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How Donald Trump undermines press freedom at home and abroad

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26.02.2019

If one had to select a quote to sum up President Trump's relentless attack on the media in a single Twitter message, a presidential post from August 5, 2018 would be a good choice.

In the post, which was retweeted 31,000 and liked almost 120,000 times, Trump writes that "Fake News" hates him for calling them the "Enemy of the People only because they know it's TRUE." He continues by arguing that he provides "a great service by explaining this to the American People" and ends by charging that the media "purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!"

Trump's tweet, in a nutshell, combines some of his recurring lines of attack against the media. By labeling any journalistic content that is critical of him, "fake news" delegitimizes the press and the crucial institutional function it plays in a democracy to hold those in power accountable. By calling media professionals "the enemy of the people" and by claiming that their goal is to divide the populace, he accuses journalists of working against the interest of the citizens they actually serve. And by designating journalists as "very dangerous & sick," he stigmatizes them in a way........

© Deutsche Welle