This Friday, President Trump took a step into the unknown.
We don’t yet know what it looks like when a White House publicly declares the American free press as “the enemy of the American people.” We got a slight taste of it during the Nixon era, but even Nixon wasn’t bold enough to make such a proclamation outside of the Oval Office.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Expectedly, the backlash was swift, and not only from journalists. Appearing on Meet the Press this Sunday, Senator John McCain slammed Trump’s words as being a slippery slope to dictatorship.
“That’s how dictators get started,” McCain said. “They get started by suppressing free press, in other words, a consolidation of power.”
Now, the Twitter hashtag campaign #NotTheEnemy has emerged, reminding Trump and his supporters of the vital work the free press does, sometimes resulting in the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are a few examples:
— Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) February 18, 2017
— Phil Williams (@NC5PhilWilliams) February 18, 2017
From 'SEDITION, A FREE PRESS, AND PERSONAL RULE May 7, 1918'
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 18, 2017
A Russian spy ship is trolling the east coast and the U.S. President is busy tweeting that the national press is the ENEMY. #NotTheEnemy
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) February 18, 2017
— CPJ (@pressfreedom) February 19, 2017
— Distopia (@DistopiaNow) February 19, 2017
— dykiegirl (@LexieMatheson) February 18, 2017
— Glitter and Gore (@theglitterngore) February 18, 2017
A free press is essential to a functioning democracy. When the state is the sole source then it's propaganda, not news. #NotTheEnemy
— Paul Wilson (@paulrwilson) February 18, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 18, 2017
— Mariah Blake (@MariahCBlake) February 18, 2017
— Theresa Muir (@theresasmets) February 18, 2017
Some Trump supporters got involved as well:
— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) February 18, 2017
— Steve Hirsch (@Stevenwhirsch99) February 18, 2017
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