While speaking to his Fox News colleagues this Sunday, Chris Wallace warned that President Trump‘s latest attack on the media ventured into unknown territory.
“Look, we’re big boys. We criticize presidents. They want to criticize us back, that’s fine,” Wallace told Fox & Friends. “But when he said that the fake news media is not my enemy, it’s the enemy of the American people, I believe that crosses an important line.”
Wallace’s comments came after a clip was shown of Trump recounting how Thomas Jefferson Abraham Lincoln were known for making disparaging remarks about the press, to which he reminded his colleagues that Jefferson had once wrote, “And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“Yes, presidents have always had — and politicians have always had — problems with the press,” Wallace said. “They want good press. The press doesn’t always give it to them. But what Jefferson [was saying] is, despite all of our disputes, that to the functioning of a free and fair democracy, you must have an independent press.”
On the heels of Trump’s repeated attacks the press (primarily CNN) as “fake news,” the President started an uproar on Friday when he declared the press as “the enemy of the American people.”
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Trump tweeted, noticeably leaving out Fox News, which he’s praised for giving him favorable coverage.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
“We can take criticism, but to say we’re the enemy of the American people, it really crosses an important line,” Wallace said.
Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth suggested that Trump was simply “taking on the hidden bias” of news outlets that “tell you they’re unbiased.”
“I think there’s absolutely something there, and if he had said that, you wouldn’t have heard a peep out of me,” Wallace replied. “Lord knows, Barack Obama criticized Fox News. If Donald Trump wants to criticize the New York Times, that’s fine. But it’s different from saying that we are an enemy of the American people. That’s a different thing.”
“And I know there are a lot of listeners out there who are going to reflexively take Donald Trump’s side on this,” Wallace continued. “It’s a different thing when it’s a president — because if it’s a president you like trying to talk about the press being the enemy of the people, then it’s going to be a president you don’t like saying the same thing. And that’s very dangerous.”
Watch the video below:
Featured image via screen grab. To follow Sky Palma on Facebook, click here.