Chris White, DCNF
The New York Times’ publisher is pushing back against President Donald Trump’s tweet Sunday suggesting media outlets that promulgate fake news are effectively morphing into “Enemies of the People.”
Labeling journalists as enemies of the people is “deeply troubling” rhetoric that could lead to violence, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger wrote in a statement following an off the record meeting he had with the president on July 20. TheNYT publisher also accused Trump of breaking a promise to keep the meeting private.
“I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people,’” Sulzberger wrote. “I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”
Sulzberger released his statement shortly after Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he “had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger.” The president also noted that he and Sulzberger discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.”
Trump uses the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, and TheNYT as a type of foil to his administration. He called his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier this month “a great success” in a July 17 tweet before pointing out that the “Fake News Media” trashed the summit as an embarrassing failure.
Sulzberger also said he didn’t discourage Trump from attacking TheNYT in particular “if he felt our coverage was unfair,” but “implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.”
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