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'Nasty' Women's News Headlines

Shell Shocked!

It's Bad by Michelle Goldberg for Slate

Right after Donald Trump was elected president, I interviewed Masha Gessen, the Russian dissident writer, for an essay I was thinking of calling “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Fascism.” The idea became obsolete when Gessen published her own superlative piece on the same theme, “Autocracy: Rules for Survival.” But during the first surreal, harrowing, humiliating month of the Trump presidency, I’ve often thought back to that conversation, and particularly Gessen’s answer to one of my questions: How do you stay sane when a despicable man is in your head all the time?

Trump's War on Press Escalates

McCain, Critics Say Trump's Gone Too Far With Press War Newsweek

Many prominent voices suggest that President Donald Trump's assault on media credibility has gone too far. Speaking to Chuck Todd on 'Meet the Press' Senator John McCain articulated the fears of many Americans. 

"The fact is I, we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital,"  McCain, who is featured in this week's New York Magazine cover story. 

"If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started."

Many Americans believe the press was largely responsible for Trump's rise to power, giving him unfettered, daily access to morning news shows. There's a note of irony to watch Trump turn on the press with his daily criticisms of "fake news" and the "dishonest media" from the bully pulpit of the presidency. Trump supporters eat up his sparring with reporters in news conferences or telling crowds the media has no credibility. On Saturday, Trump took his message to an adoring crowd in Melbourne, Florida, insisting that the media "opposition party" makes up sources and have "become a big part of the problem." Those comments followed a Friday night tweet in which the president wrote that the "fake news media" is "the enemy of the American people."

McCain warns that dictators "get started by suppressing a free press. In other words, a consolidation of power, when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I'm not saying that that's, that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history."

Fox News host Chris Wallace said on Fox & Friends that Trump has "crossed an important line" by branding the media as the "enemy" and says McCain is "exactly right" with his comparisons to the origins of dictatorships.

“And I know there are a lot of (Fox News) listeners out there who are going to reflexively take Donald Trump’s side on this,” Wallace said. “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.”

Former Republican presidential contender John Kasich was not nearly as effusive as McCain but defended the press on CNN's "State of the Union. "Thank God you're there," he said. "While I don't always agree with the reporting of the press, they're vital. They're such an important part of democracy."

Journalist Carl Bernstein, a key reporter who broke the Watergate scandal, compared Trump's actions to the Nixon presidency.

"Trump's attacks on the American press as enemies of the American people are more treacherous than Richard Nixon's attacks on the press," he said on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "There is a history of what 'enemy of the people,' that phrase means, as used by dictators and authoritarians."

Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also compared Trump to both Nixon and dictators in comments on ABC's "This Week."

"I didn’t think I could be shocked anymore by this president but I have to say, of all the things you said since he became president or since the election, this to me was the most devastating and the most alarming that he essentially views the First Amendment—because that’s what these organizations represent—as an enemy of the people," he said.

"This is something that you hear tin-pot dictators say when they want to control all of the information. It’s not something you’ve ever heard a president of the United States say, not even Nixon went there, and it is deeply concerning. I hope it is repudiated by people from both parties because this is not America."

Trump tweets: Press "is the enemy of the American people" Politico

In a now deleted tweet from Friday afternoon, February 17, President Donald Trump charged that the media is the enemy of the American people. Trump singled out The New York Times, CNN and NBC News in particular, before revising the tweet 16 minutes later to include ABC and CBS. 

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the amended tweet said.

On Thursday, Trump's campaign released a 30-question “mainstream media accountability survey” asking supporters whether they trust outlets such as MSNBC, CNN and Fox News to report on his campaign “fairly.” The survey was shared on Facebook and answered by many progressives, including Anne. The degree of leading-the-witness questions was astounding, making it the most biased survey she had ever seen. 

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