“We are not the enemy of the people,” exclaims Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe, presumably referring to a characterization of ‘fake news’ journalists that President Trump has used in the past.
Trump’s latest outburst toward the press was at an Aug. 2 political rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he told his audience that the media was “fake, fake disgusting news.”
“What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting?” the president asked, pointing to journalists covering the event. “They don’t report it. They only make up stories.“
And that seems to have ‘triggered’ Pritchard.
And in an attempt to fight back against what she calls Trump’s “dirty war against the free press,” AP reports that The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing the President’s comments.
As of Friday, Pritchard said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.
The newspaper’s request was being promoted by industry groups such as the American Society of News Editors and regional groups like the New England Newspaper and Press Association. It suggested editorial boards take a common stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics, or whether they generally editorialized in support of or in opposition to the president’s policies.
“Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming,” the appeal said, acknowledging that newspapers were likely to take different approaches.
Pritchard, who oversees the Globe’s editorial page, said the decision to seek the coordinated response from newspapers was reached after Trump appeared to step up his rhetoric in recent weeks.
“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” she said.
“We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”
There is something ironic about a ‘free and independent’ press being coerced to collude on the same story against their President.