed.

However, yesterday morning, Trump, in his usual manner, was unable to control his thumbs and tweeted …

“Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

It should be noted that Trump himself coined the phrase “enemy of the people”.

Mr. Sulzberger saw that tweet as an invitation to put his prior meeting with Trump on record, and as such, he published a terse summary of the meeting in the New York Times.

Statement of A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher, The New York Times:

My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.

I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.

I told him that although the phrase “fake news” is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.

I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.

Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country. 

Not to be outdone, Trump put on his paint and returned to his warpath:

“When the media – driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome – reveals internal deliberations of our government, it  truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk! Very unpatriotic! Freedom of the press also comes with a responsibility to report the news accurately. 90% of media coverage of my Administration is negative, despite the tremendously positive results we are achieving, it’s no surprise that confidence in the media is at an all time low! I will not allow our great country to be sold out by anti-Trump haters in the dying newspaper industry. No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! As an example, the failing New York Times and the Amazon Washington Post do nothing but write bad stories even on very positive achievements – and they will never change!” (Compilation of a series of four tweets)

Note that Trump equates negative news about himself with ‘fake’ news.

Such maturity has surely never before been seen in the Oval Office before.  🙄free press-1During the meeting, Mr. Sulzberger recalled telling Trump that newspapers and other media outlets had begun posting armed guards outside their offices because of a rise in threats against journalists. Trump, he said, expressed surprise that they did not already have armed guards.  At another point, Trump bragged about using the phrase “fake news,” and said other countries had begun banning such “fake news”. Mr. Sulzberger explained to him that those countries were dictatorships and that they were not banning “fake news” but rather stifling independent scrutiny of their actions.  Why does the man who sits in the Oval Office need to have this explained to him?  WHY???free press-5.jpgTherein lies the potential problem.  Trump praises dictatorships for actually banning reporting that may not be favourable to the government, something Trump would very much like to be able to do, but he is stopped by that pesky 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Do not, folks, for one minute think that Trump has stopped trying to find a way to do just that.

When Trump couldn’t garner the votes to repeal Obamacare, he began chipping away at it by executive orders and withholding payments to insurance companies.  Similarly, he realizes that he cannot simply revoke the 1st amendment, so he is chipping away at the freedom of the press by denigrating reporters, revoking press passes, refusing to answer questions from certain media outlets, barring reporters from events, and insisting that all televisions in his venue air only Fox News.

free press-2Every morning when I first boot up my computer, I wonder if I will receive an error message when I try to log onto BBC, The Guardian or the New York Times.  So far it hasn’t happened, but frankly I will not be surprised if it does someday.  The best weapon we have to prevent it is our vote in November and our support of the legitimate media – you know, the ones Trump calls ‘fake’.

26 thoughts on “Trump vs New York Times — AGAIN!

  1. I’m confident that King Trump will be again ranting about press out of control when Bob Woodward’s new book comes out. He has great reason to feel nervous about this. Freedom of press will lead to an ugly end to his Presidency.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job Jill. Our founders are turning over in their graves every day this man is still POTUS. What’s so scary is the blind loyalty his followers continue to show towards him. I engage them on Twitter from time to time and I’m floored by the complete lack of understanding or ability to see any other arguments/facts that in any way denigrates their ‘leader’. I don’t care though. I will continue to confront them until I’m blue in the face. It’s one small thing we all can do. At some point this is all going to come to a conclusion…whether it’s through Mueller….or the ballot box. Keep up the good work!

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  3. I knew that you would not let Trump’s latest attack on the free press pass you by! “The first thing dictators do is finish free press, to establish censorship. There is no doubt that a free press is the first enemy of dictatorship.” – Fidel Castro. Could this be part of the Make America Great Again program of Donald Trump? The only enemy of the people is Trump, many fail or just plain refuse to see it! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know me well!!! Actually, even before the election, I said that Trump did not want to be president, he wanted to be king. Some who teased me then, said I was being an alarmist and jumping at shadows, have now come ’round to my way of thinking. Trump took office fully believing that his word was law and that he could do whatever he wished. He found out that it isn’t quite that simple, but he is, I believe, working on it. First, he has taken the law into his hands by using executive orders to get around things he couldn’t get through Congress. He came to office owing favours … lots ‘n lots of favours, not only to Vladimir Putin, but to the wealthy donors who spent millions to get him elected. So, he rolled back environmental regulations to please his wealthy corporate contributors, and he refused to enforce sanctions against Russia to please his buddy Vlad. But darn, that pesky press just won’t write nice things about him, and the majority of people believe the press. So, he denigrates them by calling the free and legitimate press “the enemy of the people”, refusing to take their serious questions, barring reporters, and calling them names. His supporters eat it up, and scream “fake news” at the tops of their lungs much as they chanted “lock her up” for much of the 2016 campaign. And because all of this is so bloomin’ loud, everybody tends to forget that his supporters are the MINORITY! But if he manages to minimize the free press, then it doesn’t matter who has the majority, for his word will be the only one heard.

