N.Y. Times Publisher Says He Told Trump That Attacks On Media Could Lead To Violence

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The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday that he recently warned President Trump that his attacks on journalists, including labeling them as the “enemy of the people,” are contributing to a rise in threats and could lead to violence.

Trump revealed Sunday that he met at the White House with publisher A.G. Sulzberger and said they discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News.” The president said he explained to Sulzberger why he was increasingly characterizing journalists as the “enemy of the people.”

The president tweeted Sunday from his New Jersey golf estate, “Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

The tweet prompted Sulzberger to release details of their July 20 meeting, at which he was accompanied by James Bennet, the Times’s editorial page editor.

A New York Times spokeswoman said Trump had invited Sulzberger and that White House aides had asked that the meeting remain “off the record,” in keeping with past practice for such meetings, but that the president put it “on the record” with his Sunday tweet.

Sulzberger said in a lengthy statement, based on his and Bennet’s notes, that he agreed to the meeting with Trump “to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.”

“I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” Sulzberger said. “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”

He continued, “I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.”

The publisher went on to say, “Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.”

The White House has provided no details of Trump and Sulzberger’s conversation beyond the president’s tweet.

“The president regularly meets with members of the media and we can confirm this meeting took place,” Mercedes Schlapp, the White House’s director of strategic communications, said in an emailed statement.

Sulzberger became the New York Times’s publisher in January, succeeding his father, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., who is the company’s chairman of the board.

Trump regularly expresses fury with the way he is covered in the news media, and he has long had a particular fascination with his coverage in the Times, dating to his many years of struggles to win the respect of Manhattan’s elite.

In a speech last week at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Mo., Trump bashed the journalists covering the event, which drew a rebuke from VFW leadership.

“Don’t believe the [junk] you see from these people, the fake news,” Trump said, gesturing to the press area of the venue.

The president added, “Just remember: What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Also last week, the Trump White House barred CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins from attending an open media event in the Rose Garden over her questioning of the president earlier that day.

At various moments throughout his presidency, Trump has sought to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to bar those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials, The Washington Post reported this past week.

“These people shouting questions are the worst,” Trump has said, according to an administration official. “Why do we have them in here?”

(c) 2018 The Washington Post

{Matzav.com}

7 COMMENTS

  1. Aha. I see.
    Another lame hit-job by the Compost.
    Bill Clinton, instead of taking responsibility for his inept administration, including the clown Janet Rino, he blamed the bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma on Rush Limbaugh! Very nice. Then before anyone had a chance to find out who was really behind the bombing, they quickly executed Timothy McVeigh in the fastest time recorded. We now know what the FBI is all about.

  2. But they are the enemy of the people. If they stop acting as such, they won’t be called that. All they have to do is be pro american (not pro open borders, weakening the military, and for appeasement to the worst regimes on the planet, just to name a few anti american stances of the crazy left media). Since they act as an enemy of the people, a fifth column, it is only fitting the President call them out on it.
    They stopped acting as objective reporters of news events many decades ago; many were never really journalists to begin with. They generally push a story from their personal perspective, not as concrete objective facts. (Of course they’re based on facts but to distort the context of a particular statement, event or opinion is tantamount to lying.)

  3. The good news is you don’t see the anti Semitic ny times being sold in religious areas like Boro park on street boxes like years ago. We have our own newspapers and magazines that give us the real news not The NY Times fake news

    • Why is it good news that our own newspapers and magazines and telephone media and English and Yiddish are no better than the NYT and CNN and other fake news because they copy all their news from them? Didn’t you notice it?

  4. The New York SLIMES makes for good rags when washing your widows, or changing the oil in your car.
    That’s about it…

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