N.Y. Times Joins Hundreds of Newspapers in Combating Trump's Attacks on Journalists
The so-called Gray Lady, along with The Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Hartford Courant, Trentonian and others, ran their own op-eds on Wednesday rebutting the president's "enemy of the people" attacks.
The New York Times joined hundreds of newspapers on Wednesday in denouncing President Donald Trump's assertion that journalists are the "enemy of the people," calling that moniker "dangerous, period."
"News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are 'fake news' is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the 'enemy of the people' is dangerous, period," the paper's editorial board wrote in an opinion piece published Wednesday.
The opinion story was one of hundreds that will run on Thursday in print after answering a call from The Boston Globe to denounce Trump's "enemy of the people" remarks. The stories were each written by individual newsrooms.
"This dirty war on the free press must end,” the Globe wrote to fellow newsrooms in its initial appeal. “Publications, whatever their politics, could make a powerful statement by standing together in the common defense of their profession and the vital role it plays in government for and by the people.”
Trump has called the press the "enemy of the people" on multiple occasions, on Twitter and in rallies for political supporters. The New York Times has been a frequent target of the president, who has deemed it the "failing New York Times" and called several of its stories that he hasn't liked "fake news."
"These attacks on the press are particularly threatening to journalists in nations with a less secure rule of law and to smaller publications in the United States, already buffeted by the industry’s economic crisis," the Times editorial board wrote in its opinion piece. "And yet the journalists at those papers continue to do the hard work of asking questions and telling the stories that you otherwise wouldn’t hear." The paper cited a San Luis Obispo Tribune story about the death of a prison inmate who was restrained, naked, for 46 hours.
In the online version of its opinion story, the Times excerpted opinion stories from other papers who answered also the Globe's call. "These editorials, some of which we’ve excerpted, together affirm a fundamental American institution," the editorial board wrote.
The Times ended its editorial with a call for readers to subscribe to their local papers: "Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together."
Trump responded to the effort on Thursday morning with a tweet decrying the "collusion" of the press: "The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!"
Aug. 16, 8:50 a.m.: Updated to include Trump's response.