“To call the press the enemy of the people is insane, it’s wrong. That’s what autocrats do. That’s what dictators do.” – Ethan Bearman, KGO810 Host
Yesterday, an estimated 350 newspapers, stretching from Hawaii to New York, dedicated the editorial sections of their publications to condemning Trump’s claim that the media is the “enemy of the American people.” The Boston Globe (the leader of the charge), The New York Times, The Mercury News, The Fresno Bee and The San Diego Union-Tribune were amongst the hundreds who opted to participate in the group effort to stop the “fake news” rhetoric that has been aggressively promoted by the president and his base (see the full list here).
Here’s just a few of the op-ed titles: “The President Wants You to Think We’re The Enemy. Here’s What We Really Do,” “We Are Your Defense,” “Strong Democracy Needs a Free Press” and “Mr. President: We Aren’t the Enemies of the People. We’re a Check on Government.”
Host Ethan Bearman and CNN Contributor John Phillips have very different stances on the collaboration. Both appeared on HLN’s “Across America with Carol Costello” to explain and defend their views.
Phillips admitted there may not be a war on the “American People” per-say led by journalists, but he believes there is one being unfairly waged on Trump and those who back him.
“To see the newspapers do this just reconfirms every idea that we had about the news media from the point of view of Trump supporters,” he argued.
According to him, there is nothing Trump has said about the press that “wasn’t said at [his] dinner table” as a child. In short, it’s all fair game. Bearman fervently opposed the thought process. He’s on board with reporters on this one — something needs to be said.
He hit back with: “To call the press the enemy of the people is insane, it’s wrong. That’s what autocrats do, that’s what dictators do.”
Costello stepped in to mediate the debate and try and bridge the gap between their perspectives. She summed it up perfectly with: “I don’t think we are all going to agree but it’s a good conversation to have.”