By Rex Ravita
Donald Trump has had a love-hate relationship with the media since before he announced he would enter the race to be president of the United States. At the beginning of the race, the media treated him as a means to boost their ratings because he was entertaining. Media outlets were even criticized for getting “too cozy” with their coverage of him to take him seriously as a candidate. As his campaign unfolded, the media began to take him more seriously, realizing how dangerously controversial some of his planned policies were.
Since his inauguration on Jan. 21, President Trump has continued an already rocky relationship with the media. Press Secretary Sean Spicer made several untrue statements during his very first appearance in the White House. After attacking multiple journalists because their opinion of inauguration crowd estimates, he refuted all of their claims and falsely reported that Trump’s crowd was, in fact, the largest in history.
The president and press secretary are very quick to question the credibility of news when it is criticizing or defaming him. I believe it is very important to be able to differentiate between real and fake news, especially as the president. However, Trump often discredits reliable media sources and journalists, calling them “fake news,” simply because he isn’t happy with what they’re reporting. This behavior by a president isn’t acceptable in our country where freedom of speech is written in our Constitution.
The president has even threatened to sue multiple various newspapers and websites that he describes as “dishonest scum.” Of course, this isn’t possible thanks to the First Amendment. These threats could be empty threats, but are disturbing nonetheless.
The media and President Trump have a co-dependent relationship, if anything. The president, while already a media superstar, needed the media to give him coverage in order to win the presidency. The media, in a different sense, needs Donald Trump in order to keep ratings boosted and viewers entertained, even while he calls them scum.
I don’t believe the president has the best relationship with the media. I think his baseless claims about news outlets reporting falsehoods are irresponsible as a leader of our country. I do not believe the media’s relationship with the president is forever tarnished, but it will require a lot of maturing on his end to improve.