US President Donald Trump has ratcheted up his verbal assault on the media, describing it as “the enemy of the American people” in a tweet.
Shortly after landing at his holiday home in Florida – where
he is spending a third consecutive weekend – the president lashed out at several news organisations.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @
ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the
American People!” he wrote on Friday.
Trump had posted an earlier tweet that took aim at the New
York Times, CNN, NBC “and many more” media
organisations – and ended it with the exclamation “SICK!”
But he swiftly deleted that before tweeting the final version,
adding two more “enemies” to his list.
Many US presidents have criticised the press in the past,
but political analysts say Trump’s language has more
closely echoed that of authoritarian leaders.
Trump, who regularly accuses the media of overstating his
problems, has also accused journalists of failing to show
sufficient respect for his accomplishments – including in
their coverage of a long-winded press conference on Thursday in which he voiced a litany of grievances against the industry.
Many journalists were taken aback by the extraordinarily
combative press conference, which was described by some
as bizarre, but Trump later echoed words of praise he got
from one right-wing commentator and insisted it had been a bravura performance.
The 70-year-old partly built his election campaign on
criticising the press as biased.
Month of tumult In four tumultuous weeks, Trump has seen his national security adviser ousted , a cabinet nominee withdraw , a centrepiece immigration policy fail in the courts and a tidal
wave of damaging leaks.
Trump tried to put that first month of difficulties behind him
as he pitched himself as a champion of US jobs and
industry during a visit to Boeing in South Carolina.
He used the visit to publicly renew a campaign vow to
champion jobs and industry.
“As your president, I’m going to do everything I can to
unleash the power of the American spirit and to put our
great people back to work,” he said.
“This is our mantra, ‘buy American and hire American.’ We want products made in America, made by American hands,”
Trump added, pledging to wean the country off imports.
Although the unemployment rate is at a low five percent and
wages are rising steadily, a triple whammy of deindustrialisation, globalisation and automation have hit the US heartland hard.