Just hours after Trump went on an unscripted rant calling the media the “enemy of the people” he moved against the very concept of a free press.
In an unprecedented ban, Trump’s White House barred CNN, The New York Times, Politico, Buzzfeed and several other outlets from attending a press conference. Instead, Trump’s team replaced them with Breitbart, Fox News, the right-wing Washington Times, and a Fox News knockoff called “One America News Network” – infamous for giving conservative talking head Tomi Lahren her start.
In protest Time Magazine and the Associated Press walked out.
CNN, NYT, LAT not allowed in the briefing. Breitbart, Washington Times OK'ed. AP and Time mag decline their invites out of solidarity. https://t.co/akPrvpKHiJ
— Annie Z. Yu (@anniezyu) February 24, 2017
Trump’s administration was left with just right-wing outlets that parrot what he says without scrutiny.
Of note: As writer Jeet Heer noticed, every single one of the outlets Trump banned had done reporting on the administration’s ties to Russia.
3. All the press barred (except for Daily Mail) have done reporting on Russian story based on leaks from IC or FBI.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 24, 2017
The one exception was the UK’s Daily Mail, which infuriated Trump in 2016 by running a story about Melania’s immigration issues. Melania Trump is currently suing the paper for $150 million for the coverage, including the paper printing then retracting an allegation that she had once worked as an escort.
Trump’s move is an incredibly hostile move towards one of America’s most holy traditions: the free press. Already, Trump spends much of his days smearing legitimate news sources as “fake” and encouraging his followers to tune into Fox News rather than read hard-hitting journalism critical of his administration. Now it seems Trump is going to declare total war on the press that dares question him.
This is what fascism looks like:
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) February 24, 2017
Just ask Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, who said just months ago that a free press is what separates a democracy from a dictatorship.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) February 24, 2017
Spicer might want to remember that today.
Featured image via Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images