Trump really thinks he can threaten reporters into pretending he isn't a disastrous failed president. He can't.
Trump was too busy Tuesday disgracing the country and insulting our closest allies by violating the Iran deal, but on Wednesday he resumed one of his favorite hobbies: attacking the media.
And this time, he threatened to “take away credentials” from reporters who dare to accurately cover his train wreck presidency.
“Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake),” he tweeted. “Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”
As with just about everything out of Trump’s mouth — he’s already told more than 3,000 lies since taking office, and counting — this too is baseless nonsense. Trump’s administration doesn’t work with the media at all.
Instead, Trump and the people who speak for him constantly lie to, insult, and otherwise avoid the media. Trump has given exactly one solo press conference since taking office, and that was more than a year ago.
He has avoided sitting down with any non-Fox News television media for almost a year as well, since his disastrous interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, when he admitted he fired FBI Director James Comey to try to shut down the Russia investigation.
His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has so badly damaged her credibility by endlessly lying to reporters on a near-daily basis that even she recently admitted she can only give the information she has at the time, which is regularly proven to be patently false.
Meanwhile, the administration’s assault on reporters is a global embarrassment. In January, Trump was named the world’s number one media oppressor by the Committee to Protect Journalists, beating out dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Reporters, including White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan, have received death threats for daring to ask questions of this administration.
CNN’s Jim Acosta, whom Trump kicked out of the Oval Office for doing his job — which Acosta called “a badge of honor” — spoke recently about the kinds of threats he and his colleagues receive because of the White House’s open hostility to the media.
“My concern is is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days, somebody’s going to get hurt,” Acosta said. “And at that point, the White House, the president of the United States, they’re going to have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves whether or not they played a role in this, whether they created this toxic environment that resulted in a journalist getting hurt.”
For that very serious concern, Trump’s loyal defenders at Fox News attacked Acosta.
But for Trump, the media that covers his egregious behavior is so unworthy, it should not even be able to do its job at all. His insistence that negative coverage is “fake” is another lie, and it’s not likely to discourage the media from continuing to cover his disastrous term.
Threats from a president who largely hides from the media anyway won’t do it either. If the deeply unpopular and unsuccessful Trump wants better coverage, he should be a better president.
Until then, the media is going to keep telling the truth about him, even if he doesn’t like it.