• Ahmed ElTair

Journalists: The true enemy of the people?

Just last week, Trump publicly attacked CNN’s correspondent at the White House, Jim Acosta, accusing him of not only being rude and a terrible person but also targeted him as the enemy of the people. For a long time, the American president, Donald Trump have been calling the media (or, as he may put it, “#FAKENEWS”) as “the true enemy of the people” which raised many questions and concerns among Americans in the past few weeks.

The Trump administration have been consistently shaming and attacking a lot of news networks like CNN and The New York Times under the cover of “reporting the fake news” which may have led to a wave of national and international reproach and hate towards the media. Some authoritarian leaders have embraced the same ideology of accusing the press to be fraudulent and manipulative. Moreover, according to Reporters Without Borders, more than 50 journalists from all over the world were killed in the first nine months of 2018. These numbers seem to increase a year after year because these journalists present a significant threat to authoritarian regimes. As Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”.


Last month, a man named Cesar Sayoc sent a mail bomb to CNN’s New York office. When the FBI confiscated his van, they found pro-Trump stickers all over the van’s windows. Including, a sticker of “CNN sucks” and a photo of Hilary Clinton in the crosshairs of a gun scope. Even though it is unfair to blame the Trump administration for such an incident, it is important to realize that this man was in a way or another inspired by Donald Trump. For years, Trump has been promoting nothing but hatred and grudge towards the press and media even though it contradicts the First Amendment which clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”


Internationally, last month has been like a slaughterhouse for journalists with Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime, found killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Turkish Reports suggests that his body was disposed of after the murder (You can read more about this issue at https://www.yourscope.org/blog/death-of-journalist-sparks-foreign-policy-crisis-in-washington) Moreover, Victoria Marinova, a Bulgarian TV host and journalist was also killed and raped last month in Bulgaria. She was working to uncover a huge corruption case related to construction companies in the European Union. These two incidents reveal the amount of incitement that is happening to silence journalists and reporters all over the world.


Calling the press “The true enemy of the people” is, in fact, encouraging violence and hatred towards these people who want nothing but speak the truth and reveal it. If journalists are not feeling safe and are being silenced by leaders, then issues and crimes among society shall never be exposed. If we don't have journalists to dig for the truth, then it will forever be hidden. What we really need is for the American president, probably the most powerful man in the world, to stop attacking and shaming journalists for doing their jobs and for leaders all over the world to ensure their protection.


More resources:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/bulgarian-journalist-victoria-marinova-brutally-raped-and-murdered

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/363918-authoritarian-world-leaders-are-adopting-trumps-use-of-fake-news

https://rsf.org/en/news/more-journalists-killed-first-nine-months-2018-all-2017

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