It seems President Donald Trump’s favorite pastime is taking shots at the media.
Sorry, the “dishonest media,” as he calls them.
Oh, and now, we’re “the enemy of the American People,” according to this Friday tweet:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
It was all part of a three-day span in which Trump repeatedly hit at the bedrock of a strong democracy.
It all started with his first solo press conference Thursday when he treated the media with blatant disregard as he lied to the reporters and, thus, the very people who elected him.
And I thought we the media had the market cornered on being dishonest.
My personal favorite was when a reporter called him out for saying he had the biggest electoral college victory since Ronald Reagan.
When given the actual facts, he backtracked and said that’s what he was told.
And while that may sound like a small detail, it points to a bigger problem. Can this president be trusted?
After all, he also said Thursday his administration is running like a well-oiled machine.
What about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lying to Vice President Mike Pence?
What about the Muslim travel ban and the courts rightfully striking it down?
What about the discord in the intelligence community?
What about his administration communicating with Russia before he took office? What, if anything, did his administration know about the hacks of the Democratic National Committee, and did they have anything to do with it as part of some international Watergate-type scheme?
Those are all fair questions, but when held to account, his response is to blame the media.
Even Fox News, a conservative safe space, is growing tired of Trump’s continued antics as Shepard Smith took issue with the president after Thursday’s debacle.
“It’s crazy what we’re watching every day. It’s absolutely crazy,” he said. “He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question.”
Also Thursday, Trump released a media survey because he wants to hold us accountable. Yeah, because we’re dishonest.
Friday, of course, there was the infamous tweet calling us the enemy of the American people.
In a “Meet the Press” clip released on Twitter, Republican Sen. John McCain had this to say about the president’s missive:
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 18, 2017
“If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I’m afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
Sadly, Trump’s supporters don’t care.
In a depressing end to the three days, on Saturday, I watched a portion of his Florida campaign rally — less than a month into his presidency, no less — during which he took repeated swings at his favorite whipping boy — the media, of course — as the crowd applauded and cheered, encouraging and enabling him to do even more damage.
His supporters, however, would be wise to listen to McCain.
If Trump succeeds in destroying the free press, he could come for their rights next.
Without a free press holding those in power accountable, all of a sudden, they’re unencumbered to the very people they represent.
With no accountability, a government of, by and for the people becomes a government of, by and for those in power.
With no one to push back, those in power can do whatever they want, no matter how heinous or unconstitutional it may be.
Think about how dangerous that could be, especially with someone as unstable and unhinged as Trump.
My hope is, before it’s too late, the American people will be smart enough to realize this administration never actually answers questions of substance and refuses to be held accountable. And I hope they’ll no longer accept “blame the media” as a valid response.
Thankfully, only a quarter of the American people voted for him.
The half of you who stayed home in 2016, however, would do well to remember this election for the rest of your lives to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
But what do I know, I’m just one those dishonest enemies of the American people.