This week, the President of the United States tweeted, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” He later added, “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.” Surely a strike against such a basic principle of democracy as press freedom is the sort of thing you’re more used to hearing from some despot, but Trump lowered the bar so much that this sort of talk is even getting old from the “leader of the free world.” During his first 100 days in office, Trump tweeted the phrase “fake news” 30 times. During that time, he also referred to the news media as the “enemy of the people.” Trump’s attempts to undermine public trust in independent sources had some novelty early on, such as this tweet from February: “Any negative polls are fake news.” Hoping the novelty has worn off by now and that just maybe our very own State Department can review this statement it issued on World Press Freedom Day and consider aiding the United States in the protection of the press “as a key component of democratic governance.”  And yes, this does take us back to the great unravelling noted above!

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