The cost of Trump’s assault on the press and the truth

The cost of Trump’s assault on the press and the truth

[Ed. – The author could have saved himself the time spent researching the anecdotes that comprise the extended lede by simply remembering the president immediately before Trump and the media’s non-stop fawning over him. Times have changed, and so have the media. Never mind Trump’s assault on the press and the truth. Where is The New Yorker’s high-minded article about the press’s assault on Donald Trump and the truth?]

Presidents have always complained about the press. At awards ceremonies and journalism-school conferences, Thomas Jefferson is often remembered for his principled support: in 1787, he wrote to the Virginia statesman Edward Carrington, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.” Yet, by 1814, having endured the Presidency, Jefferson was not quite as high-minded, whining by post to a former congressman about “the putrid state” of newspapers and “the vulgarity, & mendacious spirit of those who write for them.”

You could hardly blame him. How would you like to read that one of John Adams’s surrogates has branded you a “mean-spirited, low-lived fellow”? No President escapes scrutiny or invective. In 1864, Harper’s listed the many epithets that the Northern press had hurled at Abraham Lincoln: Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar. …

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