Trump’s hatred of the media is no secret, but people shouldn’t fool themselves into how far he is willing to go to take down the press.
Every story about Russia gets labeled fake or fraudulent. Positive coverage from Fox News, long correlated with a loose knowledge of facts, gets retweeted frequently, along with Drudge Report and the occasional meme advocating for violence against the press.
But that’s just what we see on Twitter. Behind the scenes, there could be a more concerted effort to discredit the press. Rachel Maddow, who was already on her toes after Trump’s 2005 tax return cover sheets made their way into her possession, warned that a fake NSA document was being circulated amongst media outlets. Thankfully, she did due diligence and didn’t run the story, instead choosing to use the segment to warn other journalists about the danger of these documents. In light of CNN retracting a Trump-Russia story recently, it was a much needed warning.
Many “citizen-journalists” on the left have popped up since the election, notably conspiracy constructing duo Claude Taylor and Louise Mensch. While they have actually been right and out in front on a few stories related to Trump-Russia, they’re also prone to reaching into the depths of conspiracy hell to try and get an “exclusive” on Trump-Russia.
I appreciate the fact that so many people are willing to take up the resistance against Trump, Taylor and Mensch included. But facts are the antidote to Trump’s poison and peddling unverified claims that aren’t labeled as opinions isn’t going to help anyone’s cause.
I have a lot of respect for journalists. Maybe I’m biased because my grandfather was them, but it’s definitely a calling. A road-based lifestyle, pay on the lower end of the scale and harassment (particularly for people of color and female reporters) are all a part of the ceaseless gig.
I am so grateful for all of the journalists who keep public officials accountable, report from the most dangerous of situations and continue to do their job in bringing the public the truth, even when they’re facing nearly insurmountable odds.