Trump supporters rip John McCain for his op-ed against ‘fake news’

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Trump’s supporters weren’t happy.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) condemned President Donald Trump in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday for his attacks on the press, prompting a swift pushback from the president’s most ardent supporters online.

In the op-ed, McCain criticized Trump’s “fake news awards” that are scheduled to be announced on Wednesday as a threat to global press freedom.

“Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy,” McCain wrote.

McCain said press freedom was under attack across the globe, citing statistics from the Committee to Protect Journalists, which showed 262 cases of journalists being imprisoned for reporting, making it one of the most dangerous years for journalists ever.

In the United States, Trump has continuously attacked “fake news” (media the president deems unfair or negative), and even went so far to call the press “enemy of the American people.” In recent months, reporters have been body-slammed by a congressional candidate, arrested for asking questions, pinned against a wall, and even had government officials joke about shooting them.

“We cannot afford to abdicate America’s long-standing role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world,” McCain wrote. “Without strong leadership in the White House, Congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment, and defending the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

McCain’s op-ed came out shortly after a study by Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that four in 10 Republicans think the definition of “fake news” should be expanded to include accurate, but negative, stories about leaders or groups.

The Arizona senator’s passionate defense of the press seemed to enrage Trump’s supporters online.

Mark Levin, the hyper-conservative radio show host, called McCain’s op-ed “absurd” and “self-promoting.”

Similarly, Laura Ingraham, the far-right Fox News and radio show host, said the op-ed was the “real reason why the press and Dems love” McCain.

Other conservative Twitter users also weren’t pleased with the op-ed.

https://twitter.com/fritz_sproul/status/953647885773500416

You can read all of McCain’s op-ed here.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).