There has been an outcry from the news media about how President Trump has criticized the press. It all started, they say, with Trump’s tweet in 2017 that “The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.” The media is still sore about this quote and they bring it up every time their truthfulness is questioned. Trump was talking about the fake news media, which most all of the media accepted as pointing to all the news media. This must mean that the news media, in general, also believes it is fake. Nonetheless, FOX News commentator Chris Wallace is the latest to say Trump’s assault on the media is an attack on the freedom of the press.
Wallace told a gathering at the Newseum, “He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimise us, and I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.’… Let’s be honest, the president’s attacks have done some damage. A Freedom Forum poll, associated here with the Newseum, this year found that 29% of Americans, almost a third of all of us, think the first amendment goes too far. And 77%, three quarters, say that fake news is a serious threat to our democracy.”
Ironically, the Newseum is a media museum that is closing down after some 11 years because, as its website states, “it has struggled financially for a number of years and continuing to operate in our current location has proven unsustainable. In January 2019, we announced an agreement to sell the Newseum building on historic Pennsylvania Avenue to Johns Hopkins University, a premier academic institution, which will use the facility for its D.C.-based graduate programs.” It just doesn’t seem to occur to these members of the mainstream media that people don’t want news reported from their leftist slanted agenda. People prefer the truth without opinion when it comes to news.
A friend of mine, Roger Ailes, used to say, “You can’t argue with a guy who buys his ink by the barrel.” I’m sure that was not an Ailes original, but it rings true. Until the social media world changed all that. Trump is able to point out the fakes because of his following. Trump does not have to delegitimize the press, they do it to themselves every day, and the people recognize it. Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The context of this verse is referring to not being children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. An absence of truth interweaves the yoke of bondage. It is the lack of truth by the media that threatens our free society, not criticism of the media. Accountability is at least a two-way street.