As President Trump continues his prolonged and persistent attacks on the media to undermine public trust in their credibility as they report the truth about his administration’s criminal conduct, The New York Times is fighting back.
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Yesterday, the president accused the paper of “Treason” over its reporting on American cyberattacks on Russia’s power grid in a tweet that denied the truth of the story while painting The Times with the same label that, until Trump’s tenure, only totalatarian nations have used against the press.
…..ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
Rather than taking to their editorial pages to respond to Trump, The New York Times management decided to respond directly to the president on his Twitter feed.
Accusing the press of treason is dangerous.
We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns. https://t.co/MU020hxwdc pic.twitter.com/4CIfcqKoEl
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) June 16, 2019
While The Times’ public relations department accurately notes that accusations of treason against the media are dangerous, it fails to remind the readers of its tweet that Trump regularly engages in the practice of psychological projection — citing others as possessing the same faults or taking the same criminal actions of which he himself is guilty. No wonder that he bandies the “Treason” appellation so casually.
The New York Times‘ response is also a damning indictment of the Trump administration’s inability to govern competently in a manner in which both hands know what the other is doing.
The fact that Trump’s own National Security Council had no qualms about the publication of the story of the previously unknown surreptitious cyberattacks on Russia — while the president is apoplectic over a story that will prove embarrassing the next time he engages in a private, unmonitored call with his buddy Vladimir Putin — shows that the internal communications of the Trump White House are virtually non-existent.
It also demonstrates that agencies are either working at cross-purposes or that the Oval Office is woefully ill-informed about the inner workings of its own government.
Or perhaps Trump’s accusatory tweet is merely today’s excuse used for his regularly scheduled, pre-planned assault on the “Fake News,’ i.e., any media outlet that reports accurately on any negative information about Trump and his cronies.
Either way, Trump’s bullying intimidation tactics towards the media deserve our condemnation and should form the basis of at least one of the many “high crimes and misdemeanors” cited in any forthcoming articles of impeachment as an anti-constitutional attack on the First Amendment that the president is duty bound to protect.
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Original reporting by Rachel Frazin at The Hill.