      “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets..” ― Napoléon Bonaparte
      “The only security of all is in a free press.” ― Thomas Jefferson
      “A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” ― Albert Camus

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  4. Jill, thanks for printing this. I have said before that the biggest purveyor of fake news in America has a recognizable name. It is Donald J. Trump. I believe every newspaper of import should indicate which statements made by Trump are not found to be true. They can use Politufacts grading scale.

    As for Trump’s view of how he is doing, help me understand why more Americans (57% in a recent survey) disapprove of the job he is doing this approve.

    Any grade he gives himself should be ignored, as he is biased and too self possessed. He is also untruthful,

    Six authors who have written biographies have all noted Trump’s problem with the truth. I am sorry Mr. Trump – I am going to side with your biographers.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree … every single legitimate news outlet should be tallying his lies daily. And as to your second point, his followers seem to conveniently forget that they are in the minority, that the majority of this country gives him a very low score. Trump himself forgets that the majority doesn’t like or respect him. I heard that he said the other day he had the highest approval rating of any president at this point in his tenure. SERIOUSLY??? Is the man delusional??? Oh wait … forget I asked that question … of course he is … he was born that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, your example reveals why we should not believe a word he says. He said his trade polices and tax policies were the reasons for the 4.1% GDP, saying this is is the best economic growth on the planet. The last statement is false and the other two have varying degrees of truth. We are in the 110th consecutive month of economic growth while he has only been President for a little over 18 months. The tax plan helped a little but is oversold.

        As for his trade, it is true only because companies and farmers rushed orders to beat the tariffs start. In other words, what he did caused a reaction. The tariffs have already started hurting the economy, as will start showing up more the next several months. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I sometimes forget that he isn’t talking to us … not to you, me, or any who read our blogs. He is talking only to his faithful 40%, for he must tell them how great he is, must keep them convinced that he is doing exactly what he promised them, for he cannot afford to start losing their loyalty. He knows the rest of us know he is lying, he knows he will never convince us of anything, so he doesn’t care what we think, and in fact we provide a useful tool for him. He uses us to show his adoring fans just how ungrateful and harsh we are and … “just look what I have to put up with from the press, the liberals and the democrats!” I don’t think he’s very intelligent, but I give him credit for being sly, cunning, devious and manipulative. I am curious to see, when his base realizes that they actually have less money in their pocket in a few months than they did a year ago, when they go to buy new car and find it $4,000-$6,000 higher than a year ago … will they then begin to scratch their heads and ask some questions?

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  5. Trump is truly the vilest creature to have ever lived. My skin crawls when I hear his voice. He’s a hate-filled, spoiled-rotten, treasonous, traitorous, cowardly, weak, spineless weasel of a person. He’s terrified of the press because they continually point out these character flaws of his to the rest of humanity. His supporters are ignorant, blind, deluded oafs who are filled with hatred and an idiotically blind loyalty to a man who would not urinate on them if they were on fire. We simply MUST vote in November and put a stop gap in place to end this man’s reign of terror and grab at total power. Republicans are complicit in every vile act this maniac does and are traitors to freedom, America, democracy, and everything that is decent and good in the human soul. Deport every member of the GOP to Russia along with Trump so they can live out the rest of their days worshiping the fascist they love SO much: Vladimir Putin. It is shameful that this tiny, weakling of a boy-man is president. We must do all we can to bring his reign to an end.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Now take a deep breath, my friend … and another … that’s it … keep breathing. I absolutely agree with everything you said … in my nightmares I see ugly eels crawling out from his pock-marked fat face. But please, don’t give yourself a stroke here. You’re right … we simply must get the boot-lickers out of Congress, but I fear that some backroom games are being played even as we speak, and I wonder if we can truly have a fair and honest election? I wonder if this is how the Jews felt as Hitler came to power in the 1930s?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Trump is surely delusional if he is sure that 90% of media coverage of his Administration is negative, despite the tremendously positive results he is achieving. What positive results? And if this phrase is true, No matter how much they try to distract and cover it up, our country is making great progress under my leadership and I will never stop fighting for the American people! The he must think he’s the only American person. About the only thing making real progress is Trump Industries since half his family have been working to improve them during his presidency, including him.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • I asked the exact same question: WHAT positive results??? He has mucked up every single thing he has touched and has sent this nation well on its way to becoming a third world country. “Fighting for the American people”??? HAH … what a joke! As you said, he and his family are apparently the only “American people” that exist in his mind, for he damn sure forgot the rest of us. I would say he is a joke, but I stopped laughing a long time ago, as did the majority of people in this nation. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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