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John McCain Just Went Ape Shit On Trump As He Attacked The Press Yet Again

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is telling President Donald Trump to stop his attacks on American media.

In an Op-Ed he wrote for the Washington Post, McCain calls out Trump for criticizing media simply for reporting on his administrations miscues and gaffes. Trump has tried to “discredit the free press by bestowing ‘fake news awards’ upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with,” McCain writes.

But Trump’s actions are likely to be imitated elsewhere, which could erode democracy in places around the globe. “Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy,” said McCain.

Citing a study demonstrating that 2017 was one of the most dangerous years for journalists, McCain points out that direct attacks on the media aren’t necessarily the sole problem. Oppressive governments are “fostering distrust of media coverage and accusing reporters of undermining national security and pride,” McCain wrote. “Governments dub the press the ‘enemy of the people,’ weaken or eliminate their independence, and exploit the lack of serious scrutiny to encroach on individual liberties and freedoms.”

That last line ought to hit home for Trump. Early on in his administration, Trump himself called the media the “enemy of the American people.”

Such animosity toward the media, and framing it in a way that suggests it works against the people it’s actually serving, is a disgraceful move by any world leader, including the president of the United States. It’s one thing to argue against depictions of yourself in the press — it’s quite another to suggest that the media are acting in a treasonous way, as Trump seems to do.

McCain is absolutely right in his assessment. Trump’s derision of the “fourth estate” isn’t what we expect of the leader of the free world, but rather what we’re likely to hear from dictators. “Ultimately, freedom of information is critical for a democracy to succeed,” McCain concludes.


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