NY Times Reporter: '2019 the Darkest Yet for Journalists in the Trump Era'

December 30th, 2019 6:52 PM

Criticize the media, and you’re threatening the freedoms and lives of journalists. That’s the gist of the story from New York Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum's Tuesday piece on the front of rhe Business section. “After Another Year of Trump Attacks, ‘Ominous Signs’ for the American Press -- Threats of ‘retribution,’ more accusations of ‘fake news’ and the end of the White House briefing made 2019 the darkest yet for journalists in the Trump era.” The text box: "Undermining the U.S. reputation for press freedom." (As can be seen by how the press is so afraid to attack President Trump.)

Grynbaum recycled the following paragraph of examples of Trump perfidy from an almost-as-hysterical February 2019 piece:

On Twitter, President Trump deployed the phrase “fake news” 273 times this year -- 50 percent more often than he did in 2018. He demanded “retribution” over a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, declared that Washington Post reporters “shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House,” and accused The New York Times of “Treason.”

Mr. Trump’s vilification of the news media is a hallmark of his tenure and a jagged break from the norms of his predecessors: Once a global champion for the free press, the presidency has become an inspiration to autocrats and dictators who ape Mr. Trump’s cry of “fake news.”

Foolish Trump failed to heed the wisdom of academics who have his administration’s interests at heart:

For those who wondered if Mr. Trump might heed the concerns of historians and First Amendment advocates -- who say his actions have eroded public trust in journalism, and perhaps the very concept of empirical facts -- 2019 provided a grim answer.

One doesn’t have to condone Trump’s “enemy of the people” language to see the illogic in blaming Trump for everything bad that happens to journalists worldwide (click “expand”):

To Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, these rhetorical attacks have rippled outward. Globally, Mr. Simon said in an interview, at least 30 journalists were jailed in 2019 under charges of reporting false news in 2019.


Jonathan Karl, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, cited the attempt by the administration to ban a journalist -- Brian Karem of Playboy magazine -- from the White House grounds. The episode mirrored an incident in 2018 where Trump aides revoked the credentials of a CNN correspondent, Jim Acosta[.]

Grynbaum didn’t provide background on the above incidents, but here are links to NewsBusters writeups on the White House dust-ups involving girly-mag liberal journalist and CNN contributor Karem, and liberal shouty CNN reporter Acosta:

For Karl, who reports for ABC News, the year’s “most chilling moment” came when a video that depicted Mr. Trump as a mass murderer, shooting and stabbing members of the press, was screened at a retreat for the president’s supporters at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

“There are ominous signs,” Mr. Karl said.