On August 16, some 343 media outlets agreed to join a Boston Globe campaign aimed at publishing editorials denouncing what the media have called a "dirty war against the free press" allegedly organized by US President Donald Trump. The Globe claims that the current administration's policy is an organized "assault on the press" and is trying to portray it as the "enemy of the people."
The campaign united both small local media and huge news conglomerates, from the US and abroad. Among the media outlets joining the campaign were The New York Times, The Guardian, Chicago Sun Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald and others, many of them championing the Democratic Party's agenda.
The anti-Trump media campaign has ignited a controversy online. Many netizens slammed it, stressing that it is "fake news media" that they are the real "enemy of the people," not just any outlet.
You are losing the information battle. As @realDonaldTrump is delivering on substance. No matter what you do, you can't fight or compete with substance.— Witness (@ginothesaint) August 15, 2018
Time for editorial shift for the liberal media.
Trump is responding to your 24/7 attacks with effective actions with results! pic.twitter.com/4cEipXGTjq
Yes the media isn't the enemy of the people, but the #FakeNewsMedia is the real enemy of the people.— GERALD (@GWRECKK) August 16, 2018
Trump is right.
If you run Goebbelsque propaganda machine, then you are the opposite of a journalist and therefore the enemy of the people, very simple! I do not understand why this is so hard to understand. IF you run a fake news apparatus, then you must GO!— Wheetestone (@wheetestone) August 16, 2018
So to be clear: 350 publications are going to ban together in one biased voice and declare that THEY are right and THE PUBLIC (who now have easy access to the internet and can research any news put out) is wrong?— 🇺🇸Patriotic🐯Tiger (@PatrioticTiger) August 16, 2018
It's like you know where every landmine is but still step on them.
To all the local editorial boards and hard-working reporters engaged in all the wailing about #Trump media comments: Stop the foolish posturing. He has always been talking about the corrupt, dishonest portions of the national political press. ITS NOT ABOUT YOU.— Mark Davis (@MarkDavis) August 16, 2018
CNN admits American Media has been weaponized against the U.S. and Pres. Trump, "More than 100 newspapers will publish editorials decrying Trump's anti-press rhetoric." Fake News media no longer pretends to be fair or honest--it is an arm of the Democrat/Socialist Party.— Stephen Frank (@capoliticalnews) August 12, 2018
Some, while admitting Trump has acted harshly with regard to the US media, noted that the media are no better by ganging up on Trump and that the campaign will further enhance such an attitude among The Donald's supporters.
One can deplore Trump's inciteful language against journalists and still believe 1. the corporate media does indeed skew the news agenda to promote its corporate agenda; 2. today's coordination of 350 editorials attacking Trump will only confirm the media's bias to his supporters— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) August 16, 2018
This will not have the effect they hope it will. It only confirms that the media is biased and working in coordination to take Trump down. Exactly what Trump supporters believe.— Grug J (@GrugJ4) August 16, 2018
BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL OWNED AND CONTROLED BY THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE! STORIES LIKE THIS JUST HIGHLIGHT THE SCAM, WELL DONE CNN, ANOTHER FAIL!!!😝🏴☠️— Bainzy (@notracesms) August 16, 2018
He won't care. He seeks to be a master diversionist. Truth is, some media is fake, some is true, but his antics and rants are obvious, arrogant and obtrusive most of the time. He gives the media less to fabricate.— Buster Payden~hjpjr (@hjpjr821) August 16, 2018
How about you actually tell the news in an unbiased manner. IT'S CALLED JOURNALISM. 100% of your news shouldn't be editorial. People are tired of it. All the finger pointing at trump is ridiculous at this point. The real problem is the biased media on both sides. BE NEUTRAL— James Carlson (@James_Carlson) August 15, 2018
Several Twitterians added though that media bias towards Trump was partially caused by his own remarks about them.
CNN wasn’t even that anti-trump before trump started disparaging them. After a few months of being called non-stop “fake news socialist communists” they became very openly critical of trump.— Kieran Brown🌹 (@TY_4EVA2017) August 16, 2018
Trump is the one who started the fight, now you guys finish it!!— jayne wilson (@jwjwtw1997) August 16, 2018
Others have shown skepticism about the effectiveness of the media campaign.
And once again media plays right into the hands of Trump😆— Patricia Reffner (@pattyreffner) August 16, 2018
The media is literally proving Trump right. The media is conspiring against him. They intend to influence the next elections. The media are russian agents.— Ben Gurgagen (@_RussiaBot_3000) August 16, 2018
Trump supporters in thier twisted minds will believe this is a widespread conspiracy.— Cavs4life (@cavs4life216) August 16, 2018
Many netizens expressed their support for the media's campaign, claiming such actions are crucial for the survival of democracy.
Are U glad to see this u unified action against #Trump's smears against the media? We must stop the movement to dictatorship. #trumprussia#Resist— Bob Krause (@KrauseForIowa) August 16, 2018
Trump's 'dirty war' on media draws editorials in 300 US outlets — https://t.co/097icuIfw9
This is how we know that American democracy will survive, despite the serious threat posed to it by its own elected President. Because its checks and balances, including the media and the judiciary, are in working order.https://t.co/blEr4bZaUS— Tony Joseph (@tjoseph0010) August 12, 2018
Excellent— mysticmuse (@44vreiki) August 16, 2018
This editorial by Hamodia, a Haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jewish news outlet, about why they aren't uniting with other outlets against Trump's attacks on the media is a perfect exemplification of the thinking in this world regarding Trump.— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) August 15, 2018
In other words, regressive and dangerous. pic.twitter.com/20Dn30MfQN
Media vs Trump
US President Trump has a long and acrimonious history with US media outlets as many of them harshly criticized Trump during his presidential campaign. The situation hasn't changed since his inauguration and many of Trump's decisions are regularly scolded in the media, sometimes even prior to their announcement.
Trump, on numerous occasions, has accused several major US media outlets, journalists and TV anchors of publishing "fake news" allegedly based on leaks from unreliable or even "nonexistent" anonymous sources. Certain news outlets have even been excluded from the White House journalist pool because of these accusations.
Although this is the first time media outlets have openly joined forces in order to write against the president, they have participated in non-coordinated "campaigns" devoted to other aspects of Trump's presidency.
One of the first such "campaigns" was devoted to speculations around the difference between the number of people attending the inaugurations of Obama and Trump, claiming the latter had much smaller attendance figures. Trump's hairstyle and spray tan, which have been widely mocked in the media, a "pee tape' mentioned in the infamous Steele dossier, allegedly showing how Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed in the presidential suite at the Moscow Ritz Carlton all received widespread attention.