Trump’s War on Media

Last week, Americans watched as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

President Trump did not waste much time after being sworn in. The most noteworthy part of the weekend was President Trumps address to the CIA, while simultaneously attacking the media’s portrayal of his inauguration ceremony.

Yes, he began ranting about the media’s coverage of his inauguration crowd size.

Nevermind that there’s an argument on whether or not there was a difference in the amount of people at one ceremony over the other. Our President decided that the most important and appropriate topic to talk about, while addressing the CIA, was the crowd size of his inauguration. This was also reiterated through the Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who called out the media for unfairly covering the inauguration.

sean-spicer-white-house blog photo 3.jpeg
Press Secretary Sean Spicer addressing the Press for the first White House briefing Mandel Ngan/Getty

Now unsurprisingly, this isn’t President Trumps first time spinning his own story. Throughout his campaign he dodged controversy after another. However, when a new president and new cabinet are going to address the public for the first time, don’t discredit yourselves over a matter so small.

President Trump signs executive orders at the White House in Washington
President Trump signing executive orders. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Unfortunately, this argument does not end with Sean Spicer’s address to the press. Kelly Conway, one of Trump’s campaign managers, now counselor to the president, spoke with Chuck Todd during NBC’s “Meet the Press” . During the interview, Todd pressed Conway to address Spicer’s first press conference and why it was so important for the press to know what the actual crowd size was. After several attempts to avoid the question, Conway partially answered calling the facts Spicer gave (which were false facts), “alternative facts”.

Many journalists were beside themselves after these remarks came up. CNN’s panel of analyst’s recapped what they heard. Michael Oreskes, head of news for NPR, commented, “What’s really scary here is not the administration or the press per say, but the society –  which will lose profoundly – if we abandon our belief that there is actually reality. That there are actually facts, and that the phrase ‘alternative facts’ it’s a lawyers phrase.” Frank Sesno, who is the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs for George Washington University, also added, “We teach no courses in our journalism program about ‘alternative facts’. We will flunk you if you use ‘alternative facts’.”

Some journalist have even asked if this administration has the power take down the media.

It’s a valid point. If we consider how President Trump has addressed controversial stories the media has publicized it almost seems like the administration may try to control how news organizations report news.

What will be interesting to see is how the media will handle this administration. With President Trump openly admitting a war with the media I’m curious to see whether or not they’ll hold President Trump and his administration accountable for future actions.


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