President Donald Trump’s recent criticisms against the media earned the ire of Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday, who argued on “Fox and Friends” that Trump recently “crossed an important line” when he declared the “fake news” media to be the “enemy of the American people.”
Trump declared last Friday that news outlets like CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and The New York Times are “fake news” and the “enemy of the American People.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Trump attacking the media became a staple of his presidential campaign last year through the Republican primaries and into the general election. However, since winning office last year, Trump’s rhetoric against the media has not decreased. In fact, it’s likely increased as Trump is tweeting almost daily about “fake news” media, most often citing the Times and CNN.
But Wallace was quick to remind the hosts of “Fox and Friends” that the Founding Fathers believed a free and independent press was vital to the health of the American republic, citing comments from former President Thomas Jefferson in 1787.
“Yes, presidents have always had problems with the press … but what Jefferson said was that despite all of our disputes, that to the functioning of a free and fair democracy, you must have an independent press,” Wallace explained.
“But when he said ‘the fake news media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people,’ I believe that crosses an important line,” the Fox host added. “I don’t think it matters whether the president is singling out the media organizations — it’s wrong.
“We can take criticism. But to say we’re the enemy of the American people, I think it really crosses an important line,” Wallace reiterated.
During the interview, Wallace also said that he agreed with comments Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) made over the weekend, when he said that an adversarial press is necessary for free democracy, and that shutting down the free press is how “dictators get started.”
“I think he’s exactly right there,” Wallace said of McCain’s comments. “It’s a check on power, and he was saying that in dictatorships, there’s state-run media and there’s no opportunity for a free independent press.”
Wallace added that he believes disputes between Trump and McCain will “absolutely be a continuing saga” of the Trump administration.
Watch Wallace’s full interview below:
Powered by WPeMatico