The Boston Globe is spearheading a coordinated effort to fight back against President Donald Trump’s “dirty war against the free press,” according to the Associated Press.
After Trump’s repeated criticisms of the “fake news” media, including calling the media the “enemy of the people,” the Globe is calling for other newspapers to publish editorials denouncing Trump’s attacks on Aug. 16.
“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”
In the appeal to other papers, the Globe encouraged outlets to be unique in their attacks on Trump, saying “Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming.”
The Globe has not detailed who it has reached out to for this effort, but Deputy Managing Editor Marjorie Pritchard said at least 70 newspapers, both large and small, have joined, including the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, and Denver Post.
“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” Pritchard said. “We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”
The conflict between Trump and the mainstream media has steadily escalated from the 2016 campaign through the beginning of the president’s first term.
Media outlets and personalities are showing signs that the constant attacks are wearing on them, leading to more aggressive and emotional reactions.
When people attending a Trump rally in Tampa, Florida booed Jim Acosta and CNN, members of the media, especially Acosta, reacted (and sometimes overreacted) severely.
Acosta demanded that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declare that the media are not the enemy of the people, and walked out of the briefing when she refused to do so.
“Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it. Shameful,” Acosta tweeted afterward.
Trump has referred to media as “the enemy of the American people” since early last year, when he called out The New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Trump tweeted in February 2017.