"Trump Calls the News Media the ‘Enemy of the American People,'" blared The New York Times headline on February 17, 2017.
"President Trump, in an extraordinary rebuke of the nation’s press organizations, wrote on Twitter on Friday that the nation’s news media 'is the enemy of the American people,'" said the lead of the story.
But Trump didn't say that. What he said was this: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"
Not "the nation's news media," as the Times wrote, but "the FAKE NEWS media." Big difference.
So with one piece, purportedly about how Trump called all of America's media "the enemy," the Times did exactly what Trump was complaining about: They omitted a few words, spun the story into a liberal screed — and proved Trump absolutely right! The Times' dishonest piece on Trump's tweet is the very definition of "fake news."
And the onslaught continues. On Thursday, more than 300 newspapers across the U.S. ran anti-Trump editorials in an effort coordinated by The Boston Globe.
The Globe's own piece set the tone of what the editorials were all about.
"Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country. Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current U.S. administration are the 'enemy of the people.' This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president much like an old-time charlatan threw out 'magic' dust or water on a hopeful crowd," the Globe wrote.
Well, that sounds balanced and even-handed, doesn't it?
The piece goes on to cite John Adams, praise "journalists who provide independent scrutiny," attack Trump supporters for "following him into undemocratic territory," and compare the U.S. president to "21st-century authoritarians like Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan."
The Globe said that Trump is trying to brainwash Americans in an Orwellian effort to obscure the truth. "Indeed, it is not just that the president is stoking domestic division for political and personal gain, he’s asking his audiences to follow him into Fantasia. 'Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,' he told an audience in Kansas last month. 'Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.' George Orwell put it more gracefully in his novel '1984.' 'The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.'"
But Trump took aim at the coordinated effort on Thursday, writing on Twitter: "The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!"
And he wrote this: "There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!"
That one is spot on. Click over to CNN on any day and the news is 99% Trump bashing.
Or make that 91% for the MSM media. A study by the Media Research Center last year found that 91% of the coverage during the evening news offered by ABC, CBS and NBC was negative over September, October and November. When the now moribund Stormy Daniels story broke, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was been interviewed 147 times on broadcast and cable news shows in just the last 10 weeks, a study by Newsbusters found.
And on and on it goes. The Media Research Center just last month examined news coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC, and found that for the previous 18 months, 92% of the stories on Trump's immigration plans were negative.
It'd be one thing if America's fake news media had taken the last two Democratic presidents to task — they didn't. CNN became known as the "Clinton News Network" and the Times worshipped at the altar of The Chosen One, Barack Obama, for eight straight years (even when he ran roughshod over freedom of the press). Of course, they did bash George W. Bush every chance they got.
So the fake news media (you know who you are) has lost all right to complain. They're NOT speaking truth to power, they're defending their own agenda. But Trump just isn't going to play their game — and they're furious.
Trump posted one more item on Twitter on Thursday, saying: "THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!"
And that's clearly not fake news.