I have been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the media and his personal attacks on journalists. A chilling example is his response to CNN’s Abby Phillip when she merely (and reasonably) asked if Trump wanted to “rein in” Mueller with his appointment of Matt Whitaker. It was not just a relevant question but the one most asked by journalists of all of the networks from Fox to CNN to BBC. Yet, Trump called it a “stupid” question and then attacked Phillip’s overall performance.
Trump said that Phillip “asks a lot of stupid questions” before walking away.
I have previously criticized the conduct and tenor of some of the questions from figures like Jim Acosta. However, I believe the White House is out of line in his suspension of access and this attack on Phillip is grossly unfair. Even Republicans have expressed concern about the Whitaker appointment.
As I recently wrote, both the media and Trump appear to thrive on this tension. (Notably, Acosta’s Twitter following has soared to over a million). However, it is chilling for a sitting president to engage in this type of unrelenting criticism of journalism. There are legitimate objections to be made about the bias against Trump in some coverage but this angry response entirely missed its mark.
What do you think?