donald trump free press fake news tweet

Gage Skidmore/Flickr @realDonaldTrump/Twitter (CC-BY-SA) Remix by Jason Reed

Trump bashes, owns, supports the free press—in 3 tweets

A coordinated statement by newspapers is undercut by the president on Twitter.


David Covucci


Posted on Aug 16, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 8:38 am CDT

Newspapers across America this week pledged to publish editorials calling President Donald Trump‘s attacks on a free press harmful to the nation.

Here’s the New York Times, leading off with the infamous Thomas Jefferson quote about the First Amendment.

In 1787, the year the Constitution was adopted, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to a friend, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

That’s because many believe the press to be a check on society’s worst impulses, whereas governments have the ability to augment and encourage those same bad impulses.

Now that Trump has had a Jefferson quote published in his general direction, we can surely expect him to change his ways, right? Well…

The movement to publish simultaneous editorials was the idea of the Boston Globe. Here is its editorial: “Journalists are not the enemy.”

Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country. Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the “enemy of the people.” This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out “magic” dust or water on a hopeful crowd.

It is astounding that after three-plus years of covering Trump, the media might not see how this would play into Trump’s hands, but naturally, it did. Because what might one call hundreds of editorials condemning the president published at the same time?

There’s a word for it.

Of course, people rallying together in support of an amendment is very legal and not collusion. At least they all gave Trump the opportunity to declare himself the biggest defender of a free press the world has ever seen.

Trump argues that the press is only interested in “pushing a political agenda” that only serves to “hurt” people. Judging by responses to his tweets, many of his supporters seem to agree.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated for context and clarity.

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2018, 11:15 am CDT