OPINION | Barry Richard: Press Says Trump Threat to Democracy
The media is under attack worldwide for years of shoddy reporting and gossip mongering. Who is to blame? Why, Donald Trump of course.
Reporters Without Borders says the leaders of Western democracies (Donald Trump) are responsible for a growing animosity towards journalists, once seen only in places such as Turkey and Egypt.
"The unleashing of hatred towards journalists is one of the worst threats to democracies," said RFS secretary-general Christophe Deloire in a statement. Deloire went on to say, "Political leaders who fuel loathing for reporters bear heavy responsibility because they undermine the concept of public debate based on facts instead of propaganda. To dispute the legitimacy of journalism today is to play with extremely dangerous political fire."
The RFS suggests the criticism of the press can be seen as "hate speech," that puts journalists lives in danger.
Trump has referred to unfair and inaccurate media coverage as "fake news," and "the enemy of the American people." A recent Monmouth University Poll indicates that most Americans seem to agree with Trump, with 77 percent of respondents said they believe that the so-called, mainstream media report "fake news." And 31 percent believes it happens regularly.
The president and CEO of The Associated Press, Gary Pruitt, says journalists around the world are "increasingly under attack" by people trying to influence and control the news.
The truth of the matter is that the media has been lying and reporting "fake news" for a long, long time. Long before Trump even emerged on the scene.
The problem is that the Trump candidacy exposed the media for the biased, partisan sham that it really is. In other words, the media got caught red-handed. The masses get it now, and the media has lost the control over the message it once enjoyed.
We've seen it happen time and again, around the world in the internet age. People have found a new way to communicate and to share information and as a result, the credibility of the traditional media has taken a big hit.
The public no longer trusts the media to be objective and tell the truth. The fourth estate has fallen.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.