Trump tweets media is ‘enemy of the American people’

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

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The president believes the media is everyone’s enemy.

Sean Rayford, Getty Images

I’ve been getting the impression for some time now that Donald Trump really, really doesn’t like the media.

This is odd, as he’s always seemed to enjoy appearing on TV and in the press. He’s also said to watch cable news and read east coast papers with considerable commitment.

Still, having accused CNN of being so-called “fake news” at Thursday’s solo press conference, you’d think his feelings were crystal clear.

Yet no. On Friday, he was compelled to tweet something even more specific: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

That does seem a touch harsh. Leaving out The Washington Post, I mean. He has directed his ire at that publication previously. Does this mean it’s “improved” in some way?

On Twitter, though, some focused on the term “enemy of the people.” They felt it touched on the notion that the media was somehow traitorous and that the First Amendment may not be all that.

This, for example, from David Cicilline: “This is usually one of the first things authoritarian leaders do. Attack the media’s credibility.”

“Vilify media: check. Discredit intelligence: check. Establish dictatorship: still working on it,” suggested Twitter user Gilskee.

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss offered an echo of times past: “On December 1972 tape, Nixon told Kissinger, ‘The press is the enemy, the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy.’

Trump had initially only included the Times, CNN and NBC News in his original version of this tweet (see below) and garlanded its ending with “SICK!”.

But he deleted that, added ABC and CBS and removed the “SICK!” before tweeting it out again (Disclosure: CBS is CNET’s parent company).

The president does sometimes seem to use Twitter in reaction to something he’s seen or read. In the media, that is.

Those of caustic personality might suggest that one line from a report on Thursday of his press conference might have stung him into action: “For days, a frustrated and simmering president fumed inside the West Wing residence about what aides said he saw as his staff’s inadequate defense and the ineffectiveness of his own tweets.” The publication? Why, The New York Times.

Happy President’s Day weekend.

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The original version.

Twitter/Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

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