Media bracing up for battle with Trump White House

- Agence France-Presse, WASHINGTON

Jan 20, 2017-

Donald Trump and the media are digging in for what could be a long and bitter war.

The president-elect, whose spent much of his campaign at loggerheads with the mainstream press, has been sharpening his attacks, and the news media is bracing for what some see as a looming campaign of intimidation.

Days before moving into the White House, Trump told Fox News he plans to keep tweeting his views as the “only way to counteract” what he called “a very dishonest media.”

While many US presidents have had strained relations with the media, Trump has made maligning the press a core element of his message, foreshadowing a stormy relationship for the years to come.

Journalists and media analysts expect a White House effort to cow feisty news outlets into submission as the two sides battle to define the public narrative.

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan envisions a “hellish” time: she expects Trump to “punish journalists for doing their jobs” and suspects his administration will be “awash in investigations and prosecutions of journalists.”

Trump appears to have reached a truce with his hometown New York Times after a post-election session with the daily. And he has been on good terms with some outlets such as the far-right Breitbart News.

But he has been on a rampage against other news organizations.

Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters for America, said Trump showed in one event how he intends to manhandle the media.

“He will seek to delegitimize news outlets that provide critical coverage, try to turn them against one another, reward sycophantic coverage from openly pro-Trump sources, and encourage others to follow in their lead,” Gertz said in a blog post.

National Press Club president Thomas Burr warns Trump’s use of the “fake news” tag to dismiss stories he dislikes “may foment a dangerous disrespect for journalists” among the public.

Published: 20-01-2017 08:28

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