In case you needed more evidence that this White House views journalists as the enemy, here it is. The Trump administration, his family members, and some of his supporters seem to be okay with harassing the media. Today White House press secretary Sarah Sanders chalked it up to “freedom of speech.” It started last night when CNN’s Jim Acosta faced an angry crowd at Donald Trump’s rally in Tampa.
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
Then Eric Trump followed up with this tweet that his father retweeted.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) August 1, 2018
Sanders was asked about this behavior at today’s briefing and she seemed to say they support it.
.@dmartosko: They were trying to prevent [@Acosta] from getting his broadcast out & yelling that his network sucks, is that right or wrong? Do you support that? Sanders: We support freedom of the press but we also support freedom of speech & we think those things go hand-in-hand. pic.twitter.com/grlgGLqJtO
— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) August 1, 2018
So the takeaway is that the White House won't discourage the president's crowds from shouting down reporters and yelling that their networks suck during live broadcasts. Good to know. There's a First Amendment tension between speech and press, and ultimately one side must lose.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) August 1, 2018
“For some, this may be one big reality show, but the idea that all involved share that state of mind is risky. With journalists being killed at work, attacked at rallies and harassed regularly on social media, safety is a real concern for those seeking to hold the president accountable for his words and actions. The dangerous outcomes that many fear will result from this rhetoric and behavior, like those New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger says he tried to convey in his meeting with Trump, would not at all reflect a great America.”
Trump’s former communications director Anthony Scaramucci is even voicing his concerns.
This isn’t our best. It’s not who we are. I don’t always agree and am often upset with journalists but we are flashing warning lights now that we shouldn’t be flashing. The free press needs to be protected as well as their opinions. That’s why that Amendment was First. https://t.co/6QQhPzK78n
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) August 1, 2018
As for Acosta, many say he took the high road while he was being heckled.
— Christopher Heath (@CHeathWFTV) August 1, 2018