Opinion: Assaults on the media could cause lasting damage to democracy

By Jacob Kowalski• january 22, 2018 • 6:15 a.m.

There are many actions the Trump Administration has taken that have run counter to democratic norms. Appointing his children and their spouses to important jobs in the White House. Attacking our own intelligence agencies and refusing to accept their evidence that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. Demeaning the office of the presidency by using his power and platform to bully and belittle everyone from United States senators to union leaders. Each of these actions is damaging in their own right, but what is likely to be the most damaging are his attacks on the free press.

Throughout his candidacy and presidency Trump has repeatedly criticized the “Fake News Media,” a broad term that he generally applies to any media outlet publishing something that is disagreeable to him. No outlet is safe, from CNN and MSNBC to even Fox News. This continuous labeling of the news media as fake by the president, his administration, his supporters, and even by other “news” organizations is eroding the public’s faith in the free press.