Trump Homes In on 'the Fake News Media' as 'Opposition Party'

Campaign The New York Times editorial

Hundreds of US newspapers are banding together this week to fight back against President Donald Trump's "war on the free press".

As of Wednesday, The Sun Chronicle was one of more than 350 other newspapers who had joined the effort, including major metros like The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

On Aug. 5, for instance, the president tweeted: "The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it's TRUE".

On Thursday, editorial boards of about 300 newspapers are coordinating to criticize President Trump's war with the media in editorials written and published at each paper under the unifying theme, #FreePress.

He has also accused the "fake news media" of taking part in a "phony Russian witch hunt" regarding unsubstantiated claims that Trump colluded with Moscow during the 2016 presidential election.

The New York Times: In an editorial with the headline "A Free Press Needs You, " the national paper echoed The Boston Globe's sentiment that it's risky to call the media "fake news" and asked people to subscribe to their local papers and praise them when they've done good work and criticize them when they haven't. "We're all in this together". Both the Chronicle and Baltimore Sun said that it plays into the hands of Trump and his supporters who think the media is out to get him. He said too many journalists are slipping opinion into their news reports, adding commentary and calling it context. "He lacks the credibility to pull that off. And we're angry. Angry that we work so hard to carry out the mission our Founding Fathers envisioned, to provide the free flow of information so critical to a well-functioning democracy, only to be demonized by our president for doing our jobs".

It remains unclear how much sway the effort will have. Polls show Republicans have grown more negative toward the news media in recent years: Pew Research Center said 85 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said in June 2017 that the news media has a negative effect on the country, up from 68 percent in 2010.

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