Donald Trump’s attacks on the media are deliberate attempts to undermine reporting that has uncovered fraud, abuse, potential illegal conduct and disinformation, according to two United Nations officials responsible for promoting freedom of expression.
Noting that Trump has branded the press “the enemy of the people,” “very dishonest,” “fake news,” and responsible for “spreading theories and blind hatred,” David Kaye and Edison Lanza said the attacks counter’s America’s commitment to press freedom and increase the risk on attacks on journalists.
They believe Trump’s salvos are strategic and designed to raise doubts about veritable facts.
Kaye and Lanza say when the president dodges questions from outlets such as CNN, he suggests that it has nefarious desires or animus, though Trump “has failed to show even once that specific reporting has been driven by untoward motivations.”
Kaye and Lanza, who released their statement Aug. 2, said the US government should promote the role of a vibrant press and counter rampant disinformation.
“Two years of attacks on the press could have long-term negative implications for the public’s trust in media and public institutions,” they said. “Two years is two years too much, and we strongly urge that president Trump and his administration and supporters end these attacks.”