WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The President's Unprecedented Attacks on Journalism

Feb 7, 2017

The Trump administration spent its first two weeks in power belittling the media. The Shop Talk panelists say they've never seen a presidential administration direct so much venom toward journalists. Even the Nixon White House was less combative than the current administration.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton said reporters strive to report facts and put them into context but the Trump administration is doing what it can to cut off the flow of information.  She said the administration’s actions give her fresh content to discuss with her broadcast journalism students just about every day. 

Crighton also pointed out that Trump has referred to the media as being “the opposition party.”  She said portraying journalists as the bad guys is a disservice to the public.

Will Buss said the administration is trying to cast aspersions on journalists and he said such attacks demand a response.  He said the administration’s conduct is outrageous. 

Buss said it’s up to journalists to call out phony information from the White House.  And he said reporters need to be diligent about checking facts, especially given that the Trump administration calls them liars.

Rich Egger said members of the administration seem to make up things as they go along – for example, the non-existent Bowling Green massacre. 

Egger believes journalists are doing a good job of fact checking the president’s tweets, but he cautioned that corrections don’t reach everyone who sees a tweet with incorrect information.